The time of year has come upon us when we all take stock of what we’ve been doing the last 12 months and make decisions on what we want to do to move forward in the next 12 months. For many of us, we so much want to lose weight or bulk up so we go back on that diet or back to the gym, only to lose steam and fall back into our old ways by February.
“But this year will be different!” we say. “We will prevail!”
I sincerely hope that you do prevail. But keep in mind that it takes about six weeks to create a new habit so whatever it is you resolve to do, don’t lose heart. Anything worth doing is NEVER easy so you have to power through and keep on keeping on.
And that leads to the assessment of my year gone by and what I want to do in 2014:
- Ran about 2 miles 3-4 times a week.
- Paid closer attention to my diet and finally realized that my body and ALL grass grains (that’s oat, wheat, barley, rice, etc.) did not get along. I’ve therefore eliminated them and now I feel much better.
- Worked on my novel Gone to Texas. Back in March I finished the first rough draft (you can read about it here) and today am now over 2/3 of the way through the editing process. That’s not very fast but this is my first novel and I’m still fumbling around trying to figure things out.
- Toward the end of the year, I changed my journaling to dig deeper in my psyche.
- Kept a positive attitude at work and elsewhere to try to bring a little cheer into the world.
What 2013 taught me as far as my writing process:
- Quit listening to that inner critic and get my butt in the chair and write. The words won’t appear on their own. Ok, so I didn’t really “learn” this but I was reminded of it way too often.
- If I keep track of all my progress on a calendar, that will give me a visual inspiration to continue editing. I’m writing historical fiction so the handwritten numbers coincide with the historical date of the scene and the names refer to the main characters for that scene. The “X” refers to days in which I didn’t write. Every time I “X’d” a day I felt extremely disappointed with myself and resolved to do better.
- When I’m sketching out a scene, it helps to list things that I want to happen in bullet points first, then I can go back and mold them into prose. But I don’t just jot down what happens. I also include what all the senses are sensing.
- Beat sheets help me to stay on track as to what needs to happen and where. As an added bonus, sometimes when I’m keying things in, I get ideas for other things that can happen to my characters. Author Jami Gold turned me on to these. Feel free to check out her website, which has a whole section on writer resources.
- Finish the edits of Gone to Texas by the end of March and send it out to beta readers.
- Start the second book of Gone to Texas. (I have too much stuff to squeeze into one novel.)
- Do some plotting of my next novel set in 1570 Spain, at the end of their Reconquista.
- Continue to dig deep into my psyche and journal about it.
- To keep myself focused on moving forward and to inspire bravery and courage within myself, start a new journal of God’s promises to me and each day include 5 blessings I’ve received for that day. (I started this one on Saturday, December 28.)
- To be a more consistent blogger. You’ll be seeing posts on the promises and blessings to help me with this.
- To move my blog to a paid site. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know when it happens and where to go.
- Continue to keep a positive attitude.
- Read 3-4 non-fiction books.
- Read 5-6 fiction novels.
- Continue running 2 miles 3-4 times a week but add a long walk on the weekend.
- Continue to be cognizant of my diet.
What about you? Did 2013 pan out like you wanted? What are your goals for 2014? I’d love to hear!
Take care now and may the wind be at your back as you embrace the new year!