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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » New Years Resolutions and how to avoid achieving them..

   
Author Topic: New Years Resolutions and how to avoid achieving them..
skadder
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Obviously, no-one makes New Years resolutions--but really, what have you promised to achieve next year?

How do you plan to do it? Did you learn from previous mistakes?

What will try to stop you? How can you avoid being thwarted--yes-- thwarted?


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Balthasar
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TO WRITE EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR, AND NOT TO MISS ONE DAY. NOT ONE. NOT WHEN I'M SICK. NOT WHEN MY 4TH CHILD IS BORN. NOT ONE SINGLE DAY.

How am I going to achieve this?

1. My trusty kitchen timer. Most days, I can easily find one hour to spend writing. I might have to deny myself a movie, or some reading time, or a night roaming a local bookstore, but I do know that finding an hour a day to write isn't that difficult. I set the timer for 61 minutes and write until it beeps. If I'm in a groove, I might keep writing. But I like to stop when I'm hot; that way, I know exactly how to pick up again.

2. On days in which I can't find that hour (Christmas, the birth of my kid, etc.), my goal is to write only 1 page -- 250 words. Period. Once MS Word flicks from one page to the next, I'm done . . . with that day's quota, though I might write more.

3. A clean calender, i.e., without unnecessary comments about different days. When I meet my writing goal (whether one full hour or one full page), I take magic marker and put a nice fat "W" on that day. I got this idea from Jerry Seinfeld, who, when he was starting out, was committed to writing a joke a day, and he'd mark his calendar when he wrote a joke. It got to the point that he was writing jokes just to keep the streak going -- not to break the line of black X's he had on his calendar. I've been using this method for the past month, since Nov 30, and I haven't missed a day yet, and seeing all those black W's is rewarding in itself.

[This message has been edited by Balthasar (edited December 19, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by Balthasar (edited December 19, 2007).]


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gobi13x
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Personally I do not make New Year's resolutions. I find that waiting until January to make a resolution seems kind of pointless. Still I have made resolutions during the year that I plan to keep doing in the next year. I have had two major resolutions that I plan to keep doing into the next year.

The first is that I am writing more then before. I took a class and it changed the way that do my writings. Now I write between 1000-2000 words a day, instead of the 500 a week that I was doing before. So I plan to keep my writing strong and maybe increase the amount that I do. I am in school and that takes a lot of my time, but I hope to spend my time more wisely and keep at it.

The second resolution that I had made was to spend less time playing computer games. I enjoying playing games, but I have let them take too much of my time. So to change, I have done many other things to get away from wasting so much time. I have developed new hobbies, and of course I am writing more.

I guess that sums it up for me.

Edit: I like your idea of the calender, Balthasar. Maybe I will give it a try.

[This message has been edited by gobi13x (edited December 19, 2007).]


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skadder
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Nice idea...That's what I want to see idea's to inspire us all.


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kings_falcon
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So this is what I wrote last year when asked about 2007 resolutions:

quote:
1) As pathetic as it sounds, actually send the novel out to the four agents who asked for partials at the writing conference I went to. In other words, stop polishing the Query letter and let the thing go!
Anyone want to read and give feedback on a query letter for me?

2) Finish the third book in series by June 30;

3) Finish my NaNoWri by September 30;

4) Do LH Flash challenges at least once a month;

5) Do NaNo 2007 in November;

6) Get back to horseback riding;

7) Stop trying to save the world; and

8) Stop setting absurdly high goals.

Oh wait. Darn it! Broke #8 already.


Let's see how I did:

#1 - done
#2 - First draft done but not by deadline.
#3 - 3/4 of the way through
#4 - Okay missed this completely.
#5 - Done.
#6 - done although I am still sporatic at it.
#7 - Still working on
#8 - still working on.

So for 2008-

1)Falcon gets sent out again - Jan 15
2) Send Kalypso's Song out - Jan 15
3) Send Lightning Strikes out - Feb 28
4) Finish other short story working on - May 30
5) Finish first draft of the collaboration - year end 2008
6) Finish 2006's NaNo novel - August
7) work on more short stories
8) start new novel (NaNo 2008)

Mostly though I second Balthasar - WRITE EVERY DAY
generally this means sitting at my computer at "lunch" time and writing and writing from 9 pm when the kids are FINALLY in bed until 11 pm (when the husband says, he's shutting off the light). When I was doing this for NaNo I was pretty consistent at 2K words per day.

I like the calander idea as a reward.



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Lynda
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Kings_Falcon, you ride? So do I! Hunt seat and western on a Quarter Horse. We were serious about showing for a few years, but have been messing around the last couple of years because other things just got in the way.

Resolutions:

1. the ever-present "lose weight"
2. the also ever-present "work out more"
3. the ALSO ever-present "ride more"
4. and the perennial, "take better care of my health"

Those are enough. I have no problem writing regularly. What I have problems with are the above, and nothing I do seems to help. Ah well. Resolutions were meant to be broken anyway.


