I resolve to write fiction and creative nonfiction more regularly.
I do not resolve to write fiction and creative nonfiction every day, because I have to work on my other book (my dissertation), which may as well be titled The Book with One Million Footnotes or The Book That No One (Including Me) Will Want to Read.
I resolve to use my envy of other people's success to motivate myself to achieve my own goals.
I do not resolve to never be envious again, especially since I wish I had other women's hair at least 537 times a week and I can literally feel my eyes turning green whenever the other grad students go on and on about their academic accomplishments. I think that jealousy is part of human nature, and it's impossible to say that I'll never envy anyone again. I think the important thing is to learn to deal with it in a more productive way, rather than in a "I'm going to kick you if you make me feel bad about my lack of academic accomplishments ONE more time" way.
I resolve to send my work out to more literary magazines and writing competitions. I'm still working on two novels, but a lot of writers have advised fiction writers like me to send short stories out to literary magazines first. They say you don't need an agent for those, and this way I can assemble a portfolio to show potential agents when the time comes. For a long time I kept my writing hidden away in my notebooks and on my computer. But this past year, when I sent a story to a literary magazine, I received an encouraging rejection letter. The editors said that they were impressed with my writing and that even though that particular story wasn't right for them, they encouraged me to send them another one. And THAT made me feel good. Even though I got rejected, it made me feel like a writer.
I do not resolve to tell certain people about my dream of becoming a writer, especially because I prefer to keep my writing life a secret (outside of the blogosphere, that is). I tried to tell a few people before, but they either ridiculed my goal or made me feel like my writing would never be good enough. Obviously, I told the wrong people.
I like making resolutions every year, because it makes me feel like the new year is full of promise; in a way, it gives us a chance to make a fresh start. But I also think it's important to be realistic about the kinds of resolutions you make, which is why I would never resolve to win American Idol (especially because my voice makes people cover their ears and run away) or to win the heart of the new Bachelor (especially because I really DON'T want someone who murmurs sweet nothings in the ears of two dozen other women at the same time that he's "dating" me).
What about you? Did you make any resolutions this year?
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