Thursday, October 1, 2009

Resolutions For Writers

Resolutions For Writers by Maree Anderson (for Writers Gone Wild)

For me, it's been a week of doing nothing much in the way of writing. I've got heaps of very good excuses--among other things school holidays and DH taking a week off work--but this post isn't about excuses. So ya'll can breathe easy, LOL.

I waded through my emails this morning and out of the blue, there was a request to submit three chapters and a synopsis to an agent -- nothing like that kind of kick in the pants to get the old motivational juices flowing again. And it was a bonus to be able to advise the agent that the manuscript had since finalled in another contest, too. But my warm, ever-hopeful fuzzies were somewhat deflated after I opened up my query tracking spreadsheet to update the status of this original query, and realized that I had a grand total of one query outstanding... this one.


What this means is that I have no other submissions out there at the moment. Nil. Nix. Nada.

What this means is that although I recently finalled in a contest, I haven't yet sent out a single new query for that particular manuscript. I'm the self-proclaimed Query Queen, so this is not my usual modus operandi. And, way to waste a great opportunity to plug a manuscript. Duh!

What this means is that I've been a total slackass and I've been neglecting a very important part of The Business.

Note to self: Maree, there is no such thing as the magical "You just kick back and relax, honeybun, coz I'm gonna work my tushie off to get you the agent of your dreams!" fairy.

Obviously there is something up with me at the moment and I require some serious motivitation from a reliable source. And what better reliable source than my own website? I kid you not. I found an old post from January 2008 about resolutions for writers. It's definitely worth repeating, so here goes:

(Note: These resolutions were originally posted to the RWNZ loop by Clare Scott - thanks, Clare!)
  • I will write every day. Whether it’s an e-mail or a short story, I will write carefully and well, and I will take my writing seriously
  • I will accept that which I cannot change. I will accept the rejection that comes with the submission process. I will graciously accept other writers’ successes without whining about my own frustrations. And I will accept where I am in my writing career.
  • I will always have a certain number of submissions circulating while I work on still more pieces.
  • I will master the query letter, the synopsis, and the book proposal. Period.
  • I will set manageable and attainable goals... and stick to them. I will break down daunting tasks into realistic goals and enjoy the satisfaction of checking them off my list.
  • I will try different types of writing and explore new markets. Experimenting in new genres will make me a more well-rounded writer, and I may discover a new talent!
  • I will read more. I will pay careful attention to character development, plot, and dialogue, and I will emulate those traits in others’ writing that appeal to me as a reader.
  • I will finish unfinished projects and revise old work. In the process, I may find a gem of a piece that risked languishing forever unread.
  • I will attend a writers’ conference and make new contacts. I will find a conference that showcases one of my favorite authors, and I will make the most of the experience.
  • I will get organized. I will create a workspace that lets my creative juices flow, and I will organize the business side of my craft. If I set myself up as a serious writer, others will treat my writing as a serious endeavor as well.
  • I will claim my dream of being a writer... and I will not let anyone take my dream from me. I will take criticism into consideration, but I will not let it define me.
  • I will extend a helping hand to at least one other writer. It’s not a competition, after all, but a road we’re all traveling together.
  • I will treat myself kindly. I will celebrate my successes and view rejections as a learning experience. I will remember that writing is my passion and not necessarily an easy path, and I will treasure the process as I go.
Okay. No need to tell me which resolution(s) I need to be taking notice of right now *offers butt for cute little Submissions Fairy to kick*.

Conversely, there's a few I'm pleased to be able to say I've fulfilled this year. Yay me! Uh.... Do ya'll reckon those successes might cancel out the ass-kicking I'm due? (I'm still negotiating with the Submissions Fairy, BTW. She might look cute but she's a real hardass!)

So, let's cut to the chase: Which resolution hits a note with you right now?

Any particular resolutions you'd like to share that you've successfully completed, and are particularly proud of?

And finally: Any resolutions that you'd like to add to this list?

I'm definitely feeling somewhat "resolute" right about now.




Katie Reus said...

These are all wonderful, Maree! I especially like the ones about having a good workspace and helping another writer! So many people have helped me, I like giving back too :) Thanks for the great list!

Heather Boyd said...

Such a great list - I had to print it and put it on my wall! I think its a toss up between three and four. Juggling multiple projects isn't easy but I can see the logic of laying it down as a rule. And to juggle you need query letters and synopsis' ready to go!

Maree Anderson said...

You're very welcome, Katie. Digging these out and re-reading them gave me a much-needed boost and the opportunity to re-focus on what's important. Might have to print them out and hang them on my noticeboard!

Liane Gentry Skye said...

Weee, Maree, congratulations. I have no doubt you're going to hit big. I really enjoyed the resolutions--I have two novels and a novella approaching completion and with my DH gone, I needed this kick in my "woe is me" pants. Thank you. And good luck. Please keep us posted!

Maree Anderson said...

Glad you liked them, ladies! Something there for everyone, I think...unfortunately -- wouldn't it be lovely if we didn't need them at all? LOL.


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