Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One Writer's Jew Year Resolutions

So, the Jewish New Year is here, y'all. Every year at the beginning of autumn, Jews get together and reflect on how they haven't behaved as well as they could have, or had the best outlook on things, and what changes they need to make.

It's not only about Jewish stuff, or religious stuff. In fact, that's not usually even the stuff that matters most. Thinking about that had me thinking about the past five weeks of my writing life, since I started querying.

While I think I have a pretty decent attitude most of the time, there have been moments when that I haven't been my best writer self. I won't go into details, because I'm sure those of you who have felt stuck or frustrated at any stage of your writing can imagine, or have been there yourself. (And my writing besties have seen some bad attitude-ing firsthand.)

Anyway. It's the New Year, and this one is going to be awesome. I'm hoping, by this time next year, I'll be one step closer to publication. Whatever that means. But I think the only way I'm going to get there is if I really focus to digging in for the long haul. So, here are the things I'm resolving to focus on as a writer at the beginning of this year:

Humility - No matter how good I think my stuff is, or how solid of a handle I think I have on things - I don't. There's always more to learn. Most of all, no one owes me anything. I have to learn to accept that, no matter how hard I work, I might never see my work in print. I am a goal-oriented person, so this is really tough for me. Daily I have to take time to remind myself that I'm doing this for love of writing, so so so much more than for anything else.

Perspective - This is a business, and rejection is nothing personal. And even though I have a better handle on things than lots of people, I'm still so far behind the pack of pros.

Patience -  I am a little fish in a huuuuge pond. Compared to so many thousands of other writers, I haven't been doing this for long at all. I need to be patient with myself, with my writing, with the agents I'm asking to consider it.

Determination - No matter how many glaring problems my CPs point out with my writing, or  how many rejections I get, or how much my wrists ache, or how many times I rewrite an opening, or how stubborn the writer's block, if I really, really want to see my work in print, I must accept that it will never happen if I give up.

Whew! Those are some big ones.

Anything you're hoping to improve about your writerly self in the near future? If you share, I will feel like less of a jerk. *bats eyes*

11 comments:

  1. You have a great attitude. Humility is something we all have to accept, and it's hard when you are a go-getter, goal-driven person like yourself.

    Sounds like you have the right frame of mind in thinking about your writing. Find that good crit group and stick with it. But be true to yourself, too.

    L'shanah tovah!

    (I hope I got that right.)

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  2. Yes, yes, and yes to the humility thing. You and Gina and a couple other people blow my head up like a balloon, and then I walk around feeling all superior until someone finally pops it. (Not your fault, though--I used to have other people inflate my ego. It's not difficult to do.)

    So yeah. I also need to let go of all this author jealousy and bitterness. Because we all know I've got plenty of that...

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  3. You're an amazing person, Leigh Ann! About the things I'm hoping to improve in my writerly self... Can I just say your list? They all sound perfect and just what I need.

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  4. I have days where I'm an ace at all those things... and then I get an inbox full of rejections and my good attitude goes out the window. Though I do think it's important to allow ourselves to be disappointed - as long as we bounce back and try again.

    Happy "Jew" Year! Be warned, Jewish or not, I will be sending you a Christmas card, LOL!

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  5. Stumbled across this post and I just have to say I love your goals for the new year. I think those four words are things all writers, at any stage, need to have. :)

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  6. I could definitely identify with your points! Writer's block is a big one for me. I tend to give up if I'm blocked. I need to learn to persevere!

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  7. I hope you have a great new year. I think you have an awesome list! I have not gone into the land of querying, but I know it is hard. You are an awesome writer, and it will pay off. Thanks for the great goals.

    One of mine, would just be to devote more quality time to my writing. ;0)

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  8. Big goals and GOOD ones!!! Shana tov!

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  9. Humility and patience indeed. Some days I think I have been sent here simply to learn patience;)

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  10. I completely agree. Except for one point...

    I believe that if you (and all of us dedicated writers) continue to work hard and expand and grow, you will see your work in print.

    I think we have to believe--and I certainly believe that if I just keep pounding toward this goal, I will be an agented and published author. And, darn it, you should believe that you will be too.

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