Friday, January 16, 2015

Writerly Resolutions

It's the new year and for once I'm actually managing to write 2015 when required. Usually I'm stuck writing the previous year's date until sometime in the summer.

Every year as January approaches, my social media feeds start flooding with resolution-related posts. Whether it's about wanting to start a new diet, take up a new activity, get into shape, or finish the pesky work-in-progress, the start of a new year is seen as a clean slate, an opportunity to do things better if not differently.

Like everyone else, I too have been thinking about 2015 and how I might do things differently. To be honest, I have a slight advantage here because I immigrated just before Christmas. 2015 promises a boat-load of new experiences for me because I'm in a new country, going to be learning a new language, will have to start carving out a life for myself from scratch having known no one in Sweden before making the move and I'll be trying to find a new job while somehow continuing to write through all the turmoil.

But, as cool as much of that is, I'm still left pondering about writing specific goals. As much as I would like to put 'get a book published with one of the remaining big publishers' down as a goal, this wouldn't really be fair. Goals, by definition, mean that they should be something we can work toward by following certain steps and achieving certain milestones. Getting a book published - unless you're self-publishing - isn't something you, the author, has control over. You have no control over how an editor will feel about your book and whether or not those feelings will translate into a publishing deal. Instead of fretting over things out of my control, this year I've decided to dream big, but set myself more realistic writing goals.

1) Finish the manuscript - this applies to all my Shiny New Ideas currently in the works. No matter how much I love a project or believe it could be 'the one' to make that publishing dream come true, if it languishes half finished on my hard drive, it's not going to bring me any closer to those dreams.

2) In order to achieve goal #1, my next goal has to be: write whenever you can. I've been spoiled in the past where I could set entire days aside to write and take an hour getting into the zone, editing and rereading yesterday's words before starting to lay down fresh sentences. I'm probably not going to have that luxury this year, so my goal is to make the most of whatever writing time I do have.

And that's it. Those are my writing goals because these are the two things I know I can control and hopefully achieve. I'm going to have so much else going on in my life this year that writing needs to be as stress free as possible because I want it to be something I can come home to after a rough day and not the thing that makes my day rough from the start.

What are your goals this year? Anything specifically writerly you'd like to achieve?

1 comment:

  1. You bring up a very good point: many of our goals are actually outside of our direct control. So it's better to focus on the smaller, more local steps we can take.

    How's Sweden?