Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolutions! Oh, wait.... let's do GOALS. No! RESOLUTIONS!!

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope yours was fabulous! We spent ours the way tradition dictates: eating homemade pizza, spending hours with a plethora of board games, and ringing in the new year by clinking fancy glasses filled with sparkling juice.

I heart balloons. I heart the color red.
Is anyone else weirded out by the fact that there are no balloon strings?

I'm a goal setter. I have lots and lots of lists with goals on them that have nothing whatsoever to do with January first. A lot of years I don't even make resolutions, because I already have plenty of goals laid out.

This year, though, I feel oddly motivated. Maybe it's because I read so many of all your blogs that had New Year's Resolutions listed. And you're all driving by, cheering and laughing and eating tasty appetizers on that bandwagon, so I decided to jump on, too.

Without further ado, here they are!

1. Write five books this year.
2. Edit six books this year.
3. Read 365 books this year; 50 of them on writing.
4. Read 40 blogs on writing a day.

Awesome goals, right?

Hahahaha! I almost killed myself just writing those goals down! SO not remotely going to happen. But because it's funny, a comic just for writers:

Okay, okay, we'll get down to the real resolutions / goals.

1. Write Every Day. I've never been a write-every-day kind of girl. I write better in chunks, so I tend to work through all the responsibilities I have, clear my plate, then write in a chunk. I KNOW, however, that when I write daily, my story flows better. I'm more efficient when I do write. And that's a pretty valuable thing. I have a calendar taped to my desk where I can mark every day I write. A very visual representation. Now I'm not saying this is a year-long goal. I am currently 10,000 words into the sequel to TTBB. At some point, edits will need to take over my world, and writing every day may no longer be possible. But whenever I'm drafting, it's my goal to work on it EVERY DAY. There. Now that that's set in stone and there is NO CHANGING IT, we can move on to number two.

2. Make a Freakishly Fabulous Presentation to Present at Writers' Conferences. Subject matter to be decided. And soon, hopefully. Hmm.... Maybe I should have made Figuring Out Subject Matter one of my resolutions.... There's just so many options! What should I choose? (That wasn't a rhetorical question. ;) If you feel so inclined to give a suggestion, I'll feel so inclined to love you forever.)

3. Make THROUGH THE BOMB'S BREATH Beyond Awesome. I get my first editorial letter this month. [Insert giddy laughter.] My first round of edits are due in April, and copy edits are due in August. During that time, I WILL MAKE IT ROCK. Whew! Glad that's set in stone now, too, because that means it will happen, right?

So what about you? Are you a resolution-maker, or do you purposely make goals that don't start on January first? (You rebel, you.)(Plus, remember? There's tasty appetizers on that bandwagon.)


Shakespeare said...

I'm kind of glad you made a second list--that first one about killed me reading it!

I'm with you on the "write every day" thing. I want to make sure I make writing a priority every single day, the way I do exercise. It's a crucial part of my life, my identity, and my self-esteem.

There is no way on earth I could read 365 books. I read all the time, but I fit it in when I can, and the book I'm on--The Poisonwood Bible--has already taken four days, and I'm only 1/4 of the way through.

I want to do a little of EVERYTHING this year... painting, writing, music, singing, etc.

Theresa said...

That first list was intense, but after reading it, your real list seems like a piece of cake. lol. Good luck.

I make resolutions but I don't always start them on the first. Example: I refuse to go back to the gym in January since everyone and their brother is there. I wait till February when people are no longer gung ho and begin to break their resolution :)

JeffO said...

I was a little shocked at 365 books a year. Maybe if they're all the size of 'Of Mice and Men'!

I just posted my writerly resolutions a few minutes ago. Writing every day? Hmm, didn't put it there, but I manage to do that pretty well as it is.

Good luck with your resolutions, and Happy New Year!

Cherie Reich said...

Will you be reading 365 picture books this year? :D

I do like having goals rather than resolutions. They're much easier to keep and change. :)

Good luck with your goals!

Cristina said...

I almost threw something at my screen when I read your first list.. maybe I haven't had enough coffee today, but for a second, I thought you were serious, LOL....

oh dear me.. I'm gonna go make some more coffee.

Happy New Year. I'll be here cheering you on :)

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I was going to come slap you with a reality stick after reading the first list. Glad I didn't have to resort to violence.

What conference are you presenting at?

