Writer’s Resolutions

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imagesCAQE8Q9VEvery year I make personal resolutions as well as resolutions for writing. This year, I feel like my writing goals may be easier met than my personal goals, which is usually not the case. It may be because there are a lot of outside factors that I have no control over that affect my personal goals, but I am the only one in control over whether I write or not. Not only that, but I’m not setting myself up for failure; no lofty goals of getting published, becoming a National Bestseller, or getting rich and famous (not until next year anyway). Gotta save something for 2015.

For 2014, I resolve to…

  • set realistic writing goals
  • write at least 5 out of 7 days a week
  • finish the first draft of book one
  • finish editing my sister’s book
  • enter at least one writing contest
  • submit book one to sister/editor for review
  • finish the outline for book two
  • start second book
  • call myself a writer

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My Writer’s Christmas List

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  1. Peace on Earth (so it will be quiet enough for me to write)
  2.  Time to write
  3.  Wine, coffee, soda, and tea (because I haven’t figured out which is my favorite writing beverage)
  4.  A writing book (not a “how to write” book, but a book that writes it for you)
  5.  A paid Pandora membership (because commercials just aren’t that inspiring to write to)
  6.  Pretty notebooks and pens to write with (though I will probably continue to write with my laptop, but the notebooks will make me look more like a writer)
  7. Money (in case I never become a successful author)
  8. food (preferably hands free so I can eat and write. Something in a pill or shake variety would be great)
  9. Energy (sleep just isn’t doing it for me)

Writing in a Winter Wonderland

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untitledSo it is the 24th of December and I am just now changing the page on my calendar. I think the hesitation comes more from denial than forgetfullness. I hate that December follows November. Yes, I know that is the natural order of things, but as a writer December is a particularly frustrating month because it follows NaNoWrimo. November is an entire month dedicated to writing. Writers are encouraged and celebrated while they devote an entire month to their passion. By the first of December the theme of the month changes as swiftly as the coffee flavors at Mcdonalds. The focus shifts from writing to family and festiviites. It is hard to switch gears when the urge is to keep writing or go back and edit what you’ve accomplished the previous month, but society practically demands that you drop your current writing project to acknowledge the holiday season.

For the record, I’m not one of those people who only writes in November. It’s not only November, but it’s always November. Most months I find time to write between work, obligations, family, and that thing called sleep. So far this month, I’ve maybe written a page collectively. How can that be? I just wrote 50,000+ words in November. Did I lose inspiration? Fall in a plot hole? Lose a hand? All I did was turn the page of the calendar where I witnessed highlighted and marked on various dates are entire evenings, days, and weeks that are blocked out for work and family obligations all pertaining to Christmas.

Unlike Independence Day, St. Patrick’s Day, or the famously forgotten Thanksgiving holiday, Christmas is a holiday that last more than a day. It gets the entire month. I don’t mind losing some writing time for family or holidays, but I feel like everything is expected to be put on hold during December. I wouldn’t even celebrate the holidays if it wasn’t for my family. Christmas is one of two days a year where all of my family gets together. This is pathetic considering we all live within a mile of each other. I also have a child; athiest or not, you give your kid presents on the 25th of December. I’m also fairly certain my inheritance is based partially on my showing up to awkward, unnessesary family functions.

Of course, showing up is not all I am expected to do. I have to bring food and presents, so I have spent two weeks shopping for presents of the personal and white elephant variety. Both have proven difficult due to price and my personal finance limitations. I would use PTO to give up one day to get all of my shopping done but almost the entire month of December is a blackout period for my company, which means I have to do all of my holiday preparations after work hours or on the one day I have off each week. Not only am I giving up my days off to shop and prepare for Christmas, but I also have three Christmas gatherings to attend, so I lose not one, but three days of writing.

All I really want for Christmas is more time to write … of course, I’ll probably just get socks.

Dogs and Puppets: Authors who have Published Before You

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41BXM5RE8DL__SX258_BO1,204,203,200_You never know who the next published author will be. It could be you. Without any hard numbers, I can’t tell you how many authors debut a year, but you might be surprised, even insulted, by who published before you.

As if celebrities don’t have enough hollywood platforms to stand on, now they are taking over the publishing world. Without going into detail and just to name a few: Paris Hilton, Dennis Rodman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pamela Anderson and John Travolta (who is apparently a better disco dancer than a writer).

One of my least favorite celebrities, Kim Kardashian could be making literary news. The Kardashian name seems fitting on a clothing label, not on the cover of a book, but she is working on a tell-all book that is sure to highlight all of the same insipid crap from the show. It’s enough that she promotes her materialistic lifestyle on television, now she has to enter the literary sphere?

And why is this insulting, you may ask. Because roughly half of all bestselling books are written by clebrities. There are only so many National Bestselling slots available. Any spot a celebrity fills is one that a serious writer can’t, which is a major loss of publicity and public notice for that writer who did not make the list. Not to say that all celebrities are not serious writers. There are those who have reached bestselling status based on merit, but more often than not, they sky rocket to the top because of our celebrity-obsessed culture. For instance, I like Gordan Ramsey, but are his cook books National Bestseller worthy? In Britain they are. And you have to wonder, does a celebrity have the same obstacles, the same struggles as the average writer. Do they face rejection? Do they even have to get an agent? Heck, they don’t even have to write, as many of their books are written by ghost writers.

monkeysSpeaking of authors who don’t have to write, even animals are seeing their names in print before me. The infinite monkey theorem comes to mind as I imagine a room full of monkeys with typewriters has a better chance of getting published than I do.  I’m not sure wether to classify my first example as an animal. He files easier into the toy or sock category. When you think of celebrity self-help books, you think of Dr. Phil, but do you know Kermit the Frog has a self-help memoir? If he ever writes a “how to get published” book, I’m going to buy it.

If that doesn’t make you green with envy, consider my next four-legged example. Tinkerbell (Paris Hilton’s dog) is the “author” of a book where she gives an insider’s scoop (probably from the inside of a purse) about her life with her famous celebrity. If that doesn’t add a little sting to your rejection letters, I don’t know what will.

Who will be the next bestselling author? It could be you. Based on current trends, it could just as likely be a sock.