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Now that we have that cleared up, I have a confession to make: I'm not a resolutions kind of guy. Resolving to do stuff--in my mind--is just short of making a promise, and that's a serious business. So serious in fact that I'm not willing to make those kinds of lasting proclamations for anything life (or chance) can void on a whim.
I'm only going to resolve to do something if it's VERY important. And very important things shouldn't be pinned to my refrigerator at the end of the year next to the grocery list and the holiday greeting from Aunt Edna and her cats.
No, I believe the most lasting and realistic kinds of change are the kinds we tackle at the beginning of each day and evaluate at the end. Change lives and breathes with us, not in spite of us. I think that's why I like to set goals.
Goals, I've found, are much more malleable things. They can be contorted, cajoled, and kicked into submission. Goals tend to dance to the rhythm we choose, not swing off with the first hussy or jerk with snappier moves. Goals go on the journey with us, they aren't perched on high, cackling when we fall.
So with that in mind, I'm going to offer up some of my writing goals for this new year. A 'to-do' list to put in front of me, things to aim for, and to adjust accordingly.
Some of them I do every year, but are worth repeating I've found. :-) You can use them, too. Stick them in your travel pack. But remember, if they get too heavy or cumbersome just cast them off, or simply make them fit. They are ours to command!
Here's How I'm Going to Kick 2013's Ass
Write only the kinds of stories I would like to read.
Read a book on craft ... maybe even two or three.
For every book I read from my favorite genre or category, read one that isn't.
Draft something really shitty, then revise it until it's less shitty.
Write what I know until I know how to write about the things I don't--which is most things when I really think about it.
Quit being afraid to share my work with others. Growing is painful, but required.
View revision as writing, not work.
Treat writing as work, not art.
Make art out of my writing.
Be hopelessly optimistic about my talent.
Be hopelessly realistic about my talent. (AKA - the key to always improving.)
Write the story I've always wanted to write, even if I have no business writing it.
Understand that publishing is completely within my control. (My eye is twitching...) Quit asking for permission and waiting for an okay if I'm tired of asking for permission and waiting for an okay.
I'll never know if I don't ask, so fire off a query ... or twenty.
Size-up my expectations and reality, then make sure my determination is bigger than both.
Become my harshest critic and biggest fan, then tune them both out completely and write.
Celebrate and cherish every word I put to paper or screen.
Be willing, and happy, to scrap every word I put to paper or screen for the sake of making the story better.
Be efficient with my time so I can waste more of it on writing.
Write without a filter.
Tell someone who doesn't live in the Internet I'm a writer--and mean it.
Always believe a story, and the writing, can be better. Then make them so until the deadline/editor/agent/crit partner rips them from my hands.
Find my voice, even if it means screaming on the page. I can adjust the volume later. (But usually don't have to.)
Treat writing a story like painting a room: Understand it's going to take more than one coat to make it look good; the number of doors, windows, etc. are going to increase the amount of time and effort required to get the job done; rushing things will only make a mess; allow time for drying in between coats; the job is much easier to do with proper technique and a little help...
Believe that if I put my best foot forward, I'm allowed to never look back.
Put more thought into my next story than the last, and worry more about what I can do than what I can't.
Those are just a few of my personal writing objectives for 2013. What's tops on your list?