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Welcome to 2008

[Wow, it’s going to be hard to follow on Ellen’s heels after that terrific blog about the paranormal.] Hi everyone and thanks for joining me at Hitting the Hot Spot. I’m also one of Total-E-Bound’s authors and it’s my solemn resolve to entertain you on every third day of the month!

Hmmm, resolve. Resolutions. They’re hurled around with abandon this time of year, aren’t they? I used to make resolutions when I was younger. Then, later on, it was too much trouble. (Just follow the path of least resistance in day-to-day things and you’ll find me there.) And now, I don’t so much make resolutions as plan.

Because resolutions are really only half the battle. You define your goal. But then you have to also come up with a plan to carry it out, and I think that’s where most people fall down. You might have a resolution that says something like, “Get a submission to Total-E-Bound by June of this year”. And that’s a great resolution. But it’s not enough. You then have to plan how to do it. And planning how to do it may involve things like:

• Read the submission guidelines on the Total-E-Bound website and pre-format my manuscript to those guidelines. (Usually it’s only something minor like the typeface that changes, so most publishers’ formatting guidelines are good to use for everyone. But always check!)
• Find 30 minutes (minimum) every day to sit down and do some writing.
• Find a desk or a space that I can use exclusively for my writing and tell the rest of my family that that’s my private territory.
• Find and join a critique group

and so on. For each resolution, you should have a plan to help you achieve that. When you think you’re done, type up your plan, print it out and put it up somewhere so you can remind yourself of how you’re going to reach your goal and the steps necessary to make that resolution come true. Of course your list can change, nothing’s set in concrete, but do try to amend upwards (for example, changing “30 minutes” to “45 minutes”) rather than downwards, if you can. Or, if you change the deadline from June to September, make sure you spend extra time finding that supportive critique group.

So now you’ve done your strategies for the year figured out. Hopefully, it wasn’t too difficult and it will help you focus on what’s important for the year to come. Best of luck with whatever you to share?

POSTSCRIPT: I’ll kick off, if you like. My resolution is to write 2 novel-length books this year. (I’m usually a novella writer.)

KS "Kaz" Augustin
Spicing up the planet at a time!
CAPA 2007 nominee


Claire S said...

Kaz, thanks for a great post. Resolutions are throw away comments usually aren't they? How many people usually stick to them? Not many in my experience, although it's a nice tradition to keep. And still, even knowing that, every year without fail I still have my little list of resolutions for the coming year. Maybe if I'm more organised, I will get somewhere with them!! LOL

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Kaz,

My resolution is to give up guilt, regrets and competitiveness around my writing. Over the last six months I've jumped headlong into the whirlpool of e-Publishing, and I've been feeling like I'm drowning: trying to keep up the marketing, update my website, blog on MySpace, simply read all the mail I'm from the lists I've joined in order to network and promote. And I've been feeling awful: stressed and guilty that I'm not doing enough, worried that I'm not writing enough, jealous that so many of my peers have so many more titles out than I do.

Well, as of January first, I say, enough of this nonsense! If I can't enjoy my writing and publishing, it's not worth it. I'll do what I can do -- I'm pretty organized and I can write 4-5K words in a day if I can find day to do it in. So I'll just be me, enjoy my successes, get to know my colleagues, and
stop beating up on myself!

Ashley Ladd said...

I'm constantly making goals and resolutions, not just at the new year.

There are two resolutions that are at the top of my list. One is two-part - to finish editing my Harlequin-type books and submit it to at least two agents weekly. I'm close.

The second is to lose 2 to 3 dress sizes and maintain the weight loss and fitness. I lost 95 pounds about 5 years ago but I've regained 40. :( My winter coat is tight today and I'm kicking myself. How did I let myself go back up??? I have to get to the gym or the park and workout at least 5 days a week, for at least 1-2 hours daily. I usually work on the weights for about 30-45 minutes first and then walk on the treadmill for an hour or more.

Ellen Ashe/Jade Jurgensen said...

I going to try to be kinder to myself. I have a tendency to put everyone and everything else first. It's going to be a difficult habit to break but so many other problems will fall away once I do!

Kay Wilde said...

I'm with Ellen. For the past couple of years I've been wearing myself out trying not to let anyone down who depended on me and ignoring my own needs in the process.

While it isn't in me to let someone down who genuinely needs my help, I have to learn to distinguish when my help is genuinely needed, and when I'm allowing someone to become dependant on me rather than standing on their own two feet. We aren't doing anyone a favor by allowing ourselves to become a crutch.

I've been pulled in so many directions that my personal life has been non-existant and my writing has been hit and miss at best. Simply not enough hours in the day to be all things to all people, work full time, and write.

Like Ellen, I need to start being a bit kinder to myself and learn how and when to say "no".

This coming year is going to be one of priorities and for the first time, I'm adding my own wants and needs to my priority list. My writing being put back at top of the list.

I have several novellas in the works that I need to get finished and out of my head. My primary focus this year is going to be on completing at least one, but hopefully the two of full length novels that I have in the works.


Lyn Cash said...

Kaz, I think you did a splend job. (and you're right - that para' post WAS a tough act to follow - how interesting!) But your post was interesting as well.

My resolution is to 'eat that elephant one bite at a time', whatever the elephant is. If I start over, throw up, and have to make a few false starts, I'm still sticking to my guns on what has to be done.

Of course, figuring out what has to be done is half the fun. *wink*

Best in the new year!

Kaz Augustin said...

Wow gals, my resolution seems so...insipid in comparison.

Lisabet, join the club. I think I really burnt out on the whole non-writing aspect of being an author last year too. I'm taking a wait-and-see attitude this year.

Ashley, I can relate to the weight thing as well. Problem is, whisky is one of my major food groups!

Ellen & Kay, you need some support for this as well. Some buddy who'll say to you, "Yeah, you go for it, girl!"

Hey Lyn! ::waving:: Eating an elephant, huh? I think I'll just go with the sentiment rather than the mental images that are crowding my brain. LOL

marie haynes said...

Resolutions and organization - two things that I am definitely NOT good at! Still, Maybe this year will be different. So, here it goes - I love cooking - it's really my "me" time. Therefore, I resolve that at least twice a month (is that reasonable?) I will try out two new recipes - one from a cookbook and one of my own creation! Hopefully, I can keep this one!