Excuse me, but it’s 2018 already? What are we, speed-racing through life?? Wasn’t it just last month that we were
out partying going to bed at 11pm on New Year’s Eve and resolving to make 2017 less of a complete waste than 2016?
(Note to self: make less abstract resolutions next time.)
((Have to say, though, 2017 was less of a complete waste than 2016 where the writing is concerned.))
Given that it’s only been a week into 2018, though, I think it’s not too late to get the resolutions out.
So you can all hold me accountable to the following:
- Complete at least the first draft of LAND OF SAND AND SONG
… Even though I’m only at page 56 and already despairing at how sucky it is. I mean, I know a first draft is supposed to suck, but this has to be way beyond the regular limits of suckage.
Still, I’ll have to trust that this will all work itself out, like it always had (speaking from experience here). I’ve got a plot outline, I’ve got my character dossiers, I’ve got my Three-Act Structure.
- Work NO ROOM IN NEVERLAND to perfection
That means NOT letting it languish in a folder. NOT sitting on it when it comes to querying time. NOT getting discouraged by (more) rejection letters. NOT giving up on this story I still believe in and want to share with the world.
It means deleting or rewriting any part that seems remotely out of place in the story, and making sure every word deserves its spot in the manuscript.
It means discipline and laser focus.
It means putting in the work.
Like James Ellison said, write with your heart but rewrite with your head.
- Write at least 12 short stories in a year
… Which shouldn’t be hard to do, given that I’ve committed to our short story blog. Having deadlines definitely holds you accountable.
- Don’t suck the fun out of writing
In 2016, I beat myself up a lot for not hitting word count, not completing even one novel, not writing enough in general. I ended up burnt out from pressuring myself to churn out words. But writing doesn’t work that way, not with self-flagellation and debilitating guilt. The words only flow when you give yourself space to breathe, to wonder, to explore, to create.
- Explore more with Muse in Pocket, Pen in Hand
This fun little project of running a short story blog with a few writer friends turned out to be so much more bad-ass, and I find myself constantly inspired by Meredith, Nicole, and Becky who are the most creative, passionate, and generous writing friends a girl can ask for.
So this year, we’re planning to ramp things up. Watch that space for more features and, of course, fantastic tales from a steadily growing community of writers!
- Focus on the good
2017 was rock-bottom for me, especially where my mental health was concerned. And though I wouldn’t say it’s all peachy now, I can now recognise the bad days for what they are and grit my teeth through them. A lot of the times, these moods are like passing storm clouds. You just need to wait out the storm and then you can breathe easy again afterwards.
- Eat clean at least three days a week
I won’t bore you with a breakdown of my diet, but suffice to say I have days where I feel guilty for eating that plate of oily fried eggs. I’m not crazy enough to go on a juice cleanse or some extreme pumpkin soup diet; all I aim to do is eat cleaner and exercise regularly (i.e. daily), which brings me to the next point
- Listen to my body
You know how it is – when you’re young, you tend to think you’re physically invincible and you keep pushing your body to extremes. Or you beat yourself up for “slacking off” when you have to miss a workout because you’re sick or injured. This year, I’m going to try to serve my body better so that it can in turn serve me better.
- Give thanks daily
We complain too much and give too little thanks to the small pleasures and fortunes of every day life. From now on, my mantra will be, “Hey, it could be a lot worse,” just to remind myself how good I actually have it.
And on that note, I am deeply thankful to each and every one of you readers – whether you just lurk (I see you!) or leave a comment or send me a private note. You inspire and move me more than you know, and your encouragement, support, and kindness are what keep me going.
To all the dream-chasers, thrill-seekers, adventurers, peace-lovers, word warriors, and the stubborn, hopeful dreamers, may your cup always be half-full, your heart open and warm, your feet taking you closer to where you want to be, and your soul deeply, deeply alive.
Happy New Year!