I really hate making New Year’s Resolutions.
Let me clarify—I don’t hate making them, but I don’t
do such a good job of keeping and tracking them. Last year, my goal was to
write 1500 words a week. Did I hit it? Maybe. I never really tracked it, so it’s
hard to say. Plus, I spent a lot of time revising The Great Greene Heist
it’s hard to count those as new words, even though it often takes just as long
to revise as to write a first draft.
So I’m not going to make any big, grandiose resolutions for the new year. However, there are a number of things I want to work on in 2014,
Finding a way to balance day job / family /
This is always a struggle, finding a way to keep all the balls in the
air. I want to continue to find ways to be more productive when writing and
when working, so I’ll be able to physically and mentally “be” with my family
when I’m at home. I’ve also gone back to writing in the mornings—it’s amazing
how much work you can get done when everyone’s asleep. Of course, what will
really help with this balance is—
2) Being okay with saying "No".
2012 was a really
busy year for me—I accepted a lot of teaching and speaking engagement
(including a 10-day stint as a grad assistant at VCFA, a week-long teaching
assignment at the Highlights Foundation Full Novel Workshop, and speaking at
NCTE in Las Vegas, among other things). I promised my family that I’d cut back
in 2013. Even though I missed out of a number of events I usually attend, the
time away was well worth it—I got a lot of writing done, and I had the
opportunity to spend a lot more time with my daughter. I’ll be doing more events in 2014
, but I still
plan to be very deliberate about what I choose to do.
Being an author and a writer:
When I talk to new
writers, I often say that there’s a big difference in Varian-the-writer and
Varian-the-author. When I’m in writer-mode, I’m just worried about me and the
page. But when I’m working as Varian-the-author, I have to deal with everything
else in the business—marketing, contracts, taxes, speaking engagements, invoices and payments, etc.
With a new book coming out this year, I know I can’t totally neglect all of the
business stuff, but I also want to make sure I nurture the writing as well. Writing
retreats are really good for that, and I’m hoping to take two in 2014. And
really, the best marketing is writing a new, great book.
I’m sure there are more things to work on, but now it’s time
to write. Happy 2014, people.
Labels: The Great Greene Heist, Vermont College, writing life