I personally don’t get a darn thing accomplished unless I’ve written it down in my to-do list, which is currently the iPhone app ToodleDo. I write down long-term and short-term goals and feel an obscene amount of satisfaction when I get to delete items that I’ve accomplished. If you’re a natural listmaker, you know what I’m talking about. To be honest, I don’t know how non-listmakers survive in this 24/7 non-stop world of work, work, work. I can’t remember anything without a to-do list. If you hate making lists but seem to get your goals/tasks done on time, please comment and let me know how you manage it. I’d really like to know!
Back to the point: resolutions. You’ve got some rolling around in the back of your mind, even if you aren’t formally calling them resolutions. You have an idea of what writing projects you’d like to work on this year. You know what stories or novels you want to start pitching. You probably also realize just how much work is ahead of you in 2011. Competition is fierce. The industry is falling apart at the seams. There are a gazillion books out there ahead of yours.
That said, you’ve got goals, aspirations, and desires. You won’t stop until you’ve accomplished them. Me too. My resolution this year? Work with my agent to sell and market novel #1. Keep writing the rough draft of novel #2. Write another short story. That’s it. I want to keep it simple, keep it focused. I don’t want to stretch myself too thin. Creativity is a priceless gift. I don’t want to squelch or squander it.
So what about you? What are your writing resolutions? I think it’s important to announce them, to make them clear in your mind, just as a skier might visualize the full race course before diving through that first gate at the top. Visualizing, planning, resolving—these are all vital tools toward accomplishing our goals.
And what’s the No. 1 way to achieve what you desire? Persistence. That’s it. Be persistent (and keep checking that to-do list!) and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll get done this year. I’m willing to bet it will be beyond your craziest dreams.
So here’s to 2011! May it be your year to shine!
I’ll post mine, so you’ll hold me to them! 😉
1. Novel draft by 3/31.
2. MFA in June.
3. Long overdue website up and running sometime in next 6 months.
4. Academic job search starting this summer.
5. Digitized backlist sometime this year.
Not ambitious at all, I know.
Oh, not ambitious at all. Really. *cough* Geez, girl. Take it one minute at a time. Deep breaths… All silliness aside, I bet you can do it all. Yee haw for 2011!
Lists! I love ’em, especially when I can cross them off. I make mini-lists in my weekly planner but the BIG LISTS! I guess it’s to network, look for an agent; and find inspiration for a new book.
I hope you accomplish everything you’ve set out to do this year, Alice!