Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Writing Goals for 2011
I could make a list of the concrete results I'd like to see in 2011. Like, I need to finish my current WIP, but at the moment, I hate it so much that I can barely open the file. I need to do final revisions on my other completed novel. And I need to start at least one new book.
To me, that list doesn't mean very much. I don't have control over a lot of it. I don't even feel like I have control over myself sometimes. In the last year, I've had months when I wrote nothing, and I've had months when I wrote nearly a hundred thousand words. I have no idea when these things are going to happen, and I've stopped trying to predict it.
Instead of focusing on those results, I think I'll focus on process.
I need to figure out how to be a writer.
Here's how I think of myself now, at the beginning of 2011: I'm a psychologist. (Professionally speaking of course. I have many personal roles, but that's not what I'm talking about here). I've written a few books in my spare time, but I don't think of myself as a "writer". I never planned to be one, never dreamed of it. It feels strange to be part of this community of writers, because, to be honest, I feel a bit like an outsider, an amateur, a beginner ... an impostor. I barely feel like I have a right to any of this.
And in 2011, I need to get over myself.
I need to get comfortable in this skin. I need to accept that it's MY skin, and not just a disguise I wear sometimes.
I need to decide who I want to be. I need to settle in, find my stride, and readjust my ... self.
I'm not entirely sure what this process of becoming a writer will entail, but I imagine it will involve a lot of stumbling and bumbling around, about 30-40 intimidatingly well-written YA books, a heavy dose of discomfort with myself, dozens of kicks in the pants (and cyberhugs) from beta readers/agency mates/agent ... yanno, the usual stuff.
How will I know if I've achieved this goal? By the end of this year, I'd like to feel less like I'm wearing a writer disguise. I'd like the words "I'm a writer" to come rolling off my tongue without my internal bulls$%t detector going off. And by the end of the year, I'd like to have written something I can look at and say: "Well, it's not there yet, but it's much better than what I could do in January."
Be sure to check out the rest of the Sisterhood's posts: Lydia's, from last week, and Laura's, from two weeks ago. And next week, Deb will be posting her writing goals for 2011.
And what are your writing goals for 2011? Are you results-oriented or process-oriented? Both? Neither?