xerinmichellex: (stock: key and lips)
First: Cut for health stuff again )

Now this year's resolutions, quick and to the point:

1. Don't be afraid to ask for help

Between putting off my health issues and, in general, bottling up my feelings, I want to try and be better about asking for help or voicing my feelings when something isn't going right. I want to get to a point where asking for help isn't because I'm a failure or not smart or not capable of doing things for myself. I want to reach out and accept the help of others. Because I feel like I'm good at giving advice and willing to help; and yet, I don't like accepting help or assistance for myself. So I want to break that and whatever stigma I have against asking for help when I truly need it.

(I also want to start keeping a writing journal again. I did a good job of it years ago, when I was balancing work and writing [mostly the journal was to bitch about work, tbh]. I think that'll help with my feelings of hopelessness and hashing out why I find myself procrastinating with writing.)

2. Cook one, new recipe/meal every other week

Again with my health being what it is, I've been trying to eat better and not be afraid to try new things. I'm a very picky eater; but instead of turning up my nose before I've had something, I'm going to actually put it in my mouth and eat it before I say, "No, I don't like it." I've been flipping through my mother's cookbooks and marking recipes I want to try. So it's about time I try them instead of staring at their picture and imagining myself eating it...some day.

3. Complete The Book and have it in querying order by the end of the year

Pretty self explanatory. If all things go well, I should start the first (terrible) draft of The Book on Monday; and even if I only write two paragraphs THAT'S OKAY. A FULL 80K BOOK ISN'T GOING TO MAGICALLY FALL INTO MY COMPUTER IN TWO WEEKS! Ahem. This year I really want to focus on finishing the thing and not even worry about querying until the new year. (Unless, of course, that 80K book magically falls into place before the end of the year.) It's been, hmm, about 4 years since I've done any querying. Basically, I'm starting over and re-learning everything and I want time to do that and not muck it up right out of the gate.

No reading resolutions this year; I didn't read a whole lot in 2013. I'm really trying to focus on getting myself healthy--physically and mentally--and focus on one "superficial" thing this year than freak out over hitting a magical books-read number. Although the TBR piles--yes, piles--next to my bed may disagree.
xerinmichellex: (film: Jane Eyre - Jane/Rochester)
Because every new year brings new resolutions. Or in my case, a second chance to complete one.

1. Finish one manuscript

Typically around this time I post how many manuscripts I completed during the year. At least, I did two years ago when I could complete one or three. It should come as no surprise that I did not complete a manuscript. (In fact, I never started one.)

However, I feel much closer to beginning a manuscript than I have in years. So, recycling a resolution from last year, I WILL complete a manuscript in the next 365 days. There's a story idea that's been rattling around my head for over a year now. I think it's time to let it out. (You know what would be awesome? If someone could invent a Pensive-type device. Only, instead of being a reflective pool, it could pull out ideas and translate them to words on a page. I think many writers--or creative thinkers--would like something like that. I know I would.)

2. Use my "eccentricities" to my advantage

Without going into a long-winded discussions into these so-called eccentricities, I spent a lot of 2012 doing a bit of self discovery. More specifically, why I do certain things and how these things manifest and affect me. I'm very much a problem-solver who needs to know how the problem came to be before I can solve it. I've also accepted that these changes won't occur over night, no matter how much I tell myself they will.

3. Read 5 books that have sat on my To-Read List for years and years

Usually my last resolution is to read x-amount of books. I'm changing things up a bit this year and instead focusing on books I always say I'm going to read, but then never do. They are (in no particular order):

1. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
2. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
3. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
4. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas*
5. The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling**

I also want to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird sometime in the year because, like all high school required reading, I don't think I gave the book a fair chance.

*I tried reading this back in Junior Year (HS) on a plane ride to Georgia and only made it about 50 pages.

**Technically this one counts as "research".

Whatever your resolutions are--should you chose to do them--I hope everyone has a successful and happy new year!
xerinmichellex: (Young Victoria)
New year, new resolutions. Here are mine:

1. Finish one manuscript. No shocker there considering my last post. I want to complete at least one. It can even be a first draft at this point, I don't care. I just want a finished product. Normally I also have "Get an agent" as a resolution; but this year, I simply want a manuscript that could lead to representation...whether that be this year, or next year, or some other year.

