Since this resolutions post is going up the week after New Years, you might think I'd resolve to make better use of my time. It's true that, most of the time, my life is out of balance, my desk is a mess, and I'm late for whatever-it-is. I've tried hard to balance, to organize, to schedule my days better, but I always end up sideways. What I've decided to do, instead, is to not beat myself up about not being organized and not having a great sense of time. Life often doesn't go according to schedule. And that's okay.
I have spent some time reflecting on my writing life. I write regularly. I finish things. I get my work critiqued and edited. In short, I've passed writing 101. My efforts have let me put five novels and four novellas out into the world. The process of marketing these books, though, and finding readers who love them, hasn't been very successful. I sell very little. I need to figure out how to do this better. I also have six unpublished, finished novels collecting dust on my hard drive. It seems I need to find a way to move things forward.
Advice is more prevalent than kitty photos on the web. I've been reading and listening until my ears and eyes are ready to pop out of my head. There are a lot of options for writers these days. Choice is a wonderful thing, but it can also muddy the waters. The way forward looks confusing. I have no idea what will work and what won't. Moving forward is also scary—what if this doesn't work? Then what? This may explain why I have six novels under the metaphorical bed.
Back when I was teaching writing workshops, I would tell my students to go to the place that scares them, to run along the edge of the cliff. This is where the best writing is, the writing that opens you up, the writing that takes chances, the writing that isn't afraid. I've learned to love the challenge, and each day, when I sit down to my desk, I try to write as deeply and honestly as I possibly can. I've learned to listen to the small resolute voice in my head that says 'go for it.'
When it comes to publishing and getting my work out into the world, I haven't pulled out the stops. I've let my fear rule me. This year, I resolve to be fearless when it comes to moving my career forward. This means I have to be willing to go for it, rejection and discouragement be damned. I have to start listening to the small resolute voice.
How about you? Do you have any resolutions for 2016?