Every year, I make a New Year’s resolution, knowing that I don’t really plan to take it that seriously. I might make a halfhearted effort for a week or so, but once the holidays are well enough behind me I forget about it entirely. Last year my resolution was to drink less coffee and use my iPhone less. I failed miserably at both (and the coffee one is just laughable now in retrospect).
This year, in an effort to be accountable so that I might, you know, actually follow through with my resolution, I’m going to state it publicly, and then you can all point me toward this blog post when I’m inevitably failing at it a few months from now.
2014 being my debut year, which is bound to be insanely hectic and all-consuming, I’m making a few resolutions:
Don’t stress about the things I can’t control. There’s so much writers have no control over the publishing world (whether or not people will like our books being chief among them), but worrying about it has no effect on the outcome, except to make some very cranky writers. We can, however, control our writing, so I resolve to focus on that and to not give much headspace to all that other stuff.
Be present. This one is sort of related to last year’s iPhone resolution. It’s so easy when you have a book coming out soon to get so wrapped up in the publication world that you let work be #1 in your life, which: not cool. So I resolve to put the iPhone away, push book concepts, marketing plans and blog interviews out of my mind, and just be in the moment with my family.
Keep my eyes on my own paper. It’s been said often before, but everyone’s publication path is different, and it’s crazy-making to compare yourself to someone else. And yet? It’s hard not to. But much like worrying about things you can’t control, playing the comparison game doesn’t actually have any effect except to make a person miserable. And plus, you can never really know someone else’s journey, or what came before it that led to their current success. You can only know you. Therefore I resolve to stop comparing myself to others.
Enjoy the ride. The publishing process has been compared to a rollercoaster ride, and that’s pretty much the most apt metaphor I’ve ever heard: there are thrilling highs and nauseating lows, and it’s very easy to focus on those lows when they’re happening to you. I resolve to focus on the highs instead, to actively seek out things to be happy about, and, to quote my critique partner, to quit being such a miserable cow. (Man I love that Ruth Lauren Steven).
So there it is, folks. I hope you all have a happy holiday season, and I’ll see you again in 2014! THE YEAR MY BOOK COMES OUT!!!!!