Lately I have been giving lots of interviews and preparing guest posts for my blog tour. Considering the timing, a fair amount of them have been based around setting goals and achieving them in the New Year. It's kind of my thing--being a finisher. But some times, even I can get schooled.
At a Christmas party last week, I met an amazing 13 yr old. Her father is my hubby's research advisor in genetics. When he heard what I do for a living, he excitedly grabbed his daughter, saying he had found her "a real live author for Xmas." She was so ecstatic I'm still blushing. But in the end, I was the one that walked away in amazement. This middle schooler had just successfully finished NaNoWriMo. And managed to get her homework done. I personally didn't do NaNo, but in Sept. I managed 50,000 in 18 days and that darned near killed me. We are talking ten hour days people. So how does a teenager manage an 8 hour school day, homework, an online writing community she started, and 50,000 words? Her answer... she wanted it and all she needed was to do it.
And that my friends is how you make writer resolutions. The reason so many people do and succeed at NaNo is the tangibility of the goal. It is entirely up to you whether you get those words on paper. You make the choice whether to forego sleep when you have 5000 left with one day in the month.
It's amazing to me that this girl has it figured out at 13, and it took me into my 30s to master. If she keeps up this attitude, she'll be topping the NYT list by the time she graduates college.
So my advice to anyone making resolutions this year--make them specific based on only your actions. Yes, it would be nice to have a big contract this year. But that's not in your control, so that makes it a dream as opposed to a resolution. You can, however, decide to put in whatever effort is necessary to write and revise the best novel you can by April to query.
Keep this years goals in your control and make the commitment to succeed. Then, just go and do. When crying or puking kids crop up, and you know they will, take care of them and give up that hour of TV time instead. We can all do amazing things and more than we ever dreamed possible, it's largely a question of how much we are willing to give to that particular goal. Whether your goals are to grow as a writer or invest more time into your family or church callings, I wish everyone well and much love in this New Year. Can't you feel it? It's gonna be a good one.