2. Read 12 novels that qualify for the 2012 Debut Authors Challenge. I went above and beyond my reading resolution last year (final book list to be posted next week), and since I want 2012 to be the year I refocus on my writing, I've resolved not to go "crazy" with reading. Along with 12 debut novels, I would also like to read Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind at some point this year since I've wanted to tackle this tome for years now.

Success!

Oct. 13th, 2011 10:25 am
xerinmichellex: ([stock]: books)
As of 12:33 am this (early) morning, I've read 100 books this year and completed one of my resolutions. Actually, the original resolution was to read 61 books--11 of which were for the 2011 Debut Challenge. I passed that number for both cases a few months ago and decided, since more than half the year was left, I'd shoot for another 39.

Now, it's just my own curiosity interested in seeing how many more books I can cram into the last three months. (And yes, I'm still working with two TBR piles.) I hope it's not a lot because in terms of my writing-to-reading ratio, the odds are in reading's favor--but that's a post for another time. Instead of sticking my credit card in the freezer, I think I need to encase my library card in a block of ice.

ETA: Aaaaaaand an hour after I posted this I made a mad dash to the library to get Scott Westerfeld's Goliath...and two more books. *cries*
xerinmichellex: ([stock]: books)
A little update on my read-61-books-this-year resolution. As of now, I've read 20 books...so I'm about 1/3 of the way done. I've been in a reading frenzy since January, cut that'll probably slow down since I'm started a new manuscript today. (Almost at 2,000 words, which is the farthest I've gotten these past 6 months. I am not even kidding. Fingers crossed that I can actually stick this one out.)

Going over my Read-Books List, I realized that most of the books were YA--13 paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy and 5 contemp. Compare that to the one adult Sci-Fi, H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, and one classic, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Yeah. I know it's great and all to have a nitch-genre, but I kinda feel bad for not going outside my comfort zone. That's not to say that reading YA is a bad thing, 'cause there's plenty of smart, edgy YA choices to make, and if I want to write YA, I have to know what's out there. I just feel like, being 23, I should, you know, get some adult novels. I'm old enough to drink--I think I can handle a grown-up book.

So, I've decided to broaden my reading choices. This is the perfect time, as with the way things are going, I'll have 61 books read by September. Plus, this will help me get through my miles long list of books I want to read. I forced myself yesterday to grab a Stephen King novel (The Green Mile) at the library. (My first Stephen King novel too! Don't judge me!) (Okay, I also walked out with two other YA novels. Again: Don't judge me!) I just have to stop making a beeline for the YA section at the library, and choose books off the adult fiction aisles. Next time, I promise I'll get two adult books. And maybe the last Wicked Lovely book if it's there.
xerinmichellex: (Helena dancer)
I made three resolutions for this year. In no particular order (other than how impossible it will be to stick to them, from top to bottom):

1. Get an agent.

Yeah, I know, your resolutions shouldn't be for things you cannot control. But this has been my number one resolution going on three years now. Maybe four. I think of it less as a resolution and more as a goal...and goals help you do things. So, yeah.

2. Be a better planner/manage my time better.

Basically, I want to start a manuscript and stay with it. All told, I started six last year, one of which got finished and five that I stopped working on after a few chapters. (Not to mention the skeletal remains of other manuscripts that I tried working on too.) I'd also like to get back into my normal routine of writing at least 2K words a day, Monday through Friday. Something--a mental block of sorts--derailed me this summer, where I'd get a substantial amount written one day and then nothing the rest of the week. I really want 2011 to be a good year--a better year than suck-tacular 2010. The only way I can make it better is to keep working, and have that work pay off.

3. Read 61 books for 2011.

61? What an odd little number. Well, eleven of those books are for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge, while 50 is just for fun. Or "research." *does shifty eyes* I think I read 50 books last year--or close to it--so this resolution might be the most achievable on the scale of achievability.

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