Monday, January 9, 2012

new year, new stories to tell

Good morning!
I've been out of school and offline for two weeks and boy is it good to be back! The break was much needed;last term was tough. This term proves to be interesting as I start my last (read: LAST EVER) math class along with my first linguistics course. Happy about one, happy to be rid of the other (guess which is which ;)).
How was your holiday? I hope Christmas was happy and the New Year rang in with the promise of a great 2012. And I'll be willing to bet that there were some writing resolutions made after that fifth glass of champagne.

Here's the thing: despite the name (resolution from the word resolve which means "to come to a definite, earnest decision about"), resolutions tend to get spoken with pomp and left to shrivel after the first week or two of the New Year. I prefer to set goals, give myself a step by step list to accomplish; a road map to follow throughout the next 365 days.

While you're vowing to run 16 miles a day, eat fewer chocolate cakes for breakfast and watch less than 10 hours of reality TV a week, think about your writing goals. What are they and why? What prompted you to choose your specific goals for this year? Do you need to write more and worry less? Do you need to finally submit that collection of short stories to you carefully refined list of "super agents"?

I love big goals and huge dreams. I'm a dreamer by nature so the bigger the ideal, the more passionate and excited I'm going to be about it. But here's something to think about while you're crafting your magnum opus: it's all about the story. Not YOUR story; THE story. The story that came to you, fair and trembling, nervous to whisper into your ear, afraid you may shoo it away. Yes. THAT one. Be gentle with it but firm. You are going to tell it this year. You and I both are going to get THAT story told. Perhaps even another will fall dutifully behind and we'll pound out several novels and shorts this 2012.

But for right now, focus on that one story. The one you've been dying to tell. The one that's been dying to be told. After all, without the story, our goals (or resolutions) are nothing but pipe dreams.

Write fearless my friends,


  1. Good to have you back! And I am focused on that one big story.

  2. I absolutely love this! This is what my resolution for 2012 needs to be. Thanks, Jen! Good luck with the new semester!

  3. I agree about setting goals rather than making resolutions. My goal this year is to keep writing no matter what life throws my way. I tend to get distracted by a lot of things. Some important. Some not so much.

  4. I have big writing goals (that I haven't yet written down). But life always has a way of shuffling them like a deck of cards. Keeps things interesting, I guess. Happy Writing!

  5. Welcome back! :)

    I hope you had a great holiday!

    I love this post--I'm working on something that feels like THE story to me, and I'm determined to work it out this year, after failed rewrites in the past.

  6. Very well said! Happy 2012, and here's to making all your dreams come true.

  7. Alex: Thanks! It's good to be back. Hated that I missed the first Insecure Writer's post of the New Year but I'll catch up :D

    Meredith: Thanks a bunch! I'm notorious for setting goals and letting them flounder all year long. Not this year! I'm tired of shifting goals from year to year!

    Susan: I agree. Life does have a way of getting in the way, but if we make a commitment to ourselves and our writing, we will find the time to make it happen!

    Golden: Hi!! Sounds like you've got a great story on your hands. Keep following where it leads you. I'm sure you'll end up with something fabulous!

    Talli: Thanks! And best of luck to you in all your dreams for 2012!

  8. I'm using the 52 weeks of 2012 as my guide goal. May your writing and educational pursuits be plentiful!

    Play off the Page

  9. It's more lifestyle changes than goals or resolutions for me. One extra push-up/sit-up a day. One less coke than yesterday.

    Writing every day, even if it is but a sentence. Leaving my writing when I know what the next scene will be so that I can start with something the next day -- after my unconscious has a night to play with it!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such a neat comment. The ghost of Samuel Clemens sends his best! Roland

  10. Wow! That is a great way to look at resolutions.

  11. That's a wonderful way to look at resolutions! Almost all of my resolutions/goals for this year are writing-related.

  12. Mary: Sounds like a great goal. one week at a time is a great way to plug away at a year of writing :D

    Roland: Exactly. Everyday is an opportunity to change, to implement a good habit and discard a negative one. Thanks for stopping by!

    Copyboy: I've thought a lot about resolutions vs. goals over the past several years. The word "goal" sounds more "set in stone" to me! Thanks for stopping by!

    Nicole: Thank you! I hear you: aside from getting one year closer to my first degree, my goals are all writing related! Best of luck to you and thanks for stopping by!


Well, hello! I'm so glad you made it. Come inside and sit by the hearth. I'll take your coat and hat. The kettle is singing and there's cake and candles and good conversation. Settle in and make yourself at home. Don't mind the wolfhounds; they're friendly if you give them a bit of lemon curd.