Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year, Blank Page

What do you think of New Year’s resolutions? Personally, I like to make them, and I like to make them into goals for things that I really, really want to do.

2008 was a great year for me, and I did achieve most of the resolutions/goals that I had set for myself on January 1, 2008. But I want to do something different for 2009. I want to regard my goals for this year as things already accomplished.

I got the idea when a friend recently told me she had trouble writing the endings to her stories. She enjoyed writing the beginnings and middles, but the endings kept eluding her.

Endings have never bothered me for one simple reason: I write them first! Which made me think that’s how I want to approach 2009: by writing down five goals I want to think of as “finished.” With that done, I can then move on to let myself be surprised by whatever happy discoveries come my way in the pursuit of these goals.

For example, rather than saying I want to publish three books in 2009, I’m going to say, “I published three books in 2009.” Instead of, “I want to have a full sketchbook of new ideas,” I’ll write: “I have a full sketchbook with enough ideas to last me well into 2010.” Somehow, looking at my resolutions this way takes the pressure off; they’re already a given and I can spend more time doing what I love best—moving forward and exploring unknown creative territory without the need to always “get it right.”

Tip of the Day: Write your endings first. If you’re writing a novel, write the last five pages. For a short story or an essay, write just the last page. Screenplay—write the last scene. Poetry—the last line. And give yourself a reward afterwards. Let me know what happens. Happy New Year!


charlotte fairchild said...

The end is near
But so unclear
I'll get roundtuit!

I don't write my endings first, but it would be more fun if I did! That would be a great exercise!

Anonymous said...

I like your idea of rephrasing your goals as already accomplished. I'll use that tactic this year. I also appreciate your writing tips on your website. Your website turned out great!

Anonymous said...

I just ordered your book and I left a review! I know it is going to be fun to read! I almost bought 4 copies, but then decided to wait until I am rich, but I can ask the library to order your book!

You don't have to review my book before you read it. After I read your book, I will review it again, and cut it to ribbons--NOT!

Anonymous said...

I set goals like this monthy on every aspect of my life. And I have done so for the last year or so. I tell ya it really works for me. I write it down on a piece of paper...
I am so happy and greatful that.....
And I read it everyday and act as if it has already happened. And I try to imagine how I will feel when it is a fact of my life.
I can not tell you how this way of thinking has changed my life. It is truely amazing.