I’ve never been very good at new year’s resolutions. Or rather, I think I’m good at them in the same way that everyone else is good at them: for about 3 weeks in January, and then letting them fall by the wayside for the rest of the year.
But this year, I’m making a number of them, and I’m determined to still remember what they were this time next year. Even more, I’m determined to achieve them, so that next year I have to come up with some new ones.
If 2016 has been the year of celebrity deaths & surprise election results, then I’m intending to make 2017 the year of writing-in-numbers (as distinct from writing-by-numbers, which is not to be encouraged).
And those numbers are: 100, 50 and 1
RESOLUTION NUMBER 1:
Inspired by Kim Liao’s article back in June, I’m aiming for 100 literary rejections.
This is the one resolution that I actually don’t mind whether I achieve it or not. The idea is that aiming for rejections is less daunting than aiming for acceptances, so you’re more likely to bite the bullet and submit in the first place.
And 100 is such a big number that it forces you to think outside the box and submit to opportunities that you wouldn’t normally consider inside your comfort zone. Given that this is exactly how I got my place on Penguin’s WriteNow insight day in Manchester for February 2017, it’s something I already believe in: apply for opportunities, as you never know where that opportunity may lead.
(Obviously, if I somehow miraculously achieve 100 acceptances instead of 100 rejections, I think I’ll get over the fact that I didn’t tick off the resolution itself.)
RESOLUTION NUMBER 2:
As always, I’m aiming to read 50 books in 2017.
This is always my resolution (at roughly one a week, I see no reason why I shouldn’t be able to achieve this). In 2016 I read 57 books, and I’d quite like to read more this coming year. After all, reading is the key to writing.
As for what I’ll be reading, I already have a few books lined up – thanks in part to a late December splurge at the New Hedgehog Bookshop in Penrith. And then I’d like to read some of the poetry & fiction that’s been waiting patiently on my shelves, as well as building a bigger library of contemporary plays. And with StAnza in March and Kendal Poetry Festival in June, I’m pretty sure there’ll be plenty of new poetry to tempt me.
RESOLUTION NUMBER 3:
To write 50 blog posts for this blog.
Really, I’m going for one a week, but 50 is a nicer number than 52, and it gives me a little bit of wiggle room.
Some of these will be writing updates, some will be actualy pieces of writing (from me and hopefully also from some of my schools workshops), and some will probably just be a bit of fun.
I’m also planning to post a monthly writing prompt, on the first Sunday of every month. When I was running my young writers’ group, I used to email the young writers a prompt every week – so I thought I’d continue the tradition, but on a slightly less frequent basis. After all, I’m not Jo Bell.
RESOLUTION NUMBER 4:
To take 1 show to the Fringe.
But more on that in the new year, hopefully. Spoilers!
RESOLUTION NUMBER 5:
To finish at least 1 draft of the novella.
1 draft. 1 very very rough and probably unfit-for-human-consumption draft.
Actually, I’m hoping to have this completed by the end of February, so really there’s no reason not to complete several drafts of it in the months that follow. At least, that’s the plan. But other things always crop up – and yes, Stephen, if you’re reading this, don’t worry: I will also be working on the rewrite of Yesterday during this time. Just hoping that old stereotype about women being good at multi-tasking proves to be true!
So there are my 5 new year’s resolutions for 2017.
2016 has felt a lot like finding my feet as a full-time writer. I’m hoping that 2017 is when I’ll really start to run.
Happy New Year! 🙂