Look Before You Leap…

I’ll be straight–I’m not a fan of New Year Resolutions. They are usually spawned from feelings of failure or guilt, and let’s face it, as soon as one leaves the lips, it’s probably doomed to failure. Instead I use this moment on the shoreline of a new year for reflection: where am I now, and what do I want for myself moving forward?

Here in Canada, the brisk air and falling snow is a perfect match for how I feel about the new year: an untouched landscape of white, full of potential and endless possibility. It’s an exciting time –a beginning– when each step is fresh and each choice is unbound by previous decisions. This is a powerful moment of the year, and an excellent time for us writers to imagine the future and where we want to go.

So, writing-wise, what are your hopes for the coming months? Do you have ideas brewing for new novels, areas to work on or styles to experiment with? Goals are great motivators, provided we can get excited about them and they’re within the sphere of doability. Not only do they give us direction and focus, they serve as reminders when small things crop up and force us to take a detour or two.

On my end of things, I would like to see me complete a half-finished book, Wrath of a God, as well as a new book I’ve been chewing on. 2008 was clogged with revisions, and while I wouldn’t go back and change that as it was necessary, I found it really drained my creative spirit. I want to rekindle some of the excitement of writing, and really push to get some new works finished.

Another thing I would like to work on is being more productive and organized. I don’t know it if was simply burn out from all that revision, but I became quite the procrastinator toward the end of 2008. I want to push myself harder–it will be better for me spiritually and writing-wise.

Lastly, I want to make more time to read. Reading is such a pleasure that I often feel guilt at taking time to do it. It’s silly and something I’m battling, so I want to continue working on it this coming year.

Anyone else willing to share their writing path for 2009? 🙂



Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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Hélène Boudreau
11 years ago

Best of luck in 2009, Angela and Becca.

Things I’d like to accomplish are finish and submit BIG SPLASH (thanks to your help with the query!).

If I can finish and submit my other YA, that would be a bonus. 🙂

Lady Glamis
11 years ago

I don’t set resolutions, per se, but I do make some goals for the year. 🙂

One of my goals is to send a super-shiny polished partial to an agent who has requested it (thanks to a recent contest). I sure hope he requests a full. That’s my hope… If not, my goal is to polish up my two novels and start querying like mad!

We’ll go from there. 🙂

And yes, reading is a new goal for me, too. I never seem to have enough time to read!

11 years ago

Angela, I can almost guarantee I’m probably worse at typos than you! Seriously you ought to see my wips before spell check. I type fast and my brain often thinks ahead to the next paragraph….:) Glad I could oblige though 🙂

11 years ago

Bah, I don’t bother with new year’s resolutions. 😉

But I would like to accomplish writing at least one new, satisfactory short story a month and get one novel polished and submission ready. 😉

And read more. But I don’t think of them as resolutions. O:)

C.R. Evers
11 years ago

Good luck with your goals!!! My current WIP is getting spiffied up to send out to a couple editors and an agent in the early spring. Then I’m going to work on shaping up the story I did for NaNo and finishing a rough draft for the 2nd story I started for NaNo. That’s about it. I’d also like to attend a couple of conferences and/or a writing retreat.

may all your goals be accomplished in 2009!

11 years ago

Jaxpop–I’m a list maker too!

CJ, I think you’re right–certain aspects of this business is out of our hands. You can try for representation, but you can’t force it even by trying as hard as you can. the end result is up to another and all you can do is try.

Yuna, thank you for having a typo. Seriously, I’m the queen of Typos, especially in the comment sections!! I think somewhere deep down you KNEW I felt bad about it, and so your subconcious ‘inserted’ one in the comment to make me feel better!

Jude, glad to hear you’re back on the horse again. That’s great!

Vijaya, ponder away!

Danette, nothing wrong with those personal goals!

PJ, Yeah, I wish I still wrote short stories. It might have helped me hang onto some of that creativity.

Keri, I’m wondering if I need to do the same thing.

Beth, I agree–more is good. That’s me too.

11 years ago

I feel exactly as you do about revisions–nice, but they do clog up the creative juices, no?

My writing goals: just more. More, more, more. 🙂

Keri Mikulski
11 years ago

Great goals..

Writing – I changed my schedule – no Internet until I’m done my word count and revisions for the day. Plus, I want to finish four books this year 🙂

PJ Hoover
11 years ago

I hear you on revisions. Sometimes you need to just jump in and write anything new to feel creative again!
Have fun!

11 years ago

Jax, I feel your pain with the blogging. That should be a goal of mine, to do a little more around here.

CJ, doing your best is always a great goal, imo.

Jude, glad to hear you’re back on the bandwagon!

Vijaya, that’s very encouraging news. I’m definitely going to give it a try.

Danette, best of luck with those. And good luck to us all!

Danette Haworth
11 years ago

The top three, same as always:

-eat healthier
-get some exercise

and number one

-get more sleep!

11 years ago

Good luck, ladies.

Becca, I used to write in 15-min bursts with the kids were babies adn toddlers. It’s amazing what good stuff you can write even in small amounts.

I’m still debating all the things I need to improve … but simply writing more is one of my goals. So I’m off to ponder and write some more.

11 years ago

Ditto re: resolutions but like to have goals.
current goal:
to be agent shopping with book 1 by Feb and concurrently into continuing re-writes on bks 2 & 3

this after a loooooong hiatus up until several weeks ago. now thinking on the fast track again! And loving it!

11 years ago

I meant to stay to stay happy, not happen!

CJ Raymer
11 years ago

My hopes for the coming months (re: writing) would be knocking out my current revision over the next four weeks then completing my new WIP by March. Of course, I would love to find representation! But, timing on that is out of my control. Until then, I’ll just have to be content with just doing my very best at the very least. XOXO

11 years ago

I can’t remember ever making resolutions at the start of a new year. I do set goals & make lists (about everything – not limited to writing), just because that’s my nature. This year I want to get my next book out by the end of the summer (while promoting the 1st – which is a pain in the neck) & want to get into more short story writing. I’d also like to blog more regularly – but that’s affected by life, work & writing.
Have a great day. Dave

11 years ago

Sounds like both of you have set some reasonable goals! Good luck!

11 years ago

I feel the same about resolutions too. It’s a great time for reflection.

Me? Take life as it comes, and try to stay happen.

My goal for this year though – get at least 1 novel ready to query to agents by the end of the year 🙂 A big one which feels doable. Remind me about that when I moan I’ll never get it polished enough!

11 years ago

I have three resolutions (one to be more patient, two to eat healthier/drink more water, three for writing). My writing goal is to submit two items per week (to a magazine or publisher). I want to use my free time more effectively and write more!
Good luck with yours!

11 years ago

I feel the same way about resolutions, so I also take this time to think about what I’d like to accomplish in the coming year. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure, lol. I’ve done very little writing since my daughter was born, and I don’t want to set an unrealistic goal. I’m toying with the idea of putting aside 30 minutes a day for writing–journaling, roughing out picture books, or just sorting through possible ideas. I think this is doable with my baby’s schedule, and though half-an-hour a day isn’t much, it could add up to some good stuff.