26 December 2006

Getting Back To It

In about a week, I have to start writing in earnest again. I need to commit myself to writing six projects in 07, one of which is already contracted, and a second for which my publisher has requested a full manuscript "on proposal." The proposal was "write another medieval". Door's pretty wide open as to what the book will be about.

Here's my problem. (I can't spell conundrum? and I'm too wiped from the holidays to reach for the dictionary LOL) I am notoriously lazy. I procrastinate. I live in some other realm where books write themselves.

Then, I come upon my deadline and I scramble. I ignore my family (shame on me) and they consistently interrupt (shame on them) adding to the stress levels that have stolen my health. No, not stolen. Borrowed.

I've decided that I will no longer sell books on proposal or partial. I will present my books to my editor in their completed form. I will write a book in no longer than eight weeks. I will work a regular schedule complete with alloted time for blogging (I'm terrible at it), research (I don't like it and don't do enough), emailing (a necessary evil), and actual WRITING.

To steal a famous quote, I have a dream. My dream includes several milstones, the first of which I reached in 2003 when I sold The Jewel and the Sword to Medallion Press. The next is to make enough money writing to retire my husband who has worked far to hard for far too long. Finally, I'd love to see my name, one of my books, on the NYT Bestseller list. I have a row to hoe, lemme tell ya.

The only way to reach these goals is to work at it, every day, as though I were as hungry now as I was before I sold that first manuscript.

I suppose this has turned into the obligatory "What are your New Year's Resolutions?" posts. Those are my resolutions. To get back to it with a vengeance and a purpose.

What's yours? Writing or non-writing related, what's something that YOU want to change for next year?


Bonnie Vanak said...

Hi Marjorie,

I'm Bonnie and just joined this blog, thanks to Carrie's invite. I write Egyptian historicals. Congratulations on your resolutions and your contracted work. You sound determined to reach your goals.

My resolution right now is to concentrate on writing and stick to a schedule. That and I resolve to eat more chocolate. I need at least one resolution I know I can keep!

Eliza said...

I have no published fiction, so I'm still that hungry writer--and almost all my resolutions are writing-related.

First, I want to continue my nonfiction publishing, and to be mag-published every month.

I'm a terribly slow reader, and I've only managed to read 30 books this year (if I finish the two this week!), but my best friend and I have decided to read 50 in 2007. A book a week, pretty much.

500 words a day, minimum. Six projects in a year is inconceivable to me, so if I finish this one, I'll be elated.

To critically read Atrocity again.

To fix Atrocity up real pretty and give her a coming-out party. Hopefully this will lead to a handful of engagement proposals and one marriage contract. I love her very much but I know she's ready to see the world.

Save up enough cash for a long research trip to NYC.

Marjorie Jones said...

Great resolutions! I remember before I got that first contract when I thought it was impossible, a pipe dream, that I wanted it so bad it hurt. A lot has happened since then family wise and health wise, that I find myself thinking, "Yeah, sure. So you published a couple of books. But you're not really any good and nothing is going to come of it."

I've been working on my hunger (by eating more than my share of chocolate, of course) today. I have a head start on my goals. I've done a serious organization and cleaning job around the house. I'm ready to move forward. No more treading water.

I love the read 50 books resolution! I will add reading two books/month to my resolutions in your honor. Something I really need to work on. Remember to write, we must read. I still haven't read all of the books I brought home from RT 200FIVE!

I shall begin tonight, reading from my TBR pile with enthusiam that I am NOT avoiding my work in progress. I'm not being lazy. I'm not neglecting my housework. I am honing my craft.

Thanks ladies!

Marjorie Jones said...

Oh, and welcome Bonnie :) Glad to see you. I'm checking my TBR pile right now as I think you're in it! Love Egypt!!! I wrote a short novella for Extasy staring the Lighthouse of Alexandria last year around this time and I've been wanting to get back there for ages... okay... months LOL. What fun, what fun!

Delia DeLeest said...

My resolution for 2007 is to send out at least one submission every month. I've got 4 finished manuscripts, 2 of which have never been submitted to anyone. I'm horribly submission shy and I'm going to try to get past that in the coming year.

Camilla said...

My 2007 New Year's Resolution is writing related: block off three months to write each book in my Quartet, and to begin querying the first one when I finish the second manuscript. The rest of the resolution is to get my dream agent and to sell before the end of 2007(I can't guarantee that, but I can guarantee the fact that I'll put my butt in the chair and my fingers to the keyboard).

Morag McKendrick Pippin said...

What I want to change for the New Year?

1) I'd like to write a book faster!
2) To lick procrastination. To beat it to a pulp and send it so far into outer space it will NEVER pester me again.
3) To read more fiction. Can't write if I don't read.
4) To remember to take my vitamins:-)
5) Take a dance class. Either Hula or Salsa.

carrie_lofty said...