Cassie Mae said...

I got too excited when I saw you were going to be doing your edits and stuff to remember what else you posted on, lol. That's so super awesome!

I have several goals I make throughout the year, but not on January first necessarily. Just in general. :)

Maria Zannini said...

I tend to set goals all through the year. As I meet each one, I add a new one or move the benchmark higher.

I'm glad you posted the second (real) list. :)

Tonja said...

I'm definitely going to read 365 picture books this year - my little guy likes books. I was worried about you with that first list. Writing every day is a good idea, but I like to have one day a week that I don't write at all.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I'm pretty much making goals all the time, but I love yours about writing every day! I was just telling a friend that was an amazingly powerful goal. She said, "Great idea! I'll start tomorrow." I laughed and said, "Get off the phone and write NOW."

And she did. #awesome ;)

Leigh Covington said...

Fabulous goals Peggy! Very awesome. You have so much awesomeness going on with your book this year! YAY! I love resolutions too!

And yes ... I'm a little weirded out that there are no balloon strings. hehehe

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

Yeah, your first list freaked me out... I admit, I compared myself and was like "Oh, crap! I better send the kids to boarding school to get 6 books out this year!". lol. Hubs would never allow that though... Maybe he needs to go to a boarding school... hm jk.

I love your goals. I even stole them. hehehe. Have a great new year and I can't wait to see what's in store for you!

WilyBCool said...

Happy New Year and and I wish the very best for you and your family! Thank you for your awesome blog and for sharing ;D

Krista M said...

The first list was a little scary, but I think your second list of goals is much better. Good luck with them! :)

Emily R. King said...

Wonderful goals, Peggy! Here's hoping you have a fun and productive 2012! Best of luck with all your writing goals.

Kelley said...

At first I thought that first list was your goals and I was going to be like...Peggy... think you may have an issue with those :)

The second list sounds great! :)

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Attainable goals are THE way to go, methinkis... But I love your first set of resolutions! Heck, If I could only do one of them.... sigh...
Happy new year and happy writing and editing!

Angela Cothran said...

At first I thought your initial goals were real :) And what is even better is that I thought, "I bet Peggy could do that!" LOL! Great joke. I saw someone on good reads set the goal to read 700 books this year--that is ambitious :) Have a great new year.

Melanie Fowler said...

These are great goals, and I love the comic :)

I am like you, I write better in chunks. I have a hard time writing everyday. Good luck with your resolutions! wait! Goals. Or whatever you'd like to call them.

Donna K. Weaver said...

ROFL I'm so glad you clarified that. Seriously, my jaw was hanging open!

Great goals. Which conference are you presenting at?

Nancy Thompson said...

Whew! That first list scared the crap outta me! I love the second. All very doable. I'm a goal setter myself. Resolutions are much tougher and just lead to frustration for me. Good luck on each and every one of your goals in 2012!

(And BTW - I left a very little something for you over at my place.)

Patti said...

I read your first list and thought for a moment you were serious. I blame my tired mind. I totally agree with you about making attainable goals. My goal this year is just to do better every day.

Happy New Year!

Christine Rains said...

For a few seconds there, I was shocked by those first "goals." Your real ones are awesome! Good luck and happy new year!

Lan said...

Aww I kinda want you to stick to the first set of goals and see how it works out! My only goal this year (apart from my readign challenges) are to write every day and to stop letting the internet get in the way of me living my real life. I hope you achieve everything you've set out to do!

Maggie said...

I'm so glad you posted your REAL list. I would have had to put your blog on the over-achievers-I-can't-handle list. Just teasing.

Anonymous said...

LOL :-)
I cracked up reading the comic!
Maybe you should do a presentation on: How to build THE blog for writers :-) No kiddin´ between your cookies and your wit, I always smile, get hungry or think after reading your blog...
The best of luck to you for 2012!

Amanda Olivieri said...

Hahaha you should have seen my face after reading your first set of "goals". Too funny. Good luck with your real goals, very exciting about getting your first editorial letter this month! Happy new year!

Imogen said...

I've never actually made New Years Resolutions, as everyone I know seems to break their's really easily. However I'm not above making a couple of goals for the year (totally different things I assure you).

This year I want to edit and revise my two NaNoWriMo novels from last year. I want to finish the project I'm working on now. I want to start at least one other new project. And, most importantly, I want to work out what I'm going to study at uni. Big goal that one.

