Monday, January 3, 2011

A Resolution to Stick With... or Fail. Whatever

The last few days up to the New Year were filled with much moping and bitter disappointment for me, upon discovering that I only completed one of my twelve New Year's resolutions for 2010 (Resolution #3 - Step out of my comfort zone and join a writing critique group - check!).

And though I almost completed a few of my other eleven goals, overall, I failed. Hard. And this year, I had planned on setting goals - write every day, that would have been by biggest resolution - but then I decided I wasn't going to fail again, because I'm tired of hating myself because of it.

Therefore, NO RESOLUTIONS FOR ME!

Which made me feel even more like a failure because I'm admitting to myself that I can't even set the goals I want for fear I'll pants out of them.

-Enter more moping and bitter disappointment-

AND THEN I got an email from the fantabulous Heather Kelly and Jon Arntson, two of my writing buddies, and I discovered that I was making the wrong kind of resolution in the wrong kind of way. Setting ambitious goals, and then having no one to hold me accountable is hard. Setting those goals and then failing makes me feel icky. But setting a goal along with my friends, having comrades to hold me accountable, AND having a plan for success even upon failure is exactly what I need.

Their plan is simple:

1. PICK A WRITING RESOLUTION. ANY WRITING RESOLUTION.

Mine is to write/revise every day.

2. PICK A CHARITY DEAR TO YOUR HEART.

Mine is going to be First Book - an organization to provide books to children, shelters, schools and daycare centers in need (click the link if you haven't heard of this fantastic charity!)

3. EACH AND EVERY TIME THAT YOU DON'T MEET YOUR RESOLUTION, DONATE TO YOUR CHARITY.

I'm starting with a $20 donation, and every day I don't hit my goal, I'm donating $1 to my charity. It only takes $2 to provide a book to a child that doesn't have one - so two days of failing to hit my goal means one book to a child in need.

4. BLOG ABOUT YOUR RESOLUTION AND CHARITY, AND CHECK OUT THE OTHER WRITERS ROCKING RESOLUTION 2011

Heather is keeping a long list of other participants and their awesome goals and charities over at her blog and all other writers are invited to join in any time! Just email Heather at hegkelly at gmail dot com with a link to your post about your Resolution 2011, or with any questions.

And now I have a resolution to stick with. Or fail. Whatever. I'm pretty happy about either!

Thanks, Jon and Heather!

xoxo,

10 comments:

Oh Mandie said...

very very cool resolution! You can't lose :)

Heather Kelly said...

Marisa--this is the best post ever!! I'm so glad that this resolution makes sense to you--I love it that there is NO WAY TO FAIL. I'm so excited about what 2011 will bring!! Yay!

Now we just have to find a way to spin everything else in our writing lives so we can't fail. Like querying agents. hmmm... Any ideas?

Heather Kelly said...

P.S.--First Book was on the short list of charities we were thinking about as well--so excellent!!

Beka said...

Hmmmm, very very interesting!!!

Laura Pauling said...

It is cool. And it does sound like you were bit zealous with your goals. Simple ones work best. I can't say I'll write everyday, even though I usually do, not including weekends, because my goals are usually in the way of word count per week. Good luck with meeting this one goal!!! You can do it.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Yay, Marisa! Glad you joined us! Maybe I'll see you in The Practice Room some time soon!

KJ said...

I think this is a great idea.

You may also want to check out Christine Kane's blog -- she recommends instead of resolutions choosing one word to be your sort of guidepost for the year. (But she explains it much more eloquently than I do!)

At any rate, don't feel icky. I think we tend to expect the New Year to bring in New Versions Of Ourselves...when in reality, we're such creatures of habit.

This year, as always, I have a TON of changes I want to make (ranging from my business to my behind) but I'm focusing on consistent baby steps (though it's in my impatient nature to want to reinvent my entire life overnight.)

KJ

P.S. I was sad to see you close your shop!

Tina Laurel Lee said...

I'm so looking forward to this year. I think all of us at TPR needed a little reboot. That is what a new year and a resolution is all about. And it is gonna feel good no matter which way we float it. Yay! for a little win-win.

They call me mommy... said...

This is fantastic!

Kristi said...

Hmmm...does writing a blog post everyday count as "writing every day?" I have considered making this exact same resolution to boost my writing motivation, but I've been too certain of failure. I also really like the idea of joining a critique group. By the time I choose my resolution, the year will be half over.

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