I do not make New Year’s Resolutions. That is not to say I am against the idea behind resolutions. Self improvement is a laudable goal, whether it is losing weight, getting in shape or learning a new skill. My issue with resolutions is not the action itself, rather it is the need to set an arbitrary deadline to get started.
Of course New Year has a cultural significance for us, and it can psychologically seem like a good time to make changes. But if you are wanting to improve yourself in whatever way you choose, then the best time to start was yesterday, the second best time is today. Add this to January, a particularly depressing month already, and setting yourself goals which you might not quite achieve risks setting yourself up to fail.
No, I do not make New Year’s Resolutions.
That being said…
Towards the end of 2017, I began to have the idea which became Free City, and by the time it got to Christmas I had a chapter by chapter plot for the first book, along with a general idea of where the story would be going over the subsequent books.
While not making a resolution that year, I did decide I was going to set myself a challenge. Starting on the 1st January 2018, I was going to write something of my book everyday. It did not matter whether it was a couple of lines, or a whole chapter, all I had to do was put pen to paper each day.
I cannot say I achieved my goal everyday, life inevitably got in the way, but while I might not have written something everyday, I did achieve my ultimate aim of writing my first book. The first draft on paper was completed within a couple of months, the second draft was typed up a month or so later, and by the summer of 2018 I was read to start submitting my manuscript to publishers.
Finding Tree District Books was a bit of luck, but they accepted the book for publication, and in May this year Free City was out.
Since completing Free City, I have to admit my writing rate has slowed down. Partly this was promotional work, which takes time, partly this was life once more, but as I reflect now it is also a lack of direction in my writing. Since publication of Free City, I have drafted plots for three different books in detail, including the second book in the Arctic Crimson series, as well as the initial outlines for numerous other ideas. The reason I managed to get Free City completed was largely due to my focussed effort, and I think it is time to once again set myself to complete one idea.
So I have decided, while I still do not make New Year’s Resolutions, in 2020 I will once more set myself to write something everyday on one of my works in progress, and who knows, by summer next year I might well have a second book in the bag. All I need to do now is choose which one to write first.