At the tail end of last month I wrote a post looking back at 2012 and to a certain extent looking forward to 2013. I established some of my goals for the year, but after reading Brian W Foster’s New Years Resolution post on his blog, I thought it might be a good idea to imitate him in order to set out clear measurable goals.
My writing-related New Years Resolutions are as follows:
Complete, edit and publish the untitled story I am currently working on
I like this story. I like the way it and the world it is set in are taking shape around and alongside one another. I like the simplicity of the story and the humanity in it. It is the story of a woman who is a successful shop owner, a woman with a large extended family including a husband and children, who had a daughter when she was a teenager, before she got married, and gave this daughter away to the child’s father, a wealthy married man with a barren wife who wanted a child to inherit his legacy. She leaves her successful business in her husband’s hands and sets off with her eldest son in search of that daughter.
It won’t be a long story – at this early stage I estimate 10-30,000 words – and that is part of why I like it. It is a simple story, small scale, impacting very few lives in fairly small ways. The idea is to publish so I have something out there to show what I can do, something I can point to in order to justify calling myself a writer, something I can be proud of.
Write every day
Only by writing every day, even when I don’t feel like it, or don’t feel inspired, or when I’m busy, will I ever achieve my wider goals. Writing every day is a means to an end, a way to get into a routine, to become disciplined. It is about treating writing like a job, or at least as something more than a hobby (you won’t catch me writing eight hours a day just yet – I need to sleep and eat some time after all).
Write four short stories in 2013
The idea of this is to get into the habit of finishing things and give myself experience in editing. I also mean for these short stories to be unconnected in terms of characters and events to other stuff I write. They can be set in the same world, but with new characters and new situations each time. This gives me the opportunity to create different characters with different motivations, attitudes, approaches and backgrounds, thus practising writing vastly different characters. I think character motivations and writing distinct and interesting characters is a weakness in my writing so forcing myself in this way to write different characters is a means to improving that situation.
So those are my resolutions. Those are the things I am going to achieve this year, because I said I would and because if I want success as a writer these are steps I need to take to get to the level of skill I want to be at.