Everybody’s Doing It
What do we do on New Year’s Day besides wander around in a slightly hung-over state channeling Bono? Why, we make resolutions, of course. As a writer, I am required by law to set writing resolutions: you know, to write every day; to write MORE every day if I actually succeeded in the first goal last year (which, as you know, Gentle Reader, I didn’t). As a publisher, I should set resolutions having to do with doing more, bigger and better; that’s not going to happen, either. I will do more, bigger and better; I am too driven to do otherwise. And that’s one of the primary problems I face as a writer.
My goals for this year have to do with balance: balancing the two sides of my professional life rather than allowing all the things on my publishing to-do list to push me out of the study; keeping enough sanity in my weeks to allow things like yoga, eating right, taking walks and spending time with my special people; thinking about my fiction like a writer while I’m developing the work, and only then putting on my publisher’s hat; not letting any one project derail everything else; accepting that my resources are far outstripped by my vision, and that writing and publishing comprise a marathon, not a sprint.
In a year in which we will all continue to redefine prosperity, it seems senseless to set goals regarding productivity. This year I will concentrate on quality: not just in my work, but in everything I do. This will be the year I rip out a flawed chapter or subplot and rebuild it rather than worrying about self-imposed deadlines, the year I choose not to flay myself over mistakes or perceived imperfections but simply extract the lessons learned and move on. This year will be a road trip in the direction of goals: we’ll arrive, but the exact time of arrival is impossible to predict to the minute, and detours may arise without warning. I will strive to enjoy and learn from them all.
But I’m not making any resolutions.