Making Writing Resolutions

Due to the accident, my New Year’s Eve is a lot quieter than I’d anticipated. But I’m a writer and an introvert (I almost think of those things as synonomous, but I’ve met a few lovely extroverted writers), so the quiet evening and the lack of movement doesn’t bother me much. All the more time to work on my writing resolutions.

New Year’s is a fantastic time for making a new start in your writing life. I’m a “finisher” by personality, which means that I take New Year’s Resolutions very seriously — so seriously that I almost never break them. That makes making them a bit more stressful. My friend’s Jenny’s New Year’s resolution is to take herself more seriously by protecting her writing space. My past writing resolutions have included

  • resolutions to finish whatever my current novel was (a cop-out, since I’m a finisher)
  • a resolution to write every day in my journal (this was harder than it sounded, but I still get nostalgic for the big, blue, flowered book that bore the brunt of this resolution)
  • resolutions to “focus more on my writing” (don’t make a resolution like this — it’s way too subjective. What does more even mean? More than in the past? More than your other writer friends? More than your non-writer friends? What?)

This year’s resolution is to be published at least three times in the next year. When I told this to my mom, she said, “But isn’t it really hard to get published?” Well, yes and no. I partly made this resolution because I managed to get published twice last year without even “trying” (that is, I hadn’t made publication a priority, but instead began to actually start submitting). It’s hard to do the kind of publishing I want, where I write precisely what I want and sell it to precisely who I want. But if I can learn to bend with the demand a bit more, publication may not be quite as unattainable as it once seemed. And I’m not being too terribly picky — online publishing counts, as well as unpaid publication. Self-publishing — as in woo-hoo! I just published another blog post! — does not.

I once made a resolution that I couldn’t attain on my own (i.e.: I made a resolution that was dependent upon cooperation from another party). This is not a good idea for resolutions. In some ways, my publication resolution is a little bit like that — what if I do my darnedest, but on the other side there’s no biting? So, I have a back-up resolution: I must submit to at least six places this year. So that even if I don’t attain three publishing credits, I’ll at least have submitted six pieces. And lucky for me, I’ve got a handy-dandy blog to track it all and keep me honest and accountable.