My Writing Resolutions

Last year, I made a number of measurable goals for my writing. I went through my calendar and marked off dates, adding things like, "Finished with first draft yet?" and "Are you querying yet?"
I blew most of my goals out of the water, and that feels really good.
This year, I have those milestones (see: deadlines) imposed on me by my publisher, so my resolutions have changed. They are less about results, more about process. Here they are:

Read more diversely - Last year my reading diet didn't stray very far from YA offerings. I did read a few adult titles, particularly in non-fiction, but it didn't feel like enough. This year, I hope to read more adult fiction, short stories and poetry. You know what they say about variety...

Reduce Internet Usage - Put a little distance between me and you. I don't mean YOU. I mean the internet. I waste far too much time on useless internet cruising. Twitter and Facebook will suck me in and take me on hour-long tangents to this blog or that interview. Sometimes these sessions feel like a drive in rush hour traffic. You can come away tired and frazzled and like you haven't really gotten anywhere. Like you just threw an hour away. Other times, you learn something good - and it is important to keep up on the business side of the writing world. But in a phase of life that is as busy as mine lately, I can't fit everything in. So in 2011, I'm officially scaling back on my directionless internet usage. It's time to roll up the old sleeves and get serious here, guys... Let's be smarter about how we use our time, yes? Shall we cut down that commute?

Balance - I resolve to find more balance in my schedule in general. Back in the day, when I could paint twelve hours a day, it was fine to be so single-minded. But I have kids now. And a husband. Substantial commitments to publishers. Life has sort of spread its wings on me and soared to another level. It's great. I love the new view. But those small moments in life have become more precious than ever. A bath and a good book. A walk with my dog. Spontaneous dinner with the neighbors. Staring contests with my boys across the dinner table. I inhale in those moments. Only then can I let out a creative breath. Busy as I was this fall, many of these simple pleasures dropped off the schedule. I need them back. I shall have them back!

Keep it pure - Now that I'm not just writing for myself.... I keep thinking that I'm not just writing for myself. People are expecting something. Maybe lots of people? And the thing is, that's a one way street to squelched creativity. It's good to be objective in certain stages of writing. To consider your audience, and your editor, and all that. But the real work of writing should happen in a vacuum-sealed cave. I need to find that cave and protect it. That is a sacred cave.

What are your writing resolutions? How do you plan to make 2011 a great year?


May this new decade bring all the writing success in the world!

ummmm...yes...sacred cave...or in my case hovel...hovelling soon as well my friend...need to engulf ourselves, our creative minds in the cave/hovel. Smiles.

A fantastic post and a great reminder about balance. You are more than just a writer, even if that part of you has had to take center stage in a very fabulous way lately. It might feel like the world wants a piece of you right now. But you are smart to remember the small moments that make you feel in tune and keep your creative juices flowing. You are a wife and a mother. A friend. All the pieces of of who we are contribute to our creativity.

I'm with you on the internet usage. Anyone who remotely knows me, knows I spend WAY too much time online. Part of it is a need to reach out in my very solitary days. The other part is escapism. Avoidance. I'm resolving to do less of that this year and see what great things come of it.

Glad to hear I'm not the only one! :)

Congrats on doing so well on your goals last year! Reading more diversely is something I need to focus on more this year too. And as much as I hate to admit it, I do need to cut back on my internet time. Here's to 2011 and meeting our goals!

I agree that cutting back on internet time is a must. I spent way too much time on it last year.

Best of luck with your goals for this year:)

Thanks for the comments, all. Happy new year - and hoping you all achieve your goals for 2011~!

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