Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's that time--resolutions that work


The cover of my upcoming novel release on February 24th.

 Yes, yes, it's that awful time of year, resolution time, ugh. But, it doesn't have to be painful and we don't have to fail. With three general tools success will be the key word for 2012.

First tool: PRIORITIZE. Instead of trying to: lose weight, stop smoking, exercise, eat only fresh food cooked yourself, write five new novels, learn Spanish and French, grow three inches taller even though you're 55 years old and ... well, you get the idea ... instead ask "What's most important to me to accomplish in 2012?" Focus on that one thing. That's why I have the cover of my upcoming novel as an illustration. My most important priority is to write the second in this trilogy: THE MALL FAIRIES: WAR.

Second tool: ORGANIZE. My mom called this "clearing the decks." There are a lot of ways to stumble and fall off the ship if your deck isn't clear. While organizing, refer often to your #1 priority and set up systems that will support that priority. For example, I like to work to self-imposed deadlines, so a calendar with those deadlines noted helps. Which brings me to the final suggestion ...

Third and perhaps most important tool: BREAK IT UP. Trying to do everything all at once is an automatic failure. Imagining writing 300+ pages for the new w.i.p. makes it seem an impossible task. Break up your first priority into manageable pieces. For myself, I can't write an entire novel in a month, I've done NaNoWriMo and never turned out 50,000 words total. BUT, I can often do 1000 words a day, or one scene a day. So I compute how long it will take (and give myself a little wriggle room) and impose my deadlines accordingly.

I hope this helps with everyone's resolutions. Readers, any suggestions? Any stories of what has worked for you?

SEE YOU IN 2012!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas! TAKE A BREAK!

Three views of my blooming Christmas Cactus!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! 
The title of this post comes from my noticing that several stores are OPEN Christmas Day--oh, for heaven sakes. Then I realized that us creative folk also often "stay open" every day. That only leads to fatigue and an empty well of creativity. So everyone, I suggest you take tomorrow off, regardless of your beliefs. Just cause.
And here's a video Christmas card starring Puck, our rat terrier, Puck the Puppy's Christmas Wish.