Camy here! I wanted to talk about New Years resolutions today!
Okay, don’t hate me, but I love New Years resolutions, even though I don’t always keep them. I love resolutions because they make me feel positive about a new, fresh start; a whole year of possibilities!
I also talked to a friend today who said that resolutions work better when we don’t overload ourselves with them. For example, if we give ourselves too many resolutions, we’re less likely to keep any of them, whereas if we give ourselves just one, specific resolution, our brains are more likely to keep focus and keep the resolution.
The key, I think, is a resolution that is very specific and practical. Rather than being vague like “I’ll write a book this year” or “I’ll finish this manuscript this year,” we should instead break it down into a resolution that is even more specific and concrete, and which is also practicable for our busy everyday lives.
Let me repeat that—practicable for our busy everyday lives. Let’s try to be realistic and sensible with our goals rather than shooting for the moon.
Instead of “I’ll write a book this year,” how about we break that down even further? A book is, say, 90,000 words. We’ll write five days a week, giving ourselves weekends off for swim meets and soccer games and dance lessons (for the kids or for us. :) We’ll also take off for the week before holiday weekends.
So, say 42 weeks of writing this year (we’ll take a few weeks off for any vacations or family emergencies), 5 days a week. For a 90,000 word book, we have to write 430 words a day.
So that can be a resolution—430 words a day. Now doesn’t that sound pretty doable?
Or say you’re a plotter. How about you commit to spending brainpower and time plotting your book for 45 minutes every weeknight? You have to finish plotting by June and then write 900 words a day for the rest of the year to finish the manuscript. 45 minutes plotting each night is not too hard, right?
So what are your New Years writing resolutions? Remember, only pick ONE thing to do and make it practicable and concrete and doable.
My resolution is an hour writing prose every day. This might be hard when I’m still in the plotting phase of novels, because then I’ll have to write prose on a novel already plotted while I plot a second book, but since I work from home, I have lots of time during the day.
How about you?
Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Her novels Single Sashimi and Deadly Intent are out now. She runs the Story Sensei critique service, is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels and ponders frivolous things. Sign up for her newsletter YahooGroup for giveaways!