New Years Resolutions. They have a reputation for being abandoned by February at the latest. I've known some of mine beat the Christmas tree on its way out. I think the reason that this happens (apart from basic human nature) is that a lot of people make resolutions to make resolutions, not because they have a specific thing that they really want to change. In past years I haven't bothered unless there's something I really want to do. But since I've been reading other writers' blogs and seeing them chart their own progress I wanted to see if something like that would work for me.
So, without further ado, here is what I want to do in 2013 and what I hope will come out of it:
My 2012 Writing Resolutions
*Write absolutely every day, no exceptions. Twitter, essays and shopping lists don't count. I've sworn to do this several times and I am a lot better than I was. But an MRes, especially a full time one, is kind of a big deal. Sometimes I spend so long chained to a desk I need to turn my brain off for a while afterwards, make an omlette, watch bad television and read something where I don't have to think about the Themes or Literary Significance. That said, some of the best and most game changing scenes in my novel happened because I'd been neglecting it for ages and needed to write something before I forgot how. It doesn't take long to scribble down a few ideas before you go to bed and while they're not always brilliant there's usually something salvageable there when you come back to it.
*To finish what I start. I could write 20k in a week but it wouldn't do me any good if it was all half finished short stories and abandoned novels. Better to write (and refine) two thousand good words you can use. This is part of the reason I haven't done NaNoWriMo the past few years: there's no point adding another 50,000 chunk of a novel to my hard drive when there are four (!) gathering dust and another one already in progress. (The other reasons is that university deadlines inevitably get neglected and since I'm in so much debt I may as well try and get the best marks I can.)
* Stop reading those writing advice articles. I must have read hundreds over the years so they very rarely tell me anything new and when they do it's always something ridiculous like "paint your office blue" or "stand on one leg to aid concentration". Advice from authors (especially ones I like) is good but mainly boils down to "write lots", "carry a notebook" and "edit", which I'm pretty much doing already. Sometimes they contradict each other on things like the best sources for feedback but if they contradict each other you're going to have to go with your gut anyway. Just because you love Neil Gaiman or Holly Black doesn't mean their writing process will be the same as yours. Find out what works for you and stick with it.
*To publish a Kindle anthology.
* 2012 is going to be the year I finish my novel. Or, at the very least, finish a coherant first draft of it.
*To get relevant work experience and a job that pays me.
I always love to hear from people but this time I'm especially curious. What do you think of New Year's Resolutions? Do you make them? Do you keep them? And if you're a writer, do they help you in your writing?