My friend, outstanding author, and fellow critique group member Julie Ann Peters recently blogged about writing resolutions (www.thewildwriters.com). Each year at our January meeting, we all submit our resolutions (pertaining to writing) for the coming year, so I better get busy as I’m hosting this meeting in just over a week.
I’m glad I waited until after I read Julie’s post, though, because I realize how general my previous resolutions have been. Of course, there’s good and bad to “general.” The good is that when you don’t pin yourself down with dates by which you plan to accomplish a goal, you’re free to let them slide until December 31st at which time you generally report it as “goal not accomplished.” The bad is that you have to report it as “goal not accomplished.” This year I plan to be more specific. My first resolution is to complete revisions to my current middle grade novel by April 1 (April Fools Day seemed appropriate). It’s important to make resolutions meaningful, not just easy to accomplish. Last year, I resolved to finish revisions to another middle grade novel, Changing Tides, and send it out to agents. I accomplished that goal, and I now have a fabulous agent, Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary, who is currently subbing that novel. Our critique group engages in another interesting ritual at this meeting. On a small piece of flash paper, we each write something down that has haunted us over the past year, our demon, if you will..related to writing, of course. Then we light it on fire. The flash paper disintegrates in the air, leaving nothing, not even ashes. The point is that we are getting rid of that demon for the coming year. I think the important message in all of this, is to take the time to evaluate where you are in your writing goals as the new year begins, and write objectives specific enough to be able to evaluate your progress at the end of the year. That said, I better go write my 2013 resolutions.