You want to know what they were?
- Put writing at the top of my work priorities.
- Exercise and relax every day.
Thing is, 2010 was a rubbish year for me for some reasons I never told you about, and some I did. Somehow, I have to take 2011 by the scruff of its neck and shake it into submission. And for that, we don't need resolutions: we need strategies. Because resolutions fail when they aren't accompanied by strategies.
I will tell you my strategies. They different from resolutions, because they are the means to an end, not the end.
- Because I respond well to word-count targets, I have set staged word-count targets for my WIP. I have a deadline (self-imposed, but that's never been a problem for me) and the targets will enable me to meet it. This strategy will probably work because I know this is the sort of thing that generally does work for me. It might not for everyone.
- Because I have already over-filled my diary with speaking engagements till the summer, I will now reject all speaking invitations for any week which is currently "free", so that it remains free for writing. If anyone wants me to speak, it has to fit in one of the weeks where I'm already too busy to focus on writing. (Clearly, there may be exceptionally unmissable invitations, but they will have to be exceptional.)
- Because I have somewhat high blood pressure, which was diagnosed in 2010, exercise and relaxation are now crucial and are not optional. However, to tell myself to "exercise and relax every day" does not work, because it becomes like a task, goes to the bottom of the list of tasks and becomes a task for which I never find time. However, there is a strategy that might help:
I need to remember, consciously, that writing and exercising are not options but essentials and they must be done first in the day, not put on a list of tasks. They are not tasks: they are life. So, tasks become separate things, to be done LATER in the day. The knowledge that not doing exercise will make me ill and might shorten my life must be sufficient incentive.
- Also, walking, which is great exercise, is my best way of thinking and plotting. So, I will walk in the mornings, to help me write. I will walk as though my life depends on it. Because it might.
Which reminds me:
5. Buy more shoes. Now, there's a strategy that will work!
I have a huge amount to look forward to this year - Wasted is on five award shortlists, Deathwatch is on one, and Wasted is nominated for the Carnegie. 2010 was a piece of crap for lots of people and for many worse reasons than my relatively trivial crapness. If it was crap for you, I wish you a very very much better 2011. Take it by the scruff of the neck and whip it into shape. Work hard, write hard, have good strategies in place and together we can beat the Forces of Crap. Go us!