New Year Resolutions

dog dreaming of a bone

Many of us have a list of things we resolve to do next year just waiting for January 1. Check out Goals Guy’s top 10 resolutions. Below are a few I pulled off the top of my head. Some of them are probably familiar to you.

  • Lose Weight
  • Consume less alcohol
  • Exercise regularly
  • Write a novel
  • Save more money
  • Read more
  • Avoid any weird neighbors
  • Walk the dog daily

Here is a Popular list of resolutions according to the US government. I didn’t include stop smoking because luckily I never started. (whew)

What I usually find is that we start out really dedicated to our resolutions and then something happens to derail us and we don’t get back to the list again. For many years I’ve NOT made a list because I know that change is inevitable and if I plan too stringently I’m disappointed, because SOMETHING ALWAYS COMES UP. Check out TIME’S top 10 broken resolutions.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have goals for next year. I do. I’m just realistic enough to know that I have to be flexible and if it is something I really want, I can’t give up. Writing a novel is like that. You start out with an idea, then somewhere along the way you hit a wall. Maybe you’re stuck and you just don’t know where the story is going. The middle is usually where I get stalled, because I usually have an idea how the story will end – just not how I’m going to get there.

Starting is hard, too. Where do you begin? Do you waste time with back story? The answer for me is yes. I need to know my characters before I start, so I have to discover where they’ve been, what they like or dislike, and why they are so quirky. Interviewing characters is a fun way to get to know more about them.

Writing a synopsis or outline is also a good place to start. They give you a path to follow, but allow you to fill in the good stuff. Often characters act out and go directions we authors don’t anticipate. As long as it is characteristic and believable, then follow them to see where they are going. Just be careful not to wander off so far that you totally lose direction. You really can get lost.

As for resolutions, for 2012 I resolve to:

  • Eat more healthy
  • Exercise more often
  • Take time for reading
  • Make time for writing
  • Be mindful of my spending (coupons rock!)
  • Be courteous to everyone
  • and yes, write another novel

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL. May it be a healthy & joy filled one.