Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions for 2013

A few days ago, I found myself thinking about New Year's Resolutions. More specifically, I didn't know what to do for mine. I make one every year, usually failing early on in the year, but never really know what to do. It's a force of habit making one, with the special psychological effect of it seeming significant, even when it's not.

So, I Googled it.

As it turns out, there are common New Year's Resolutions - lose weight, give up smoking, travel, etc. - and the one big thing that lets people down? Specificity. I wrote about this on Tumblr, but the gist of it is this: if we're not specific about our Resolutions (instead of lose weight, lose a pound a week, for example) then we're much more likely to fail.

With that in mind, I thought about last year's New Year's Resolution, for 2012. I wanted to write every day. In fairness, this went quite well for some time, until I became too damn exhausted to think about what to write, and I gave up on journalling my days. That's two things I could have done but didn't, and as a result: failure.

That doesn't mean my Resolution was too ambitious. Far from it. I just didn't have my head wrapped around it properly. So for 2013, I plan on writing every single day, without fail, but with some specific help. I have a list on my wall on a sheet of yellow paper, right in my line of vision at all times, of seven things I can write, if I can't think of anything. That's seven categories, mind you, not seven items. In order, they are:

  1. A blog post,
  2. A poem,
  3. A flash story,
  4. 500 words of a novella,
  5. 500 words of an article,
  6. A video script, and
  7. 500 words of a non-fiction book.
Going by my schedule, the first three are to be posted every week - on Monday, Wednesday and Friday respectively - and everything else is an added bonus. I have more detail per point on the poster, but the main thing is that there are options available to me.

Click the appropriate link:
To make the articles easier to write, I haven't left myself without some help. In a green envelope on my desk, right underneath the poster, there are assignment cards (on coloured paper, don't you know). Each assignment is a word or phrase, with space to plan (roughly) around that word. When the article(s) per assignment are written, the assignment then goes into the red envelope on my desk. Why? Think of it like traffic lights: green to go, red to stop.

So far, I have 40 cards in the envelope, but I have a whole list of topics I still have to put onto card to add in. What this boils down to is more than one assignment per week, if I so chose to write articles all the time, by the time I actually put everything onto cards. All of these assignments, however, are based on one thing: writing. I have ideas for other areas of interest that aren't in the envelope, because I want to be able to write them without chance being involved.

Yes, chance. I won't know until I take out an assignment what it will be. I have five different colours of paper in the envelope, so currently eight assignments per colour. That's already more than enough for me to forget what's written on what colour paper. I can't choose at all. I did that so I wouldn't get caught up thinking I have to write an article about something, even if I didn't especially want to.

Not all of these articles will make it online, of course. Being split as they are into subjects, I could easily choose to make the topics parts of a book. This enables me to keep focused, and should encourage me to keep writing from the green envelope every day I find myself stuck for something to write about.

Writer's Block, you can consider yourself vanquished.

So, there it is, my New Year's Resolution, and how I plan to kick it's ass. 2013 is going to be a busy year, that's for sure, but I think my Resolution is definitely manageable.

What about you? What are you doing for New Year's?

No comments: