Every January first, I'm tempted to succumb to the tradition of making "New Years Resolutions" and pretend to plan to make positive changes in my life. These include personal as well as professional resolutions.
1. Lose twenty pounds.
2. Watch fewer "reality" shows.
3. Write every day.
4. Get an agent.
5. Get my young adult fantasy published.
The above "resolutions," although good intentioned, have a somewhat mystic quality of a wish rather than a resolution. Its as if I could dig a magic lamp out of my backyard, rub it three times, and win the equivalent of the writer's lottery: a book contract.
So this year, my NYR consists of one item:
1. Make goals that I have control over achieving instead of wishes.
So my new list includes:
1. Exercise daily.
2. Write every day.
3. Add to my blog at least once a week.
4. Write an awesome query letter.
5. Submit the above awesome query letter to appropriate agents and editors.
6. Attend local conferences to network with fellow writers, hone my craft, and meet appropriate agents and editors.
7. Read within and outside my genre.
These are goals within my power to accomplish. Borrowing an educational term, they are "measurable" instead of just "wishable." This is a list that can earn check marks as each item is completed. Most allow for multiple "checks" for an extra boost to my goal-setting ego.
And with some hard work and a little luck, maybe I will win the writer's lottery and earn a book contract in 2013, too.