On New Year’s Eve, I posted about a minor resolution dilemma. I was torn between posting a list of New Year’s resolutions and checking in monthly on this blog to report progress or using 2012 to work on some major inner conflicts.
Since I’m the sort of person who likes to have her cake and eat it too, I’ve decided to do a little of both. My resolutions are mostly writing-related. I’ll check in on the first of each month with my progress on these.
My conflict resolutions are personal, but I plan to treat them as if they were a project for grad school. I’m going to do more than search my soul for the answers to my questions, because I need a little more assistance than my soul is capable of providing. So I will pair navel-gazing with research and examine as many sides of each issue as I can. By year’s end, I plan to have written a long essay about at least one of the conflicts I worked on, and I will try to publish it. (I’m going to try to submit the essay to a magazine or journal, but if all else fails, I will publish it here.)
The ground rules are set. Here are my resolutions and conflicts:
1) Finish the second draft of my novel by April. This is the big one. My novel is intimidating me these days and I’m all of a sudden reluctant to revise it, for fear I will make it worse. I know this is just my inner monkey, trying to protect me from failure by getting in the way, but the monkey has to go back into her cage so I can revise the manuscript and…
2) Get it sent to agents before summer. I hear that the publishing industry gets shut down in summer. Probably because all those fabulously wealthy agents go on vacation and live the glamorous life.
3) Publish novel, sell movie rights, see film immediately made into blockbuster starring Pandora Boxx as the protagonist, become rich and famous and live in a lifestyle that I could never get used to, although I’d sure like to try.
4) Send out at least three short stories. I have at least one short story mostly done and ready to go. There is no reason I can’t finish that and tart up two more.
5) Read one novel a month in 2012. That’s 12 novels in 12 months.I can do that.
6) Make at least $20 off a piece of fiction. I’m aiming low here, folks, but only because I’ve earned $7 off my creative work in my life. $20 is more than twice that.
Here are the two issues I want to work on. Because they’re big, I’m only requiring that I work on one of them.:
1) Faith – I know I have a faith, but I’ve avoided defining it. In fact, I’m uncomfortable discussing it or even thinking about it. Talking about faith makes me feel naked. I think the time has come for me to come to grips with my beliefs.
2) Anxiety – I have always been a worrier. Lately, the worry is getting a lot worse and more debilitating. I worry about the health and well being of my loved ones. I worry about our finances. I worry that my fiction is terrible. I worry that the crick in my neck is meningitis. I worry that I will die if I drive too far by myself in the car. I worry about hurting people’s feelings unintentionally during small social interactions. All this worry is beginning to cramp my style, so it’s time to pull the anxiety out from under its rock, examine it, figure out why it’s making a nuisance of itself now and learn what to do about it. I have to get control of it before I find myself hovering over my sleeping husband, holding a mirror over his face to make sure he’s breathing.
Those are my goals for the new year. What are yours?