A Writer’s New Year’s Resolutions

Happy new year! Have you made any resolutions yet? I’ve set my three writer’s resolutions. But before I get onto that, let’s check out how I went with 2013’s writing resolutions.

2013 Resolutions: How did I go?

  1. I’m not going to read anything I’m not loving. Okay, I give myself points for thinking about this a lot. Alas, I did read quite a few things that I didn’t absolutely love. This is still a work in progress for me.
  2. I’m going to put my writing first. I think I did a pretty good job at this. It didn’t work every day but on the whole I set boundaries and was pretty strong about keeping them. Well done me!
  3. I’m going to decorate my writing room. Sigh. We moved house in September so (a) I didn’t see any point in putting lots of effort into my last writing room, and (b) I’ve been so flat out since we moved that not a lot of prettying has gone into my new room. I’m calling this a ‘let’s try again’ for 2014.

So, okay, not perfect, but not too bad. Now, to 2014.

  1. Stay calm, and have a cup of tea. I’m a bit of a Nervous Nelly at the best of times, but with my first book coming out in April, there’s a lot going on to push my buttons. Last weekend, The Courier-Mail published a very lovely article, ‘Pick of Books with Success Written All Over Them’, about upcoming books and included little-old-me in their picks for 2014. Whoa, Nelly! Some people would get a lot of confidence from an article like that. Me? I think, Holy Cats, What if I Fail?!?!? So, that brings me back to the staying calm and drinking tea–breathe, Joey, breathe. I need to remember that it’s not just me out there. I have an exceptional, proven publishing team behind me that have made countless good choices in their careers so I need to trust, trust, trust. 1533928_256008861229448_473962003_n1545544_256008901229444_56344808_n
  2. Turn guilt to gratitude. Like most mums out there, I want to believe that I can do it all. Of course, I can’t. I need to ask for help and be grateful when it arrives. When the nanny turns up to look after Flynn for four hours so I can do some work, I’m going to practise being excited about that and not guilty. When the invoice comes to pay that nanny, I’m going to practise feeling blessed, not guilty. And when the cleaner turns up to organise the house back to a level of workable sanity, I’m going to practise feeling thankful that I get to prioritise quality time with my toddler rather than the vacuuming. 1528547_256008884562779_1775505474_n
  3. Protect the creative process. There’s a lot of advice out there to tell aspiring writers to treat your job like any other day job. And there’s something to be said for that. Hours at the keyboard count. It is the only way a book will be written. But, at the same time, writing isn’t a normal job. And as Julia Cameron constantly tells us, we need to stock the well before we can take from it to create something new. I am a workhorse. I am built to work. What I find hard to do is play. But it is only by playing that I can stock the well in order to produce fresh, inspiring content. I might be naturally a Clydesdale in nature, but I need to let my unicorn out to play much more than I do if I want to find the magical moments.

So there are my three resolutions for this year. (Plus, I’ll throw in some room decorating too.) Help keep me honest, please! What are your resolutions for the year? I’d love to hear them 🙂

A Writer’s New Year Resolutions

Back to work for me today and I’m thinking about my resolutions as a writer (and reader).

1. I’m not going to read anything I’m not LOVING.

I shudder with the memory of reading this book. No more! Books I love only!
I shudder with the memory of reading this book. No more! Books I love only!

I am a slow reader so I invest a considerable amount of time in a book. All too often, I have kept plodding through a book I didn’t love because (a) I paid for it; (b) I was convinced it must get better; (c) I made a compromise with myself and thought, hey, maybe I’ll learn something from this; or (d) because I am just plain stubborn and like to see things through.

Well, NO MORE. Life it too short and my reading time too precious to be bogged down in something I’m not loving one hundred per cent. Gone are the days when I had to read something (for university, for example). I’m sure I’ve never quite recovered from the torment of reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

2. I’m going to put my writing first.

I’ve spent years writing books and all too often the practice of writing has had to take a backseat to something else–other people, running a horse rescue charity, having a ‘real’ job and making money, and stupid things like housework.

Well, NO MORE. This year, things got serious. This year, I will no longer be a starving artist. This year, I have a job. A REAL job. As a writer. How great is that? 🙂

3. I’m going to decorate my writing room.

This is something I think about doing each year, but never seem to get around to.

Well, NO MORE. This year, I’ll have pictures. Lanterns. Props. Maps. Wall planners. Flowers. Silk. And tissues at hand to mop up the drool from the cat purring in my lap.

So today I take my new year’s resolutions and march forward into a wonderous year of writing. Happy authoring one and all!