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Crank
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My goals / resolutions / attempts at self-motivation / bouts of wishful thinking / hallucinations for 2008:

The Writing goals
• Finish my young adult novel and (at the very least) get it in the hands of an agent
• Finish the first six stories of my ongoing science fiction series.
• Finish at least three other stand-alone science fiction short stories
• Finish at least the first draft of my science fiction novel


The Music goals
• Continue composing music and writing lyrics
• Improve at the bass guitar
• Resurrect my old synthesizers


My racing and personal goals / resolutions / attempts at self-motivation / bouts of wishful thinking / hallucinations are still being formulated.

S!
S!...C!


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Igwiz
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I try not to make Resolutions. While I can "resolve" to do something, like "write better fiction," I do better with tangible goals.

Goal 1: By November 30, 2008, I will complete NaNoWriMo 2008 as the first half of my second novel (already in the outlining phase).

Goal 2: By December 31, 2008, I will complete, polish, and submit at least 12 pieces of short fiction to paying markets.

Goal 3: By December 31, 2008, I will have at least one piece of short fiction published in a paying market.

Goal 4: By December 31, 2008, I will finish the first draft of my first novel.


There we go. If we assume that I hit my NaNoWriMo goal, that my WIP novel goes to 100K, and that my average short story is 2,500 words long, then that's a total of 155,000 words next year. And that comes out to me needing to write about 425 words per day. So, that is a good set of goals for me...

[This message has been edited by Igwiz (edited December 19, 2007).]


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JeanneT
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Write...5 days a week, 1000 a day. I won't try for every day. I just seem to need some down time. And I won't count editing. That is for separate time. I came close to that this year, but didn't quite make it. So I'll try harder next year.

That's 260,000 words and I can live with that. Not record breaking, but decent.

My other resolution is to work harder at improving my writing. I want to take at least 1 workshop and attend at least one convention. And work my way through 5 books on writing that I bought a few days ago.

I do like resolutions. I like to look over the past year and see what I did right and where I went wrong and try to see how I can change that.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 19, 2007).]


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Zero
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quote:
Write...5 days a week, 1000 a day.

Would that be 1000 pages a day or hours a day? I can't tell.

[This message has been edited by Zero (edited December 19, 2007).]


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Leigh
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I haven't kept many of my resolutions, lol. Just me being lazy mostly I believe.

My New Years Resolutions for 2008 are:

a) Write, write, write!!

b) Write, edit and send out my WIP.

c) Improve my writing.

d) Enjoy writing like I used to, instead of having the internal editor on.


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rstegman
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I resolve not to make a resolution this year.

Darn, I just broke it.


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JeanneT
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lol I accidentally edited out the word "words". 1000 words a day. There.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 20, 2007).]


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Alethea Kontis
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Funny...I just did this last night on my blog as part of fun little "Year in Review."

Number 20 was: NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS
To take care of myself, for real this time, and all on my own. To show more love to my friends and family. To CALL people more often and actually talk to them instead of emailing. To read more books that my friends write. To WRITE...a lot. To share a smile every day.

If you're curious about the rest of the list, you can check it out here: http://www.aletheakontis.com/blog.htm


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kings_falcon
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Lynda, yes I ride. I moved out of the city (Fairfax- Northern Virginia) to the country (Fauquier County - about 30 miles south-ish) so I could bring my mare home. She's the model for Falcon's horse. Gee, was that a big suprise or what??

Anyway, my front yard currently hosts three horses: Taffy (Reflects Sioux Prize) - 15 yr old Quarter Horse/Appy mix, her 3 year old son - "Pips" (Res Ipsa Loquitor - for all those non-lawyer's that means "the thing speaks for itself") and Savvy (an appendix yearling filly).

I so understand the serious but . . . comment. Life happens and the horses make great lawn orney-ments.


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Lynda
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Kings_Falcon - FAIRFAX??? Fauquier County??? I grew up on Tyson's Corner when it was farm country! (when you drive by Tysons on Route 7, look past the JKJ Chevrolet and the shopping centers on the southwest side of the Corner, and you'll see a bunch of apartments - that's my old farm). And my ancestry is from Fauquier County! My hubby's job dragged us to Ohio in 1973 and we've been here ever since. My horse is "Jack" (Impowered for Time by Impowered by Impressive) a full Quarter Horse, and my hubby's is an Appendix QH named "Pepper" (he's Jets A Pepper, by Easy Jet by Jet Deck, IIRC - I could have the sire and grandsire reversed). I used to be really good at QH bloodlines when we were breeding, but with two geldings, I haven't worried about them so much. I deliberately bought a gelding for myself to show - if I'd bought another mare, I would've wanted to breed my mare - I just LOVE babies! But we're getting too old to deal with them. I love having a totally show-broke horse. Jack's a real gem!

Pepper is mentioned briefly in my novel, "Star Sons" but Jack hasn't appeared in a novel yet. My second "Star Sons" novels has winged horses, one of which is modeled on Jack's personality. But Jack doesn't feel neglected - I've done a bronze of him ("Frolic") that sells very well, and I'm in the middle of doing one of him and Pepper playing together.

::waves:: Nice to meet home-folks!


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kings_falcon
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Very funny - very small world. My office is Tyson's right next to the old gas station that was here when the farm was. I live on the "Grove" side of Fauquier County - down by the airport.

Taffy's is out of Impressive's (great grand sire) and the Zippo Pine Bar (Grandsire) lines. If you want to know what she looks like just look Zippo's Breyer model up. She's a dead ringer. I LOVE QHs.

Right now I'm training her son for the ring.

How much of the horsey stuff (or for the rest of the group - your other talents) shows up in your stories?

[This message has been edited by kings_falcon (edited December 20, 2007).]


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Lynda
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You've got some wonderful bloodlines there! And I know right where your office is. Yikes, old home week around here! Did you grow up there? We moved to that farm from a duplex in Alexandria in 1953. My father sold it in 1977, I believe.

Yup, some horsey or art stuff (and occasionally music - my degree is in music, and I'm a singer) shows up in my writing. In one of my fanfics, I gave Harry Potter a summer job at a tile place and he wound up making mosaics (hey, even the hero of the wizarding world needs a hobby!). That had to do with his ability to recognize patterns, which was useful in stopping Dementor attacks later in the fic.

In my original novel, "Star Sons - Dawn of the Two," my young mages grow up on a ranch. You don't see the horses, but they're talked about a bit. At one point, they're picked up (while hitchhiking) by a grizzled old cowboy hauling a big horse trailer who offers to sell them a couple of the "dandies" he has in the trailer. Then in the second novel in that series, the young men are gifted with winged horses, and the fact that they're good riders comes in handy.

My new story involves a Queen Anne Victorian house and mentions stained glass and architecture and my husband's cat, Cricket, who was the inspiration for the story. He's not the hero, but he's an interesting character in it - there are human "stars" of the story. Cricket's more of an interested observer (with a killer dry wit) at this point (early in the story's development). The house is kind of a focal point in the story.

Another way my art shows up is that my stories tend to be rather visual, I think. I describe settings, people, etc., more than some writers do, but that's what I like - I like to be able to see the place, the characters, etc., when I read.

Anyway, that's me.


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KStar
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Hmm... well I actually achieved one of my reosolutions last year and can finally stop trying to lose twenty pounds. I think I'll publish my novel this year. I have some promising connections to a few different publishers and agents. First move would be to suck it up and finally let someone read the stupid thing... we'll see.
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annepin
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I resolve not to use the Hatrack forums as a crutch and tool for procrastination!
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kings_falcon
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I grew up outside of Boston in a smallish town called Dedham. I moved here for college - University of Richmond - GO Spiders! - and then lawschool in DC (Catholic University).

But I am proud to say I am a "damned Yankee" defined by a native Richmonder as someone from the north who has stayed at least 5 years and won't leave.


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Rommel Fenrir Wolf II
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my resalution and how i am going to advoid it.

to stop drinking and smoking.

spend every day from the time the plane tuches down in ft riley
drunk out of my mind and smoke 10 packs a day.

that should help numb the pain of deploymant.

RFW2nd


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Pyre Dynasty
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My resolutions,

Finish the Harrow by may.
Finish the Document.
Write often, (that should give me solid wiggle room)
Work out more.
Do certain other things less. (you kinda have to to maker time for the writing and working out.)
Slay as many digital and literary monster as I can.


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LCastle
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My (not so much New Year's, but more general) resolutions:
    Finish YA novel
  • Get a couple more stories out there collecting rejections.
  • Get more involved in Hatrack community. Ya know, post and stuff.
  • Continue to work out regularly, despite the fact that I'd really rather not.

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DeepDreamer
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I've had issues in the past of setting my goals too high. So I'm going smaller this year.

Write 5 Pages Daily (i.e, every day I'm not at work, and days when I do work if we're not really busy)

5 Pages = 5 notebook sized pieces of paper, one side = 10 stenopad pages, one side, = 26 typed lines.

Of these 5 pages, minimum of 1 must be new prose. (No Mountain Dew til that one page is done!) One page may also be edits of a previously-written page.

(And I'll be using your calendar idea, Balthasar, to make sure I stick to it. ^_^)

If I keep up with that, completing 15-20 300-400-word pages per month, editing/polishing as I go along, I should be able to complete one short story a month.

That's assuming I don't manage to convince myself that my goals in this MMORG I play are more important than my writing goals. Darn my video-game addiction lol.

[This message has been edited by DeepDreamer (edited December 27, 2007).]


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Tara
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My New Years resolution is to not talk badly about people behind their backs.


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skadder
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Who in particular?

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dee_boncci
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Well, my pending divorce is final Jan 2, so the main resolution for me is to stand up, dust my butt off, and climb back into the saddle.

I've barely written a word in almost three months. I plan to start slow, then build up and hit it as aggressively as I can. I've learned a hard lesson on the temporary nature of of things, and I intend to make better use of my time going forward, especially writing


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