The Writer's Resolution Conundrum

Thursday, January 02, 2014
If you're like many writers I know, you prepared a list of promises you intend to keep in 2014.

I'm familiar with "the list" because in past years, I've made a monumental writing resolution list that set me up for failure. I mean, seriously, when you make a list that has 15 items that you vow to do when it comes to your writing career, you're bound to make a misstep somewhere and, Voila! you've broken your resolution of "I'm going to . . ."

Usually I broke at least one resolution on January 1.

So as 2013 wound down and 2014 rang in anew a day ago, I contemplated, Shakespeare-style: To make a writing resolution list or not to make a writing resolution list. That is the question. Whether 'tis nobler to admit that I'm human and a stressful day may throw my writing off kilter, or to admit that I have a problem saying 'No' and may feel overwhelmed, thus affecting my conquering of the resolution list, or to admit that I mastered the art of procrastination in college and its effects spill into all areas of my life at times, which in turn, can and will harm my handling of the resolution list, or....

That's why I didn't make a list this year.

Yup. You read it here first.

And for me, it makes perfect sense NOT to pen a list of promises that would've been broken on New Year's Day. I mean, really, it's a lazy day, filled with football, family and fun. I may not have made time to write on January 1, which ultimately would lead to the collapse of that dreaded resolution list.


So, in 2014, I'm going to pay closer attention to what I write, how I market, who I network with, when deadlines approach and how I weave my professional life with my personal life, but I refuse to beat myself up if I don't, say, have 10 article queries in play at all times. (That item has consistently shown up on my writing resolution list.) Sometimes, life interferes and sends you down an unruly path. You have to be able to adapt.

The bottom line is this: I want continued success as a writer and satisfaction with the words I place on the page. I am the person responsible for making sure the success and satisfaction happen.

I don't need a laundry list of resolutions to get where I need to be.

Do you make a list of yearly writing resolutions?

by LuAnn Schindler. Read more of LuAnn's work at her website.


Sioux Roslawski said...

LuAnn--I do NOT make a list of writing resolutions because--just like the other resolutions I used to make--I know they won't last.

I DO, however, keep a planner with my submissions and acceptances/rejections. That way, I can look at the week/month and see what I need to do.

Have a great year, LuAnn, and thanks for the post.

Unknown said...

I almost always set specific goals for the year, but I was so tired by the end of 2013 by events outside my control, I skipped this custom. Instead, I set up a theme: Fear Not. I will try to let this theme guide me whether I'm resisting goodies, trying a new form of exercise, putting myself in a new situation, or submitting a piece.

Margo Dill said...

Julie: you are the 2nd person I've heard of that has made a THEME for the year. I like this idea. . .I this year only did two goals because I believe some of my books will come out this year (fingers crossed) and so I will have a whole new list of to-do items when/if this happens. So, my main two goals are to query agents for my MG novel series AND finish my YA novel. I have to make money in my writing so I will pursue writing/speaking opportunities that pay. And my goal for marketing/social networking/volunteering--if it doesn't benefit me or children in some way, I'm saying no or stopping it. At least, that's what I think on January 2. :)

Julia Rocchi said...

Good to hear that someone else is practicing self-forgiveness! This year I set one behavior-based resolution: to write every day, at least for 20 minutes or at least to 300 words (whichever comes first).

My deeper goal is to get past my rational, project-management brain and tap into random, fun, creative "madman" energy. Because if I don't get in touch with that first, I'm never going to produce anything that's worth querying or agenting anyway.

I suppose my theme is "cultivate interior solitude" -- the state of reflection, space, and observation that will feed my daily writing. I wrote a post on this yesterday:

Thanks for making me feel less alone in pursuing less this year! :)

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