Writing

Greetings 2018! Writerly New Year’s Resolutions

So here we are, 2018, Day One, all fresh and shiny and full of potential. Rather like a new notebook (and who doesn’t love the crisp perfection of new notebooks?).

In the Northern Hemisphere, New Year has a sort of starting afresh / emerging from the darkest hour seasonal parallel. Here in New Zealand, we’re in the middle of summer, so it’s more a sense of emerging from a time of respite (the summer holidays), ready to face the world again. Once more unto the breach!

Holly tree growing by the roadside
I did find what I’m pretty sure is a holly tree growing along the roadside, which is kind of seasonally appropriate?

What am I going to do with you, 2018? Well, 2017 has been a year of preparation, like a seed germinating beneath the earth. I wrote (and re-wrote) a lot of words in 2017; enough that I’m about half a book away from having my whole Stariel Series written. I intend for 2018 to be a year of spreading leaves aka publishing some books. I’m excited and terrified at the prospect. There’s a lot of work still to be done (not least of which is finishing the remaining half of Book 4): editing, covers, formatting, marketing and so on.

It’s tempting to announce grandiose goals. On Day One, practically anything seems achievable by the end of the year. It’s also tempting to set goals based on what I see other writers doing. I will write twenty books! I will scale mountains and defeat ogres, armed only with weaponry constructed from hardbacks!

But the truth is that writing is a very personal business. My goals have to align with my own values and my own reasons for doing this gig.

So what do I value? I’ve done a lot of thinking, during these sleepy midsummer days, and what I want to achieve are books I enjoy reading and that I’m proud to put out into the world. It’s why I write, really – I want to finish writing any given book so I can have the pleasure of reading it once it’s written and polished and good enough*! This sounds a tad egotistical, when I put it like that, but one is supposed to be honest in New Year’s Resolutions, isn’t one?

One should probably stop referring to oneself in the third person and get to the point.
My goals for the year are thus, then:

  • Publish the Stariel books this year, but don’t sacrifice quality in the name of speed.
  • Read more books that aren’t regency romance novels this year, because it’s clearly starting to result in the use of too many third-person singular pronouns.

*Deciding what constitutes “good enough” is, of course, as long as a piece of string.**
**This is a malaphor, a blending of idioms. Aren’t malaphors just the bee’s pajamas?

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