Friday, January 04, 2008

Writer's Resolutions for the New Year

Happy New Year. The beginning of 2008 would be incomplete without a new, improved set of writer's resolutions. Not only does stating them give them power, so does setting them in cyber stone. This year, I will:

1. Not should on myself. Worrying about how much I should have written or should be writing drains valuable creative energy. Instead of shoulding on myself when the time comes to commune with my characters, I resolve to channel negative energy into writing instead. (Note to self: even something as simple as writing notes on index cards counts.)

2. Sit but in chair daily. If this means adjusting my writing schedule so that every day is a Writing Experiment Day, so be it. Better stock up on the caffeine. Dragging myself out of bed at 5 a.m. to write this holiday season has been *lowers her head and scuffs her foot* a challenge. (Note to self: revisit point number one, and study point number three (after I've drafted it.))

3. Honor my process. Perhaps the biggest gift a writer can give him or herself is respect for how quickly his/her characters come together in a story worth telling. My head knows this truth thanks to my mentors at Vermont College. However, I have to be honest with myself. Some days are darker than others when it comes to my writing. Doesn't always need to be a rejection to trigger me. Sometimes good news does it. A colleague might win a contract, or finish a draft he/she started after me. I celebrate. I sincerely do, and then the doubt sets it, and I find myself wondering if I'll ever finish my story, and I seriously consider changing professions. This is where point number 4 comes in:

4. Ignore the monster. It's caged again--and gagged--after escaping it's confines over the holidays. Insidious creature. Sometimes days go by before I realize it's freed itself from its bonds again. It lurks in the shadows and feeds off my fear, becoming far too fat and comfortable before I realize it's escaped again. I captured it not too long ago. Even managed to put it on a diet. It's less than pleased with its new surroundings, but will need to get used to them. I'm in a place of power, and nothing my mugwump says or does will keep me from finishing my book this year.

5. Renew my commitment to my writer's group. Meeting with J and A every other week isn't just good for keeping my mugwump in check, it's necessary for my muse. *Raises cyber glass of the good stuff* Here's to fellowship, built-in deadlines, and the knowing we all share that together we are invincible against the mugwumps of the world.

6. Finalize (and submit) KM. Last year my muse would have scoffed at such a statement. This year, thanks to the hard work we did during Plotting the Novel (and afterward), we both know it will happen.

*Raises another cyber glass of the good stuff to fellow writers everywhere.* May you honor your process and find victory against your mugwumps. See you on the other side of 2008!

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