Carrie Butler said...

Hah! That comic was hilarious! As for your goals...

1) Good call. I think I'll jump in on this one. :)

2) Nonsense. You'll love me forever anyway. (Also, I can't think of anything. LOL)

3) Woohoo! You can do it! *cheers*

Nick Wilford said...

Reading at least 365 picture books won't be a problem for me with a 3-year-old, though some of them may be repeats. I too thought your first list was serious - very funny when I realised the joke!

No, resolutions don't seem to work. I haven't really set concrete goals in previous years and I have this time, so I guess my one resolution is to try to achieve them. Good luck with everything. Especially the conference - I hate public speaking!

Lynn(e) Schmidt said...

Omg, you totally had me on your first set of resolutions...I was like "Wow...I suddenly feel inadequate!"

The real goals/resolutions are awesome! Best of luck to you!

Susan Oloier said...

My resolutions are more general: like be a better person. In terms of goals, I know my life is too precarious to set them on January 1st. I know what needs to be done; I only hope to accomplish it all by December 31st. That being said, I think those who make goals are to be envied. Good luck with yours in 2012 :-)

prerna pickett said...

I'm a chunk writer as well. I need to work on that.

Tara Tyler said...

those sound easy
my goal is to find and attend a conference close to me. then i can work my way up to making a killer presentation =)

Angela Brown said...

Glad you rang in the new year with family and fun. That's an awesome way to do it.

Your 'attainable' goals sound very, uh, hmmm...attainable (lol)

As for the writer's conference, well, I can say that the panels that helped me most were ones with agents/authors who were open to role play and engaging the attendees. For example, one agent did a Pitch Session panel. She had each of us come forward and give an example of our pitch. Doing so in front of everyone else prepared our nerves for doing so in front of our agent of choice later during the conference. And she gave us her instant reaction to the pitch. Also ways to improve it. Not sure what the focus of this conference ism but you seem to have a good handle on blogging and querying. Perhaps you can consider one of those two subjects to discuss.

Of course, I could bend your ear so much more offline if you were so inclined.

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck for the conference and for succeeding at your goals.

Paul Tobin said...

Happy New Year Peggy. Loved the post as witty as usual. Good set of goals. Good luck with the editorial letter-sounds like things are moving forward positively.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Happy New Year Peggy! When I read your first list I thought, wow! I am a serious underachiever! - so I'm glad it turned out to be a joke :) So exciting about your edits! And what conference are you speaking at? As a conference attendee, I always like to hear concrete tips on how to do things I don't do well or don't know enough about - like plotting, marketing, doing Skype visits... that kind of thing. And yes, where are those dang balloon strings? I hope you accomplish all of your real goals this year and can't wait to read your book!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Your first list nearly killed me, I somehow survived and read the second list. The first list made me feel bad about my own list.

The second list sounds good. Good luck with it.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Shakespeare-- I definitely need to make writing more of a priority. And I'm right there with you on the reading! And occasionally the painting. It's something I love, but don't do nearly often enough! Not quite there on the music and singing, though. :( Sounds like you keep things well-rounded!

Theresa-- Great plan! I did go to the gym Monday morning, and you're right- there were a ton more people there than normal!

JeffO-- I think that if I did the 365 book thing, they'd have to be even smaller than Of Mice and Men. Like picture book size. :) I just read your goals and I have to say, those are some very awesome goals! I loved them!

Cherie-- Ahh. Great point about goals- they can change! Score one for goals! And no- I won't be reading even 365 picture books. I read MG books to my kids, so I'm not even going to get those kinds of numbers that way. :)

Cristina-- I'd have thrown something at the screen if I'd have read that, too. Well, not literally, because I really like my screen, ;) but I would've thought it.

Tasha-- I'm glad you didn't have to resort to violence, either. :) I haven't made solid plans, yet. I'm meeting with a mentor tomorrow, and we'll come up with a plan. I'll probably start with LUW chapter meetings to get the kinks worked out of my presentation, then I'll look to do the LUW annual meeting later in the year. It's too late for Storymakers this year, but I hope to next year.

Cassie-- I'm pretty excited about them. :D And I love making goals throughout the year. Whenever you make them (even if it is Jan 1), I think goals are the way to go!

Maria-- That sounds like a fabulous way to attack goals!

