[Imagine picture of list and gorgeous woman writing...picture upload ain't working again today.]
Hallie: The US Government, bless it, has a place on its web site for "popular New Year's resolutions"
They're about what you'd expect, taking aim at excess weight, debt, and lousy eating habits, and promising to be a kinder and gentler and more generous soul. All to the good.
But writers have their own set of promises to make or break... Mine are:
- To write 500 words a day
- To check the NY Times, CNN, and Huffington Post no more than three times a day
- To only look at the stock market ticker after 4:30 PM
- To slay adverbs and purple prose
- To finish the book
- To celebrate every triumph, and squelch complaints about the publishing business
- To support my fellow writers
And if I could pick JUST ONE:
- To check email only after I've written at least 100 new words and no more than five times a day
Which dragons are you slaying this year, and what's #1?
Jan: Hallie, you've already taken my number#1 resolution: To not check email until I've made my page count: five a day. I'm convinced that I've given myself Attenion Deficit Disorder by checking my email instead of staying with whatever writing problem I'm trying to solve.
My other goals?
- To finish the screenplay by the end of February and the book proposal by March. (writing)
- To stop Googling for reviews.
- To finish my Rosetta Stone program
- To practice the guitar more
- To improve my slice and lob (tennis)
- To purge every last grievance
And even before New Year's, I'm trying to make a critical change. I'm in Day 3 of recovery of my Freecell addiction. It's one day at a time....
Rhys: My resolutions this year? To take time to smell the roses. I find my life is taken over by work. I have worked my tail off for several years on publicity and promotion, as well as writing, of course, and in the end has it really done that much for me? Okay, so it's moved me a few steps up the ladder in the book world but it has meant that my life has been put on hold. I haven't had time to paint, which I love doing, or to play my Celtic harp or just to go and be by myself in the middle of nature. So this year my goal is to prioritize and learn to say no. I was born wanting to be the good child and to please. This year I will learn that I don't always have to be perfect--that trying to be perfect comes with a physical price. So I will laugh a lot, hang out with people who make me laugh, and not waste time checking my Amazon stats daily.
Hank: Things. I think this year maybe about "things." Not getting a lot of new ones, and getting rid of the old ones. In the past few days, I've tossed bags and bags and bags and bags of things (and sent bags and bags and bags of things to charity.) I've cleaned out drawers and discovered stuff that--I'm not kidding--I've never seen. Which means it was put there before Jonathan and I got married. Which was 12 years ago.
I threw away blank stationery from Rolling Stone magazine, circa 1974 and also blank stationery from my days as a US Senate Staffer. Circa 1971. Baskets of old shells, "memories" from beaches but I don't remember where. Bags of--bags. Weird ceramic bowls. Magazines I'm not mentioned in, that I can find. in. Old software. Tape cassettes. What was it all? I can't even remember.
Why did I save this many things? Sometimes I think it was to prove good things happened to me, that I had wonderful experiences or good luck.
Some mementoes, of course, are sweet and nostalgic. The ones I remembered what they were? I saved. The script of my very first news story. Like that.
But I think I'm going to
1. Try harder to live in the moment. And not try to hold onto too much junk that means the past. The future is so exciting.
2. Write--better. (Next year, when this will also be my resolution, it'll be so clever and insightful.) (And to get my new proposals in by March.)
3. I already know I'm lucky. I'm already grateful for that every day. So, I resolve to stay that way. Happy new year, my dear Jungle Reds.
Roberta: Have more fun with folks I love, quit wasting time on stuff I can't control (Amazon stats just one dumb example,) write something different that stretches my mystery-writing muscles. Try to shrug the evil tendrils of envy that spring up unbidden when I'm not looking:)
I just want to use my time well, whatever that means, every single day. Some days it may mean writing until four in the morning, others days it's sharing a pizza and a bottle of wine with a friend I haven't seen in ages.
This year(2008)for some reason, we have an extra second. I hope I don't waste it.
Hallie: Okay, folks. Spill. What are your resolutions for 2009 and what's your #1? Are you looking to get more done, to disencumber yourself from objects or grudges, or just slow down and laissez les bontemps roule?