I tried to devise a snazzier title, but considering my resolutions are rather cut and dry this year, a utilitarian title suits. I had also planned to start by looking back at last year's resolutions and assessing those, but I think that's for another post. Tonight I'm peering straight ahead into the next 365 day ride.
1) I need to write every day for at least one hour...no cheating. I've always fought against this adage because in my own mind ten minutes of quality writing is worth an hour of garbage. That being said, I'm too easy on myself. I bank the good days of several hours of writing to justify lamer days where little gets done.
2) I need to view writing as a primary job. I'm a teacher...and I love it. All the time, even on the days when a student has me ready to jump out a window. But I love writing just as much, and I need to stop feeling guilty when I make time for it. It may not be bringing in the big bucks just yet (or ever), but it still deserves as much attention as my other jobs like teaching, parenting, etc.
3) I need to build more Lego sets. Seriously, it's important. Yesterday my family and I raided our embarrassingly huge stock of unfinished sets and created the following:
The Mummy + Pirates of the Caribbean + LOTR + Bionicles + Avengers + The Hobbit + Star Wars. At least three or four times during the building process my brain raced to places in my current WIP and other stories where I could add new ideas or create subplots. The Lego adventure jumpstarted my creative process because I was making SOMETHING. Even if it did involve following another artist's plans, and yes those Lego geniuses who make these schematics are artists, I still felt creative and there are too many tasks in a routine day that try to suck that creativity right out of my toes. So I need to do more artsy and building stuff.
4) I need to talk to other writers. I have friends who write who I speak to, but we tend to get sidetracked with children and teaching and shoes. I need to do the writer speak thing more often. I am excited when I hear others speak of their processes, and I am happy to blab endlessly about how I write, too.
5) If I'm not sending my writing out SOMEWHERE, it's not suiting it's full purpose. Don't get me wrong, rejection is an integral part of being a writer, and it's a terrifying one. I know that there are some pieces I write which will never see the light of day. (A month after graduating Dickinson I wrote a short story called Cats and Guinness that I fully believed would be published in seconds and sadly still pouts in my binder of early writing with no magazines a' calling.) But it's the trying, the preparation, the process that can't really be a process without that last stretch. Otherwise writing becomes more of a selfish act, a pleasing myself and then stopping sort of act. And for me, anyway, that's not ok.
6) I WILL WRITE DOWN ALL OF MY GOOD IDEAS! If it wouldn't have been obnoxious, I would have made that one a million and a half font because there are dozens of fabulous sentences and characters and bits that are lost forever because I simply refused to slow down and capture them. I am not a surgeon up to my wrists in blood and a man's heart, I am not a pilot maneuvering an airplane above the clouds, and I am not a cowgirl engaged in a whiskey fueled gunfight. Therefore I can stop whatever I'm doing and tap ideas into my phone or use the ridiculously bad ass fountain pen my husband bought me for Christmas to write things down. No exceptions. No excuses.
7) Last but not least, I will be grateful. I get to be a writer. Somewhere in my brain is an insidious spark to create things, and I am blown away that everyone doesn't want to write all the time. Too often this past year I grumbled over minutia that wasn't that bad, or bad at all. And those moments all stole from my general happiness of being and my writing. Unacceptable, and I won't allow it in myself or those surrounding me this year.
Of course there are a million other resolutions that would look fabulous on paper (or screen). No more social networking. Oh FB and Twitter, you time goblins! Write every day between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. because I'm just that committed. I will go to sleep reading Hemingway rather than swooning over The Vampire Diaries. But I'd rather these resolution be honest, be straightforward, the way I hope my writing ends up. Have a beautiful new year all you beautiful writers. Let's make it the absolute best we can, shall we?
Writing has always been an escape, a passion, and a friend. And I love the fact that in my free time and through my career I can help others discover their voice, too.