Tonja-- Then that "read 365 books" wouldn't be a hard goal at all for you to read! You could even double or triple that! And yes, I think having one day a week where you don't write is a great idea. For me, it's Sunday. This writing thing is a job, and I don't feel right choosing to work on Sunday if I have another choice.

Susan-- "Amazingly powerful." That's what I'm going to remind myself every time everything else gets in the way and writing every day seems not possible. Thanks!! And I loved your advice to your friend. :D

Leigh-- Awww! Thanks!! And I know! Who makes balloons with no strings? It's not like they'd even stay upright without them. They'd all be laying down on the ceiling.

Bonnie-- Hahaha! You kill me! And steal them all you'd like.

WilyBCool-- Thank you! Happy New Year to you, too! I wish you and yours all the best.

Krista-- It WAS scary. And thanks!

Emily-- Aw, thanks! I hope your new year is fun and productive, too! (And of course, full of cuddling a newborn.)

Kelley-- Hahhaaha! Yeah. I think I'd have a problem with that, too. Like on the first day. The second list fits much better.

Pat-- I know! I don't even think I could accomplish ONE of those first resolutions! Attainable goals are definitely the way to go.

Angela-- Awww! I think that may be the nicest thing anyone has ever said! Thank you! And 700 books?! What the what? Were they talking those easy chapter books 1st and 2nd graders read? That's crazy!

Melanie-- Yeah, the writing every day instead of in chunks thing is going to be a hard adjustment for me. And thanks!

Donna-- Haha! Thanks! It hasn't been set yet. I'll probably be on a panel or possibly two at LTUE in February, but as far as doing a presentation, probably LUW chapter meetings first, then probably LUW's annual meeting. It's too late for Storymakers this year, but hopefully next!

Nancy-- It scared me, too. I'm a goal setter myself. And honestly, when I set a "resolution," I'm really thinking "goal" in my head. It helps. ;) And thanks so much for the award! You are so sweet!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Patti-- Do better every day is an awesome goal to have! Not very measurable, but it's such a great feeling to lie in bed at night and think, "I did really good today." Happy New Year to you, too!

Christine-- Thanks! And happy new year to you!

Lan-- Report on first set of goals: fail on day one. Seriously undoable for me. :) Your goals sound awesome! I hope you achieve everything you've set out to do, too!

Maggie-- Hahaha! Dang, that's a list I definitely don't want to be on. ;) Plus, then there's the whole part about having to actually DO the list. And then I might be less-than-sane Peggy.

Commutinggirl-- Aww. That brought a tear! You are so sweet! I read your comment like five times. Best of luck to you in 2012, too!

Amanda-- I know! I'm so excited! Thank you. And happy new year to you, too!

Imogen-- Wow! Those are some fabulous GOALS! Really fabulous! I wish you all the best with every one of them.

Carrie-- 1) Yay! We can be writing buddies! I can write during the daylight hours, and you can write during the not so daylight hours. ;) 2) You're totally right. I was wondering if you were going to call me on that one! 3) Aw, thanks for the cheers!!

Nick-- I say you count that as 365 books read- repeats or not! Best of luck with all your goals. And thanks for you good luck wishes- I hate public speaking, too.

Lynn(e)-- To tell the truth, I felt a little inadequate WRITING them! Attainable goals are really the much better way to go, definitely. And thanks!!

Susan- Eh. Goals are great WHENEVER you set them. Best of luck achieving yours, too!

Prerna-- It's a hard thing to change! It's going to take a lot on my part to do it. Best of luck with it!

Tara-- Great goal! I love conferences!!

Angela-- Wow! Thanks for the great suggestions! I would love to hear more. And thanks for all your well-wishes!

Paul-- Thank you! For the compliment and for the well wishes. Happy new year to you, too!

Susanna-- See? Another great reason to have attainable goals- it doesn't make people feel like underachievers! :) As far as which conference, idk yet. I work best when I'm completely prepared first, then I feel like I can send in a proposal to conferences about my presentation. I'll probably figure it out in the next month or so. And thanks! I hope you accomplish all your goals this year, too!

Rachna-- Yes, the second list definitely is better. :) Best of luck with your list, too!

CNHolmberg said...

Oh wow, when I read that first list I was really like, "Are you freaking kidding me?"

Glad you're reasonable. ;) Good luck with the goals!