Cheerio from the land of perpetual in-laws, otherwise known as England. I just finished a MASSIVE portion of fish'n'chips (good) and I'm seriously missing my laptop (bad). I have hand writing 25 pages of material since we arrived, which I'll have to read into the computer when we get home.

Sorry to both Bonnie & Christine that I haven't updated the side bar with your info yet. It's at the top of my list when computers are not in scarce supply. We're sharing this one between nine people at present!

I'm going to use my girls (ages 3 & 4) as the excuse as to why I do not read much anymore. If I manage to carve out hours enough to write daily, that means sacrificing everything else with regard to free time. Good thing we don't have cable! I become terribly distracted by other people's fiction when I am in the midst of writing my own, and hubby and I are big movie buffs, so that tends to consume our hours together.

-- Complete final edits on Serenade by the end of January
-- Finish first draft of WIP by March 15 (1000 words/day after I return from vacation); to submit by June 1
-- Finish its sequel by Sept 1 (1000/day); submit by Dec 1
-- Subtmit both of thoe to Golden Heart, unless publication mirculousness occurs
-- Stay faithful to my critique group by posting two reviews per month
-- Organize two workshops and shop them to various online campuses and/or conferences
-- Continue working on strategies to promote our small little blog :)

As for reading... heh. I'll get around to that again someday.

Christine Koehler said...

Resolutions? You are all so good at this. I make them, that’s not the problem. It’s in keeping them that I have difficulty. I hope, now that I’ve joined this blog with so many determined women, that this year will be different.

I actually don’t read much any more, too many things going on in my life to sit and read without my mind either A) shutting down with sleep or B) racing around like a mad thing with all I have to do. However, since I am in the car a lot, I listen to a lot of books. Audiobooks – best invention ever! Next on my list (after getting over my depression that there’s no more Christmas music on the radio) is The Handmaid’s Tale – anyone ever read it? I remember the movie, vaguely, but have never read the book.

And Carrie – don’t worry about it! Please! When you get to updating the sidebar, you do, please don’t stress on my account!

2007 Goals:

*Stop procrastinating!
*500 words a day no matter what. (unless I’m on my deathbed. Or unless I’m on vacation, not including the one I’m taking with my writing partner that includes us writing, and not counting the usually relaxing one to Myrtle Beach I take every year where I do actually have time to write. Or unless I’m babysitting my nephews – it’s terribly hard to even open a laptop with them around.)
*No more excuses!
*AT LEAST 500 words a day NO MATTER WHAT! With that goal in mind, I (we) should be finished our series of 4 in mere months.
*Start exercising again, do my Qi Chong every day, buy a hybrid car, plant at least 3 trees in accordance with the new UN Billion Tree Program, cut up my Macy’s card. I have no real hopes for that last one, but I included it only because I probably should cut it up.

Anonymous said...

Oh, goodness. I am going to wait to make any resolutions, but writing every day is one of THEM!

Vicki Gaia said...

Oh no, not resolutions! I'm not going to say I'll be more organized and write to a schedule, because for me, that'll never happen. But, I will write down what I'd like to accomplish for 2007 and put it away - I think there's immense power in the written word, regardless if it's published or not :)

Right now, I have one book to be edited before it's submitted to my editor, one book is half way finished and the third, just a dream...oh, and, one that I've promised (but haven't written yet). That should keep me busy for the next year ~ but there's always other things that crop up and I want to be able to change directions if need be.

Sandra Schwab said...

"Stop procrastinating!" (Plus "Learn how to spell it." *g*) definitely makes the top of the my list of new year's resolutions, too. It basically consists of

1) Stop procrastinating!

2) Finish next contracted ms without going mad first (deadlines simply terrify me).

3) Finish PhD project without going mad first.

4) Cut down chocolate and cookie consumption.

5) Don't go mad. :)

Marjorie Jones said...

Awesome goals all around!

Nine ppl on one computer. Ouch!

Cut down on Chocolate? Nevah!

Though I did squeeze my thighs into a pair of jeans (15's) that were purchased in the JUNIOR section of Walmart! Go me.


Anonymous said...

Finish more, sell more. There's something addictive about typing "the end" and even more so about selling.

Plus I need to continue converting my office from office-cum-storage to just plain office.

Nichole Ellis said...

Majorie, hi babe! It's your crit partner (Rom Hist)

Great goals for the year. You keep your health first and foremost, ya hear. What's that saying? If you don't have your health...

Okay, no more lectures. Well, I don't make resolutions, but I have decided that is the year I also treat this more seriously. I have created plans of action and wrote them on a calendar set aside for "writing only!"

So, on that note, today's goal is to work on my writing nook (I don't have a cave, just a corner, lol). My goal is to make it more "me" and less "house". I'm starting at the top and working my way down. Except for painting (which will come in spring), hope to finish by tomorrow.

Best of luck with your goals. Everyone is pulling for you.