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.

A writer’s journey…

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Barbara Fleming, a delightful lady, a journalist and a Five Star Author of  historical fiction. It seems she always knew what path to take and that was writing. Please help me welcome her to the BD Blog.

What parts of you and your background feed your imagination? I was an invalid much of my childhood and listened to the radio or read for entertainment. That began my journey of imagination. My favorite program was “Let’s Pretend.”

Tell us a little about the very first story you remember writing? I wrote my first story about a baseball player when I was about sixteen years old. I was advised by a well known and successful writer of the time to stick with writing about what I know. Good advice.

Creative people are often creative in other ways, besides writing what else does the muse encourage you to do? My muse is narrowly focused on writing.

What genre(s) do you like to write? I was trained as a journalist and am very comfortable with nonfiction writing, but I also like to write historical and contemporary fiction.

Tell us a little about your novel, its plot and the main character(s). Journeying is the story of a woman who leaves Ohio in 1872 to journey west with the man she loves, who is half black and whom she cannot legally marry. They travel by wagon to northern Colorado, where most of the story, told in journal form, takes place.

Are any of the characters like you and if so in what way? All my characters are in part composites of people I have known or interacted with, and my protagonist has some of my characteristics such as a love of music, but she is not like me. She is her own person.

What genre(s) or author(s) do you like to read? Mystery, history and contemporary fiction for women.

Where and when do you find the best ideas or inspiration for your stories? By observing, listening, learning from the people around me—sometimes, from books I read or conversations I have.

If there was a message you could share with other writers what would it be? Don’t give up.

Where can readers go to learn more about you and your work? Visit my web page, www.authorbarbarafleming.com. I have also written some for the Author Expressions blog.

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