Monday, December 31, 2012

Writer-ly Resolutions...or should I say "Goals"?

Earlier this week, I heard a radio station host say that we shouldn't make New Year's "Resolutions" for ourselves but should call them "Goals" instead. "Goals", it seems, is a friendlier word. That way, we won't feel as bad if we don't live up to them, and instead of despairing at our failure, will pick ourselves up and try again.

At first, I wrinkled my nose at this piece of advice. I like to give myself firm deadlines. And I like to meet those deadlines. If it's Law vs. Grace, I'm with Law all the way.

But the more I thought about it, I realized that there's quite a bit of wisdom in this. Last year, I had several resolutions that weren't met. I was planning to finish Flower of the Desert: Book II of the Chronicles of Tancred. I was also planning to finish a nonfiction project, working with a church committee to put some of our pastor's sermons together into a book.

But things happened. Life happened. I had a baby--Boy Number Three--in January. My oldest son had four extended stays at the hospital and five different PICC lines put in his arm so we could spend a total of 10 weeks giving him IV antibiotics at home. 

Before I was a mother and a wife, I was fairly invincible...or, at least, I felt that way. I performed what I promised. I stayed up late if I had to get things done or skipped social outings if I had a project I wanted to finish.

Things are different now. If Adam has a fever, everything goes on the back burner until I can take him in for labwork. If Marcus is teething, I have to hold him all afternoon instead of sneaking in a half hour of writing. If David has a school paper that needs proofing, I'll spend half the evening doing that instead of writing a new chapter. I have to make a choice between staying up late to write (and being a very grumpy mother the next morning), or getting my rest so I can be kind to my kids and my husband.

And with all these other beings depending on me, I've found that it's a lot harder to control my own destiny than it used to be. It's a lot more challenging, and sometimes humanly impossible, to meet my self-imposed deadlines. New Year's Resolutions? Maybe it's time to start setting "Goals" instead.
GOALS for 2013 
(1) Finish Flower of the Desert: Book II of the Chronicles of Tancred. The first draft is two-thirds done, and the ending is already written. I just need to connect the dots and tie everything together. 
(2) Finish To Wed an Heiress. This is a novel of romantic suspense set during the Regency period. I started it during NaNoWriMo in 2011, and picked it up again in November of 2012. It's a lot "fluffier" than the historical fiction I usually write, and a great exercise to help me focus on creating memorable characters instead of on incorporating historical research. And it's also stretching me in another area I need stretching--writing a believable romance and building romantic tension. 
(3) Finish "The Sabbath Book", the working title of the project my church committee has undertaken. So far we have transcribed twenty or so sermons on the Lord's Day by our pastor, and have been editing and condensing them in book format. Yours Truly is the general editor, distributing tasks and coordinating the project. It's been in the works for two-and-a-half years now, with many starts and stops due to my tumultuous family life. And as one of my team members said the other day, "We better get this finished before Rosanne has another kid."
So, there you have my goals for the upcoming year. Ambitious? I think so. Doable? Lord willing. If we can stay clear of the hospital for twelve months, there just might be a chance....

1 comment:

  1. I switched to "Priorities and Possibilities" last year instead of resolutions or goals for many of the same kinds of reasons. I love my checklists, but I tend to let them rule me if I don't keep them in perspective. :)


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