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01 January 2011 @ 10:05 pm
I tend to take my new year's resolutions pretty seriously. Some years they've been a little frivolous, like the year my resolution was to watch Casablanca, but even then I did make sure to do it. They're usually pretty concrete, and measurable, and designed to be achievable though a bit of a stretch. A legacy of my years at Intel, I guess.

My resolution for 2010 was to read the Aubrey-Maturin books by Patrick O'Brien, in order. I knew up front I wouldn't be able to read all twenty-and-a-bit of them in one year, but I intended to read as many of them as I could. Well, that's what I did, and "as many as I could" turned out to be three: Master and Commander, Post Captain, and HMS Surprise, plus a little bit of the fourth (The Mauritius Command). Fairly pathetic, really, but I gave it my best shot. I intend to continue plugging away at them until I'm done, along with all the other reading I want to do.

In 2011 I need to get back on the writing horse in a big way, after the many Mars-related and travel-related disruptions of 2010. They were enjoyable and valuable disruptions, to be sure, but they did interfere with the word count. So my new year's resolution for 2011 is: finish and submit my current novel and make a good start on another novel.

To break down the elephant into smaller, more chewable chunks, I intend to attack this resolution as follows:

  • Complete the first draft of the current novel by the end of the first quarter (March 31);
  • Have the current novel critiqued, revise it, and submit it to at least one publisher by the end of the second quarter (June 30);
  • Write at least 30,000 words on a second novel by the end of the third quarter (September 30);
  • Have at least 60,000 words of draft on the second novel by the end of the year.
In support of these goals, I intend to write at least 500 words, preferably 1000, every day. Though I'm not going to get doctrinaire about it like I did in 2009; if I miss a day, that's life.

I know these goals are laughably unambitious by the standards of some of my writer friends, but for me they are a stretch. However, I think I can achieve them, with good quality, and if I can do this it'll be my best novel-writing year ever. Wish me luck!

crazysoph: deep cupcrazysoph on January 2nd, 2011 06:45 am (UTC)

Crazy(and rooting for you, since her goals are even more modest)Soph

PS thanks for being a real friend in 2010!!
Deannedeakat on January 2nd, 2011 03:08 pm (UTC)
Best of luck to you!
Steve Hutchisonfoomf on January 2nd, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
That phrase "break down the elephant into smaller, more chewable chunks" created several odd mental images until I suddenly thought, "Wait, are elephants kosher?"

At that point the metaphor derailed and I was struck by the notion of the Jerusalem Mammoth and its extinction through under-hunting, because it became mopey and angst-ridden.

I look forward to the next novel. My resolution is to finish my job hunt by becoming employed. It is to be hoped that I can accomplish this within the month.
paulshandy on January 3rd, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
Now that you've seen Casablanca, you should read Umberto Eco's essay "Casablanca: Cult Movies and Intertextual Collage," in his collection "Travels in Hyperreality."

I wish I could have seen the look on my face while reading a seperate essay in that collection he wrote in the 70s about the need for a new mass media that would allow the people to talk back in order to preserve democracy from plutocracy.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on January 3rd, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC)
Somehow I don't think it worked out quite the way he'd hoped...