Chaining the Free Spirit: New Year’s Writing Resolutions

10 Jan

This, my first blog of the new year, breaks all the resolutions it contains. I’m going to run it anyway, because I find that particularly funny.

I’m not keen on making resolutions, but it became quite apparent toward the end of last year that my “take-work-as-it-comes-and-hope-for-the-best” time-management style might not be the most effective.  At one point, I was juggling eight projects simultaneously. Not only did the quality of my work suffer, but I noticed I was writing and editing in my sleep, or at least, when I should have been sleeping and not worrying about deadlines.

So, let’s jump right in, shall we?

One: This year there will be no procrastinating. I know, I know, most people establish their resolutions around the first of the year and not the 10th, but I had some residual 2015 issues to resolve first. And then I had this sleepless week, and then the eye thing, and…Anyway, I mean it. A few of my blogs might contain some pretty odd ramblings and a shopping list or two, but I’m serious about writing regularly, particularly when it comes to blogging, which brings me to resolution number…

Two: I will blog weekly in 2016. Blogging gives me joy, and has become relegated to an “expendable” corner of my life. I’ve noticed that, in much the same way a busy mom puts her own needs last, I tend to put personal goals aside to satisfy business commitments. This is emotionally unacceptable. If I’m going to grow as a writer, I gotta wax poetic on a regular basis or all those internal giggles that seem to multiply in my brain when I observe life are going to combust and I’ll wind up as cynical as Maxine, the greeting card lady. While that could make for some more interesting blog entries, I prefer something a little less erratic.

Three: Despite my serious distaste for administrative tasks, in 2016, I will keep to a schedule. This one is going to hurt, as I’m not only a free-spirited, ADD, fly-by-the-mood-of-the-muse writer, I also tend to see planning as the process of using valuable work time to write about what I’m going to do instead of actually doing it. However, I think the only way the blog will have a fighting chance of not getting pushed off the schedule is if I have a schedule to begin with. This will also prevent me from taking on too much work (I hope) and

Four: So, I will GENERALLY schedule blog writing for Saturday mornings (and yes, I know it’s Sunday evening. I never blog on Sunday—all the more reason to put this on the blogosphere today—see first sentence). However, I cannot totally commit to a particular day of the week, as not only do I occasionally enjoy a weekend off with my family, but the calendar often dictates my blog topics. For example, two specific non-Saturdays I’m looking forward to writing about this year are Lost Sock Memorial Day (May 9), and Lazy Day (August 10). The first sounds like fun to write about. The second, well, we’ll see how I feel…

…Besides, the second week in October is National Pet Peeve Week. Just imagine where that can take us! No, I cannot box myself into one day. Life should still contain a modicum of spontaneity. Speaking of spontaneity brings me to…

Five: This will be a year of sitting still, and getting up. First, I must train myself that even when I’m not in the mood, I should write. Writing begets writing. Day-dreaming begets sleeping. I sometimes put off writing because all the stars aren’t correctly aligned, or the caffeine hasn’t taken effect, or I’m not sure the words will come. It usually ends with a nap on the couch. This is silly, because I’ve never been unable to write when I actually sit down and start.

However, for the sake of my health, I also have to move. I’ve noticed that sometimes when I am in the mood to write, I work straight through meals and dentist appointments without ever looking up. So, I will schedule (yes, you read that right) time to get up and send the blood flowing back into my limbs. Also, with a little help from the dog next door, I’m scheduling regular walks around the block.

So that’s it for resolutions, essentially. The rest of my plans for the year are more like goals than resolutions:

In 2016, Joe and I would like to get “Caged Sparrow” into the prisons, where it is sure to make a positive impact (word chosen specifically for Christina) on inmates staring at potentially life-changing crossroads. The book is selling quite well for a self-published endeavor, and it’s getting great reviews on Amazon, but we’re waiting expectantly for it to become more than just a good story. It’s meant to encourage and inspire.

I’m also working on completing two books this year. The first is for a client, whom you’ll meet soon. It’s a fantastic story about faith, trust, and hope. If all goes according to plan, it will be completed in February (look for a blog announcement the first Saturday of the month). The second is a personal project that I plan to bring to the May writers’ conference in Asheville, NC to see if it has any market potential. If it’s successful, you’ll be able to hear me shout my joy from the rooftops. If not, I’ll just try somewhere else and blog about persistence.

Calendar

Empty Pages of Possibility

There’s something sweet about the clean slate of a new year. The past is behind us and the future stretches before us like unused typewriter ribbon. (There now, I just lost half of you.) I’m excited and curious about the words that will fly across my keyboard this year, quite possibly even faster than I just jumped through 200 years of writing media. But one thing I know is that, with friends like you, I’ll be blessed for the experience because we’ll be making the journey together. Because without you I’d just be talking to myself.

Praying you and your families will be blessed this year as well.

Happy New Year, happy writing, and happy reading!

——————

“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:40).

5 Responses to “Chaining the Free Spirit: New Year’s Writing Resolutions”

  1. Cheryl Bull January 10, 2016 at 11:07 pm #

    I greatly appreciate the scripture you shared. These are very wise words, especially for looking ahead to a new year and I just don’t find myself in Lamentations much. Thank you, Rose!

    • pjoy93 January 11, 2016 at 7:55 am #

      I’m with you, Cheryl. Not exactly my go-to book, but it contains its share of treasure.

  2. Colleen Quinn January 11, 2016 at 4:31 am #

    You always make me smile😊

    • pjoy93 January 11, 2016 at 7:56 am #

      Back atcha! 🙂

  3. Chris Brown January 14, 2016 at 9:50 am #

    Just now catching up on my reading and haven’t even begun to think about resolutions, so you have me beat! And I thought I was a methodical woman–oops! Thanks for the nudge here.

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