The quote above is from author Margaret Peterson Haddix’s German ski instructor, Horst, when she was learning how to ski. And it seems so simple but true. This shall be my mantra for 2014. Now I just need to decide where I’m looking.
And how are we on the New Year’s goals front? I’m still working on mine. But the basic gist is smile more, write more, live more and worry less. The specifics I shall flesh out here and now.
GOALS FOR 2014 (this sounds so officious it will be a crime to not achieve these goals!):
1. Get a literary agent already. It’s been too many rejection letters – generic ones and kind ones – and near-misses.
Despite the daunting odds (approximately 0.2% of aspiring writers actually score a literary agent and/or a publishing contract), it’s time to get someone interested in my stories already. To do so, I would need to
2. Write the best damn novel I have ever written, even if it means hours and days and months of tweaking and tinkering and obsessive perfecting of my manuscript. The process is not fun for someone who prefers jumping on an idea to working out the details. First drafts may be painful, but at least they’re exhilarating. Everything that comes after, i.e. editing, is torturous.
Still, I’m in too deep to pull out now. So with all or nothing, I’m going for all. Be it Blood Promise or Until Morning, I WILL get an agent on board for 2014. No more pining and wishing and envying; more doing and getting and having.
3. Be happy. An entire year has just passed, and more of them are just going to whiz by as quickly. Why mope? Why waste time and effort on being sad or angry with people and things that make us sad or angry?
For someone who cries when someone gets snappish with me, you can see why I’ve been struggling with this goal for ages. I can’t help it. People’s emotions rub off very easily on me (have I mentioned that I’m weird and sensitive?), and any negative mood from others can make my mood plummet faster than my colleagues can attack the packet of Tim Tams in the office.
So what I do now – and plan to keep doing – is think of a happy song, or a pretty face, whenever I feel my spirits start to flag.
Besides, if you’re happy, people around you are happy. I swear, it works.
Often, the ones we are closest to bear the brunt of our emotions because we’re so used to having them around and being showered with their love and concern that we take them for granted. So I shall smile more at my family, talk to them more often and always be patient with them so they’ll never doubt how much I love them.
(Okay, getting too maudlin for my liking. Moving on.)
4. Believe in myself more. I realise that sounds very vague, a resolution just begging to to be broken, so to be more specific, my first response to every bit of self-doubt would be
And no, this is not being narcissistic or egoistical. This is an attempt at confidence. You fake it to make it, as they say. And I say, hey whatever works. I am so done with putting myself down and worrying about not meeting people’s expectations and letting them down.
|That applies to bad hair days, daunting writing tasks and everything else.|
5. Set a proper schedule to learn Korean and French proper, instead of just visiting my notes and videos when I feel like it.
6. Finish No Room in Neverland and write the sequel to Blood Promise OR get started on Indigo Tides. Either way, COMPLETE ANOTHER NOVEL.
(On a side note, I learnt a new term today! Introducing the “newt”, also known as a New Weird Thing, according to Laini Taylor.
That is, a writing project that is usurping the place of another writing project. Also known as a “slutty new idea”. Newts are to be discouraged, despite their unfailing awesomeness.
Here’s hoping newts don’t come attacking in 2014! More COOL THRILLING IDEAS – cooties? Right. So more cooties, fewer newts. Although really, any idea is welcome. I’m not discriminating. Newts have the potential to turn into cooties, after all.*
*Taken out of context, the above paragraph can probably certify my sanity level.)
That’s all I can think of for now. It always seems a little pointless to plan too far ahead since you never know what can happen two months down the road. But for now, this is my road map for the year ahead.
I hope 2014 treats you well! :0)