I resolve to write every day.
Need I say more? If you don’t the book won’t get done. It’s simple math. Add add add.
I resolve not to beat myself up if I don’t write every day, it’s just a goal.
Still. Maybe keep a chart, like a little kid. Make a grid, or keep a calendar, whatever works for you. Mark off the days you write. Give yourself a gold star. You will fool yourself into writing. And it feels so much better if you do it. But if you miss a day, just start again. See how long you can keep the string going.
I resolve to allow myself to succeed.
Give yourself real, achievable goals. Even writing one hour a day, or a word count of 50. When you succeed, you will continue.
I resolve to read read read. And read up.
Reading is part of your craft, and reading up is offering yourself the challenge to improve.
I resolve not to get upset and envious and defeated when I read up.
Those fabulous authors also read up. They’re learning, too.
In fact, I resolve to banish envy from my emotional vocabulary.
Stop looking over your shoulder. Just write. Do your best, and then better than that.
I resolve to get better at my craft.
Do not be complacent. For every word and every line and every scene of your work in progress, ask: Why is this word here? What is this scene for? What work does it do? Go to classes, read books on writing, listen and search and grow. Join affinity groups like Sisters in Crime and ITW and MWA and RWA and Horror Writers, go where your colleagues are. But remember, all of our journeys are separate. There is room for everyone to succeed.
I resolve to listen to my editor. The editor knows.
You don’t have to do whatever it is. (But at some point, after you gripe, you probably will decide to. Trust me. Smart move.)
I resolve to persevere.
If it’s not difficult, you’re not working hard enough. Embrace the difficulty. Every writer has doubts. If writing well were easy, everyone would do it.
I resolve to be patient.
Edit, tweak, polish, re-do. To be good takes much longer than anyone would imagine. And nothing happens quickly. (And stop checking your email. Do we need an entire resolution about controlling your social media time? You already know this.)
I resolve to respect my fellow authors.
Be generous, and open, and compassionate. And honestly supportive. Remember there are authors who consider your work as “reading up.” Be grateful.
I resolve to pay it forward.
Someone did it for you. Critique a page or two, read for a blurb, go to author events. Don’t you love it when people come to your events? Well?
I resolve to honor every reader, and remember that without our readers, our books are bricks.
Right? It’s a two-way thing. (But don’t bug readers to buy your book. Come on, we don’t need a whole resolution about not over-promoting. We’re better than that.)
I resolve to help libraries, to engage and enjoy and promote and attend.
Libraries are the future. The palaces. The places of worship. They are where the readers go, and where new ones are born.
I resolve to redouble my efforts to make sure bookstores thrive and proper.
Sure, it’s fun to get free books. But if we career authors don’t buy books, how can we expect anyone else to? And show up at events! Or else they’ll stop having them, and then what will we do?
I resolve to be a team player and make my deadlines.
Nobody wants to work with a complainer or a bitter person, or a me-me-me-er. We’re all in the same boat. Row. Part of your role is to help make all the other roles succeed. Have an open mind, be reliable, and understand that we are part of a bigger universe.
I resolve to be a good guy. To be reliable, and honest, and diligent. And flexible.
Just making sure you know this.
I resolve to write every day.
Yes, you already resolved that, but remember: if you do, next year at this time you’ll be done. And we can all resolve to start again.
So, Career Authors? What are your writing resolutions? Let’s chat on the Career Authors Facebook page. And Happy 2019! We cannot wait to hear what happens to you.