|Here we go again... Image from Wikimedia|
This year I’ve taken a slightly different approach and I’ve drawn up a list of writing resolutions. All are admirable and all — with a little bit of discipline — are achievable.
I will treat writing like a business.
Because it is a business. Because what divides the good writer from the successful writer boils down to of a professional approach, a lot of hard grind and hours spent telling people how wonderful your books are. I may not like doing it, but it has to be done.
I will write every day. Or edit. Or plot.
Actually I think this will prove the easiest of my resolutions to stick to, because I almost do it already. I haven’t set myself a word count and I’m not limiting myself to fiction. But if there’s one thing I learned from the annual stampede that is NaNoWriMo, it’s that there are no excuses for not doing it. All it takes is ten minutes with pen in hand. I’ll think of it next time I’m toying with the idea of that killer sudoku puzzle. I’ll do the puzzle. But not until I’ve done my ‘daily write’.
I like this one because it’s quantifiable. A green sticker in the page of my diary for every day that I’ve made progress. This blog counts, so that’ll be three out of three already. Aren’t I doing well?
I will be less sensitive to criticism.
This is the most difficult, and also the most important, of my resolutions. No-one likes to think they can’t take constructive criticism (I prefer to describe myself as defensive) but I rely on my fellow writers for good advice and insight and they aren’t going to offer it if I can’t take it, especially because I’m not shy of dishing it out. So this year I’ll listen and I’ll digest before i reject anything out of hand, because even the comments I disagree with probably have a good deal of sense behind them.
Some criticism isn’t constructive, of course. Some of it isn’t meant to be. Out in the big wide world you put up your baby in the book-beauty-contest and some untouchable soul will give it a one star review just because they were reading it when a stranger spilt coffee on them on the 9.45 to Croydon. Or — heaven forbid — a reader might not actually like my book. Do you know what? That’s okay. I’ll learn to live with it.
I’ve made other resolutions, but these are the ones which will offer me a serious challenge and, even if I’m only partially successful, improve me as a writer. And if you have any more suggestion feel free to challenge me.