Happy New Year!

If you’re local, hope you can join me and Christian women’s fiction author Elaine Stock at the Sand Lake Town Library this Saturday, Jan. 7, 1-2:30 pm.

two-authors-1-correct-date

Elaine and I are both members of the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association. This is a young and welcoming group that embraces both published and aspiring authors, traditionally published or self-published. You get access to courses, contests, feedback, and discussion, including opportunities to network with agents and published authors. I think it’s a great organization to belong to if your fiction falls into that genre at all.

Also, you might enjoy a blog post I recently wrote for Women Writers, Women’s Books, called “Why Won’t (Insert Name Here) Read My Book?” It’s about the inevitable painful realization all published writers have that not everybody they know and love wants to read their books. (I know, shocking, right?)

This coming year I plan to interview a number of other authors, and will also poke my head in occasionally with new stuff on my own front, but mostly I’m challenging myself to write the next novel a whole lot faster than I have in the past.

I need to, since after this winter it will be time to go back to full-time work. As I contemplate a future without Obamacare, I don’t see any responsible way around it — and that’s okay, since there are plenty of other things I like to do besides writing — and, frankly, every single one of them pays better.

Hope this finds you well. I wish you a wonderful year of reading and (if it’s your thing) writing! Onward!

One writer’s resolutions for 2015

  1. Keep a drafting-new-work schedule, with no clicking out to “research” or just peek at social media. I had resolved to do this last semester and failed miserably. We’ll see how I do this time. I’m going to set up timers and documentation I can see on the bulletin board. Maybe I’ll give myself a gold star each day I get it done.
  2. In the time allowed for it (and no more!), get a much better handle on my social marketing and content marketing, including figuring out just what the hell those things really are. I need to get serious about this blog and make it worth the time involved.
  3. Get the audio books done. Some people just read their books that way.
  4. Read more. Just chip away at the to-read pile. Because it’s horrifying, and because writers must read.
  5. Find a way to help out fellow writers that doesn’t require me to have actually read and liked their work yet (see #4). Maybe on my web site, which might hit two resolutions at once.
  6. Get rid of more stuff. The move helped a lot, but when I went downstairs to organize the basement this weekend I realized how much more crap needs to go. I want to sit down with at least one file folder or drawer or cabinet a night and WEED. Once that’s done, I can take another look at organizing what’s left. This includes my computer files. Hopefully I will spend less time looking for stuff and more time moving ahead.
  7. Make fitness a priority – Writing is bad for you, physically. You’re mostly sitting on your butt, hunching in some cases. In the last three years I’ve been coping with Achilles tendonitis from a disastrous flirtation with barefoot shoes and a frozen shoulder that probably started with some minor injury and then blew up from all that hunching. I happily took the excuse to avoid weight work, but it’s time to get back to it. (Well, almost – I’m still holding off on shoulder work until I get an all-clear.) I tried Zumba for the first time a couple of weeks ago (fun!), and I plan to stop being a yoga virgin this year, too. And I’d like to do more country and contra dancing. And then, of course, there’s walking. I live on a hill, so I get a little workout just going around the block.

    Set up for weights and meditation. It ain't pretty, but it gets the job done.

    Set up for weights and meditation. It ain’t pretty, but it gets the job done. (Making it pretty can be next year’s resolution.)

  8. Meditate. I’ve known how to do this since college, but do I make time for it? Hardly ever. I have no idea if it will help with writing, but I suspect it might prime the mind for creativity a little less wastefully than standing in a hot shower for too long (which is what I do now – and since my shoulder IS still a bit stiff and my husband has retired to Puerto Rico, I’ve had to start applying lotion to my back with a rubber spatula – so dignified!).
  9. Have more real life contact with real people. Facebook is nice but it’s no substitute for knowing what’s really going on in the lives of the people you love. This has nothing to do with writing per se, but writing is rather isolating, and even introverts need friends.
  10. Practice gratitude. The picture below is a gift I got myself this Christmas. The space for each entry is short, so I’m going to challenge myself to also tweet something I’m grateful for each day in 2015. I was invited to do a shorter version of this on Facebook this year, and I found it helpful.
A Christmas present for myself

A Christmas present for myself

The evidence of 54 years on the planet suggests that I’m not going to actually accomplish all of these, of course.

But hey – any forward progress counts. Add it up day by day and that is the trick to getting anything done.

What are your resolutions for the New Year?