Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Today is the first day of...

Happy New Year has held the connotation of starting over, beginning something new, or setting a goal that is important on this the first day of the new year.
New Year's resolutions always sound best on this day but seem more like ignorance  and folly the farther into the year we progress. On January first, losing x number of pounds was a totally doable plan. There are 365 days before you. Why not?
By the time March rolls around the practical application of this little bit-every day goal has lost it's luster. Research shows that half of people have given up on their New Year's resolution by March, most won't even admit to having a resolution because they gave up on it the first day it was hard, uncomfortable or inconvenient to follow through.
That's the problem with Today being the first day of the rest of...whatever. If it doesn't work out right now, you've got year after year of calender's to find the "first day" again.
Back in November when I started NaNoWriMo(, I had already broken the 50,000 word count challenge down to a daily goal. I figured I shouldn't set goals for the days I may not get the chance to write because my kids had activities, my nephew got married, my family celebrated Thanksgiving, and I celebrated my anniversary. This left me with 25 days. I devote my time on Sunday's to my faith and my family and I don't work on those days. This left me with 21 days. My word count daily goals were getting higher and higher and I could feel the pressure building along with my shrinking calender.  I am a firm believer though, that realistic expectations of what you can count on happening turn into feelings of accomplishment when you do more than the expectation allowed for.
At first I celebrated just meeting my daily goals. However, the more I accomplished the daily goals the more I realized I could get ahead by surpassing them. One of my girlfriends and I would call each other and check on the word count and then figure out how early we could finish if we wrote an extra thousand today, or didn't stop until kids came home from school. It was invigorating at first, and before I knew it I was a mere 1500 words away and it wasn't even Thanksgiving. By setting a word count goal perdiem, and them by-the-week, I was able to finish my 50 K words in 16 days. Now before you curse me as an arrogant braggart, for alot of writers that's pretty pathetic. I have a friend  who can write an entire novel in 17 days. (
Emergence: C. Michelle Jefferies: 9781599928722: )
My husband is friends with the author of Monster Hunters International ( that guy can crank out 10 K a day sometimes.Also keep in mind just because I wrote the 50 k doesn't mean they were great literature or instantly publishable.
The only reason I bring this goal up is because a lot of people have asked me what my New Year's resolution is for 2014. Honestly, I don't have one.
I have a goal for how many books I want to write this year. I have a goal for expanding my writing practice by writing a short story every month. I have an expectation to sign my parallel novel "Burning Bridger with a publisher or agent in the next three months. And I have a goal to blog, today. Work on my new novel, today. Enjoy the last day of Christmas vacation with my family, today
Most importantly---To make this the first day of the best today can be.
Happy New Year. May 2014 bring you everything you need. May it begin TODAY

1 comment:

  1. I'm like you. I don't have any resolutions. It seems that whenever I make the, I break them. Like you, I have goals. I've put together a collection of short stories and a poetry chapbook which I will try to publish this year. I have an idea for another poetry chapbook I may write this year. I also plan to blog at least once a week and write a new poem or short story at least once a month.
    There's also that memoir I started last year about my experiences caring for Bill, my totally blind husband who was partially paralyzed as a result of two strokes. One of these days, I'll finish that and get it published. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors and a happy New Year.