2013 New Year Writing Goals

Happy New Year! How did you spend the last night of 2012? Mine involved drinking punch, eating cheeses & olives and dancing with my Beta, but perhaps the less said about that the better! (No, it was awesome. I’m always up for punch with fresh blueberries and strawberries in it.)

The ever lovely Emily (@ekmarquart) inspired me to examine what I want to achieve with my writing this year, so the following is (hopefully) my promises to myself.

Finish my current manuscript.

Did I tell you that my manuscript was “almost ready”? Well, I’m a blatant liar, that’s what I am. Maybe every writer goes through the same motions. A few weeks ago I LOVED my manuscript. It might have been something to do with the lychee martini that was accompanying me while I edited. But now, I look at it and I HATE it. These are harsh words. I know I’ll look at it tomorrow and think it’s not so bad, maybe I might even acknowledge that some parts are good. What I have to do is navigate through the push and pull and get this thing DONE. And to accomplish that I need to…

Be kinder to myself.

Trinity wrote a beautiful piece here, about setting personal bars and I couldn’t empathize more. Trying to compare myself to someone else can be a way to motivate, aspire and aim high – but when one is feeling low, it can also be soul sapping and detrimental. But ultimately we can’t help but always make comparisons, because it’s a human way to make sense of our place in the scheme of the writerly world. I’ll always sub-consciously do it, but I’m going to consciously say to myself more – when I’m sick of this room with all the bars and ladders, I’m going to go into the empty room next door and dance to the music I hear in my head (which may or may not be Robert Palmer) and be free to do my own thing.

Start something new.

Did I mention aiming high before? I want to complete my current manuscript and then write a first draft of an entirely new one before the year is out. This might seem impossible right now, but I’m very pugnacious. I have no idea what I want to write, but part of the fear is also the excitement. I love new beginnings.

Venture into The Land Where Abandoned Manuscripts Go to Languish and Die.

Does everyone else also have a deep secret draw of stuff they’ve started but never finished, abandoned beginnings and a general garbage heap of sketches, ideas, single sentences etc? I cringe when I think about it. I have a folder called “emo things” that may require a gas mask and radioactive equipment before I dare touch it. But 2013 is the year I tidy up (or at least look at) the things I wrote maybe 5 years ago. I might discover an accidentally thrown out gem. Or at least have a good laugh, a retrospective and (maybe sentimental) understand better how far I’ve come. It after all, is the year of being easier on myself.

Remember to write down my new ideas.

I’m terrible at recording stuff. The amount of times I’ve said inside my head “hey, that’s a great idea” and then promptly forget 10 minutes later is astounding. This year I will make a concerted effort to keep a little pocket book with me and force myself to scribble in it. Maybe this time I will capture that million dollar idea. Or not. But I like the idea of having something physical in the end, rather than thinking I can hold it all in my head and then losing it all.

Become an astonishingly rich, uber famous full time author. Oh and my book will be turned into a movie (or a TV series, but only if it can’t be a movie).

Don’t we all wish? But seriously, writing is an art you do for yourself, if you’re in it for the money then that’s a completely wrong way about it. It should be about writing a book that in 50 years time will last as a classic, not about which bandwagon you can jump on so you too can “succeed”. Having said that, I would love, love, love to gain international rights, but only so that more people can read my work:-) I don’t ever want to lose the romance of why I did all this in the first place.

 What are your New Year Writing Resolutions?

Will 2013 be your year?

Do you promise to be nicer to your inner writer? (because you do deserve it, you know)



Excellent goals, Shirley. You can do it, because you’re worth it.

shirley marr
shirley marr

Thanks Sairz! I’ll be back at the end of the year to recap what I did and didn’t do – that’ll be exciting. I’ll reply your email soon too!;-)


I completely know what you mean about the love-hate relationship with WIPs. 🙂 I’m not the only one! I usually end up with such a bad relationship that I don’t finish the book… oops. Maybe I should look at my land of abandoned manuscripts, too. 🙂

shirley marr
shirley marr

Don’t give up Mime! I don’t think there is such thing as a perfect manuscipt romance, it just feels that way when you start – but soon enough like any relationship, all the cracks start to appear. Just keep working on it! xx

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