I'm home and jet-lagged. The family room is loaded with suitcases full of dirty laundry. The good, the bad and the ugly from the trip will be discussed tomorrow.
Here's hoping public declaration, and the fear of public humiliation, will keep my list of goals from being packed away with the last of the Christmas decorations.
FIONA'S TOP TEN WRITING RESOLUTIONS FOR 2009
10. Write EVERY DAY. I mean it this time. I have made a good jump-start on this and I want to continue it. I'm not giving myself a daily time or word limit. Unrealistic goals tend to be demotivating. Two years of NANOWRIMO, which were derailed by an illness during the month, have taught me that the expectation that I can do x words a day and still live my life is not going to work. I think I'll go with 5,000 words a week. I may not make it every week, but I don't think I'll go crazy, or drive my family crazy.
9. Read outside my comfort zone. I have a jump-start on this, too. My birthday is in January, so I have ordered several books as presents to myself. They are all by authors who I have "met" online through blogs and chat rooms. They range from romantic comedy to cozy mysteries to noir mysteries to one horror book. I'm going to read them each for pleasure then dissect them to see what makes them explode---or fizzle.
8. Go to my monthly writers' meeting. I need the moral support. On-line writer friends are great, but it's not the same thing.
7. Go to a writing conference. I've gone to a national conference, and I want to do a regional one this year. This is my business--my new career--and I need to treat it that way.
6. Treat my writing time as work time. I can not allow unnecessary interruptions to side track me. Nothing short of an emergency--a REAL emergency--will have me stop my writing session.
5. Exercise EVERY DAY. I'm going to be spending a lot of time with my butt in the chair writing, and I'll need to get that butt out of the chair and moving to offset it. I foresee long walks with the dogs. This will be my plotting time.
4. Complete first novel. As in, from the beginning to the end. My Work In Progress is more a Work In Pieces right now.
3. Revise and polish first novel. Not obsessively. Not until I hate every character and want them all to die. But I don't want to send out anything sloppy.
2. Query agents for first novel. I have a list, I've checked it twice. I will recheck and send out emails, or snail mails, as needed. I have a list of 4 agents to get me started. I don't want 20 rejection letters in one week.
1. Begin next novel. This should really come after # 4, but it is my biggest goal for the year. I don't want to complete the first one and then.......wait for rejections. This first novel has been a learning experience, and I want to put that to work in the second one.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE.