This Year, I Resolve To Make Resolutions.
It’s not been the most productive of years. In all honesty, I’ve waffled quite a lot in the past 365 days or so. I haven’t read as much as I wanted to. I haven’t written anything new (or rather, I haven’t written any new, complete works), and I’ve spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself and trying to decide how to move my career forward. When I reflect on what I’ve accomplished 2012 in my writing life, I can’t help but feel disappointed in myself. With the exception of my PhD applications (which admittedly took a lot of my focus off of writing new work and put it on more academic things), I don’t think I’ve really moved very far forward this year.
So. Rather than let this trend become the new normal, I am making four major resolutions for 2013.
1) Read a book every week. — I have more than enough material on my Books-Yet-To-Be-Read Shelf to get me well into April. And with a list that is longer than I am tall of books I want to read, I could never add another book to the list and still have enough to read for five years. So really all it takes is watching less crappy TV on the internet and spending more time curled up on the couch next to my cat. I think I can handle that.
2) Complete at least one new short story every three months. — This means that the story should both be fully written and fully edited. Three months is not a very hard goal to reach, which means that I will not have to worry about rushing and doing a shoddy job, and it also means that I’m less likely to miss the goal altogether, get discouraged, and give up. I also have a pretty good shot at outdoing this goal, as I have been known to work on a lot of pieces at once when I really get into the swing of writing. And expecting to finish a mere four short stories in 2013 leaves me plenty of spare time to achieve my third (and most important) goal for the year.
3) Complete a full, detailed outline for the next novel. — This is both part of an experiment for myself (will a complete outline really help me to create a better finished novel?) and the logical next step in the process of writing my second novel. I have had a loose outline for this novel for many, many months (since the end of last year, basically), and now it’s time to really get planning. I’ve done a lot of research where it was needed, so I think it’s time to really get this project into full gear. And if aggressive outlining inspires some feverish writing, all the better!
4) Get to know my fellow Atlanta writers. — This applies whether or not I get into a PhD program, though it will be a lot easier if I do. Either way, I am a person that thrives on social interaction. It was the best part of grad school, and one of my best sources of both inspiration and constructive criticism. My writing has suffered from the lack of interaction with other writers and 2013 will be my year to make some new friendships.