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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Writing Resolutions

I love this time of year. The space between Christmas and New Year when you can assess the last twelve months and take stock. My New Year's resolution list is usually pretty long as I can always think of plenty of areas where I need to improve. Number one on my list is always the same:-

1. Get organised!

am getting better so it's not as if I completely fail each year but there is still room for improvement so becoming more organised will definitely be on my list again this year. It applies to all areas of my life including my writing. There will be no more scrappy bits of paper with important sentences jotted down on them which risk getting lost. In fact I have quite a few writing resolutions for 2013. In no particular order, they are as follows:-

2.  e-publish. I would like to e-publish Witch Wendy, Cats and Hats which was originally published by Macmillan but is now out of print. At the beginning of December I went on an e-book publishing course organised by Writing East Midlands. It was really useful and now all I need is the time to sit down and put what I learnt into practise. Watch this space!

3.  Fill the Well. This is a phrase borrowed from the fabulous Julia Cameron. I found her book 'The Artist's Way' hugely motivating when I was struggling with rejections and I still dip into it from time to time. It is one of those rare and precious things - a book for life.

Julia talks about the importance for a writer of taking time to do the things you love, the things which inspire you. For me one of those things is going to art galleries and last year I missed out on both the Leonardo and the David Hockney exhibitions because I left it too late to get tickets. I also didn't get out and 'fill the well' as often as I would have liked so in 2013 I plan to change that. Two of the places I would particularly like to visit are Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire and the Rene Mackintosh house in Northampton.

4.  Listen. To listen to my intuition so when that little voice in my head says 'this character isn't right' or 'why don't you take this diversion with your plot'. If I actually listen first time around instead of ploughing on and then discovering later that I should have taken more notice of my initial instincts it might save a lot of time and stress!

5. Relax. On the days when, for one reason or another, I can't write at all or don't have as much time as I would like, I'm not going to beat myself up. Sometimes an enforced break from writing or taking time out to smell the flowers is a valuable thing.

6. Improve.  I want to improve. I want to make progress and that is not always to be measured by acceptance from publishers. Sometimes just getting out old manuscripts and seeing how I could re-work them shows me how far I have come and that in itself is satisfying - if I allow it to be.

7.  Picture Books. Having said that I would love to have a picture book published! I've had a few near misses over the years and I'll keep on studying the best ones, endeavouring to capture that magic ingredient. Maybe 2013 will be my year but if not I'll have fun trying.

8.  Enjoy. This will be my last resolution and even if I fail at all of the others I shall try to stick to this one. I shall try to enjoy my writing, the difficult days, the boring days as well as  the days when the words flow. I shall rememer to be thankful that I have been given the opportunity and the education to write at all. And when my book, Last Chance Angel, comes out in June, despite the inevitable nerves, I shall try to enjoy every moment.

Resolutions are all about hopefulness and in the words of Christopher Reeve:-

'Once you choose hope, anything's possible.'

I hope you enjoy your writing in 2013 and that all your resolutions come to pass.


  1. Well you seem to have 2013 sorted....most impressed!I'm trying...have bought a new diary which I am going to have to staple to myself.....

    I like the balance of your resolutions too....good luck!

  2. Thanks Bridget. The making of them is relatively easy though isn't it?! It's the keeping that can be the problem. Good luck with the stapling of the diary - make sure it's in a place where you can write in it too!

  3. Hello Alex, Happy New Year! I love your goals...numbers 3, 5, and 8 are jumping off the page at me! I totally agree about all three.

    I went to the David Hockney Bigger Picture exhibition in London, I am so very glad I did, it was fantastic! As I understand it, his Salts Mill exhibition in West Yorkshire has been extended until the end of January.

    You can find the information here.

    Keep well and happy.

  4. Hi Maria, Happy New Year to you too! And a happy writing year too. Thanks for the tip about David Hockney - whether I'll get up there before the end of January remains to be seen but yesterday I went to Anglesey Abbey, nr Cambridge and I wasn't disappointed. The winter walk was so beautiful. I'm going to write about it next week. If you haven't been it's a lovely place to visit.

    1. I'm looking forward to reading your post, its a National Trust site isn't it? I'm a member and do like to get out and explore new areas of our beautiful countryside.