There were many times that I wondered if the fickle gods of fiction had conspired against my need to write: temporary infirmities, annoying appliances, violent weather, and the worst of all, a flash drive holding three years of writing projects vanishing, leaving only the message that the drive was corrupted and irretrievable, reformat and redo. I didn’t have the heart to start over at that time. While I regrouped I kept my head in the business by editing other writers’ manuscripts and jotted fresh ideas for “someday.”
My fantastic grandson took the wounded drive home with him Christmas and recovered every last word I had struggled over. It was my personal Christmas miracle. The incident has given me the precious opportunity to read my work as a stranger and revise with fresh eyes and as an editor. That I will do through the coming year. With these new beginnings, I thought it appropriate to make resolutions that will make me a stronger writer:
1. I WILL SET ASIDE A BLOCK OF TIME FOR MY WRITING CRAFT EVERY DAY. For that purpose, my slow cooker will be my faithful office assistant.
2. I WILL LEARN TO SAY NO TO THOSE WHO WOULD DISTRACT ME FROM MY WRITING TIME. FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS STOP WRITING.
3. I WILL USE TO MY ADVANTAGE ALL THE FREE HELP ON THE INTERNET THAT INCLUDES PUBLISHER UPDATES AND ARTICLES FROM MANY SOURCES
4. I WILL CHECK MY MANUSCRIPTS FOR OVER-USED WORDS AND FIND BETTER SUBSTITUTES. I WILL NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH MY WORDS BUT CUT TO THE TRUE MEANING.
5. I WILL OMIT CLICHÉ’S AND SUBSTITUTE ORIGINAL SIMILES AND METAPHORS APPROPRIATE TO THE SUBJECT.
6. I WILL DO AT LEAST ONE POSITIVE THING FOR MY WRITING CAREER EACH DAY. THE LIBRARY IS A GOOD PLACE TO START.
7. I WILL BEGIN OR ADD TO MY WRITER’S NOTEBOOK EVERY DAY [A CHARACTER SKETCH, A REMEMBERED SETTING, AN IMAGINED SETTING, OR A POTENTIAL IDEA TO DEVELOP AS ALL THINGS ARE FODDER FOR STORIES EVENTUALLY.]
8. I WILL RESEARCH MARKETS AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK AS INDUSTRY REQUIREMENTS CHANGE RAPIDLY.
9. I WILL NOT LET REJECTED MANUSCRIPTS LINGER IN THE DESK DRAWER. NO MANUSCRIPT HAS EVER SOLD THERE. I WILL TAKE REJECTION AS A CHALLENGE TO WRITE BETTER.
10. I WILL STOP THINKING OF MYSELF AS A [HOUSEWIFE, SECRETARY, DRAFTSMAN, REPAIRMAN, ETC.] WHO WRITES. I WILL THINK OF MYSELF AS A WRITER WHO HAPPENS TO DO OTHER THINGS.
ADD TO THE LIST AND HAVE YOURSELF A GREAT 2018 FILLED WITH SUCCESS AND SATISFACTION.