I’m bad at New Year’s resolutions, which is why, as a rule, I don’t make them. It’s not just that I seldom KEEP my resolutions that makes me eschew them, however. It’s also that I figure if it’s a good idea to do (or not do) something, it’s just as good an idea on December 31 as it is on January 1 and why wait?
Notwithstanding, I did realize I have one goal for myself in the coming year, although I had already implemented it before the end of 2010. Quite simply, it’s this: NO NEW SHINIES. In 2011, I will allow myself to write anything that already has at least a page written, but I will not start any new manuscripts. No matter how awesome a new idea seems, no matter how tired I am of the stories I have to choose from.
The reason I’m making this pact with myself is simple: I’m a great starter and a lousy finisher. I’ve always been this way, and I’ve always known it was a tendency I’d have to struggle against. But now, with 2010 behind me and only two completed manuscripts to show for that entire year (although I wrote several hundred thousand words, I’m sure), it’s very clear to me that I have to confine myself to the books I’ve already started writing. And there are a LOT of them. I mean, A LOT. In fact, in no particular order, here is a list of manuscripts I could tackle this year if I ONLY choose from the ones I have started (not including my active WIP, a category-style romance I’m determined to have done by mid-February at the latest):
- Single-title contemporary romance, currently at 20,000+ words
- Middle grade mystery, currently at 16,000 words
- Historical (Edwardian) urban fantasy, currently around 10,000 words
- Book 1 in futuristic series, currently at 7,000 words
- Historical (Regency) romance, currently at 8,250 words
- “Boy” YA, currently at 5,000 words
- Category romance, currently at 3,000 words
- Contemporary romance novella, currently at 4,500 words
- Short historical (Ancient Greece…yes, really) romance, currently at 2,500 words
And those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head. There are undoubtedly a dozen more at one stage or another, just waiting for me to give them my attention. Which means there is absolutely no excuse for starting anything new this year unless (and this is a caveat I don’t would love to have to employ but don’t particularly expect to) I were to finish and sell one of the books on this list, in which case, I might be obligated to write more in that vein to satisfy the contract.
So, that’s my goal for 2011. It’s simple and straightforward and I will consider it a major success if I can adhere to it. (My fingers are already itching!)