Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December RULEZ! (And Resolutions)

It's here! The month that brings you Christmas, me and Brad Pitt!

Born Today:
Richard Pryor
Woody Allen
Marie Tussaud (Madame Tussaud)
Pablo Escobar
Aiko, Princess Toshi

The Rejectionist invited her minions to post on their resolutions for the upcoming year. I don't normally do resolutions- you know me and commitment- but I is has plans for next year. (Please note: The Receptionist expects a dry-run of resoulutions in December. Sorry, but that's not happening. I'm exhausted from nano, will be travelling, will be organising a school reunion, etc. Maybe that's perfect though, because I'm always too busy. lol.)

So anyhow, here's what to expect in the new year.

1. Save 1万円 per month.

That's 10,000 yen, and right now is worth about $110 US. Not much, you say. Let's consider how much I saved last month. Zero. And the month before that. Zero. And the one before. Zero. Detect a pattern?

2. Compile MFA application.

I may not even end up doing an MFA, but if I do, I should get to cracking on the application. Competition is tight and MFA's require a writing sample. I don't want them to reject me based on something I wrote the night before deadline, when I might have gotten in.

3. Submit short stories.

I want to try my hand at short stories. And publishing credits couldn't hurt.

4. Advance my WIP every month.

Coming up with a writing goal was difficult. I can't write every day. Not for lack of time. I just can't do anything every day. I also didn't want to say 'do something for my craft every week,' because reading helps my craft. And if I used that to fulfill my writing quals, then I'd never need to write.

So, every month, I will be writing, re-reading, editing, etc. something. And a month might sound like a long time, but I know it's what I can work with, because straight off the bat I know there are weeks I won't be able to do anything for my writing. Like the last week of July, the first week of August and the last two of October.

5. Take a novel through the full pre-query process.

When you make goals, you should make them: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound. Originally my goal was to have a publishable-quality novel. But how do you measure that? So my new goal is to move from WIP to the best possible book.

I've never done anything more than a first edit. I've never given an entire book over to a beta reader. (Super-awesome crit-partner Elbie and I were doing weekly exchanges.) So I'll be taking a WIP- maybe this nano's, maybe nano 2008 (nano 2009 should be buried deep. Very, very, very deep.)- and revising, and revising, and beta-ing and lather, rinse, repeat.

6. Read one book a week.

But Claire, you already a gazillion books. Yes. Too many. I don't do anything else. This year, I'm going to try to get myself down to 52. Well, at least between 52 and 100. :)

7. Vary my reading

Once a month I will read one book which is not YA/Hilarious women's fiction/paranormal/written in English. Theoretically, this is supposed to get me into reading adult fiction. What will probably actually happen is that I will read 12 French/Spanish/Italian/Japanese books. Oh well, at least that counts as studying :)

(I got LA DIVINA COMMEDIA by Dante for Kindle last night. So psyched! Reading it right after ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS.)

8. Review every book I read.

This may be the hardest of my resolutions to keep, but I want to spread the love. So I will be starring/reviewing/recommending every single book I read EITHER on Goodreads, Amazon, or my book review blog. Yes, I have a book review blog. It's just been hidden for like a year.

9. Give away a book every week.

I could not forget you guys. Because you ROCK! Stop by every Thursday in 2011 for a giveaway.

I know that sounds kind of crazy, but I gave away about 50 books this year. In about 5 giveaways, and I only started in June. Once a week will be toning it down.

But because contests are actually energy-sucking lifeforms (I can't wait til I can be rich- or important- or famous enough to have an assistant who takes care of all the mundania), there's a minimum entry of 5. If less than 5 people enter, the prize won't be drawn and will go forward to the next week. If it happens 3 weeks in a row, the contests will be discontinued. I don't care if the same 5 people enter all year and win 10 books a piece. So long as there's 5.

How's about you guys? Do you do resolutions? Do you have any for k11?


Joanna St. James said...

wow 2011 sounds fantastic, I will look for you on good reads and am with you on the whole PA thing I hate the administrative side of things.

Pam Harris said...

A book giveaway every week? You're fast becoming my fave blogger. :)

Laurel said...

Those are very admirable and, well, more gooderer than mine. I got wrapped up in the "attainable" part of the SMART goal model.

Sarah W said...

Wow! Great resolutions - good luck!

Fanfreakingtastic Flower said...

Good work!

The Rejectionist said...


Marsha Sigman said...

I have not had a chance to even think about it. I still can't believe it's December. Your resolutions are awesome though! Good for you!

maine character said...

Great to see someone so ambitious and focused.

About MFAs, I just read a great summary of what the experience is like at Sarah Einstein's blog.

And about keeping disciplined, this article by Maggie Stiefvater is great because she wrote it before "Shiver" got published and it gives a good step-by-step method of keeping on track.

Aleeza said...

your ambitions are KICK-ASS. they really are. best of luck on fulfilling them! :) especially the full-query-process one so you can get an agent and get published and i can read your book!