December 31, 2015

Doing the Resolution Thing

Doing the Resolution Thing - www.LysandraJames.com

It's the fifth Thursday again. Which means it's time to update you on my own personal dream-chasing progress.

I stalled. Oh, yes. I did. Big time.

It all started when I got sick just after Thanksgiving. Sick as in please-just-let-me-sleep-so-I-don't-have-to-be-conscious-anymore kind of sick. I was miserable and I could barely see straight. So I didn't get up at 5:00 am for several days in an effort to get better faster.

Unfortunately, that's all it took. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit, but only 3 to break it. So, so true.

That's not to say I haven't been making forward progress, because I have. I completed the first revision on the first half, realized my third quarter was junk and I have to rewrite the whole darn thing, outlined a new third quarter, revised half of that new third quarter, and decked out my laptop with vinyl lettering thanks to my new toy (Silhouette Cameo).

Maybe you didn't need to know that last one.

Anyway, before I ramble too long, I'm going to make a few New Year's resolutions. Online. Where the world can see. And I'm going to hold myself accountable by making a commitment to you. So if I mess up, you can call me out. Please.

#1 - I will write every day.

Doing the Resolution Thing - www.LysandraJames.com

I will wake up at 5:00 am every morning (including Sundays!) and write for an hour, children permitting. This means I will refrain from checking Facebook, blog stats, Twitter feed, Instagram, and the billion other social media sites out there until I'm done. There's time enough for that during the rest of the day. That 5:00 hour is precious writing time and I will not squander it anymore.

Monday-Saturday will be dedicated to my current work-in-progress. Sundays will be for spiritual matters, including my post for BelieveisaVerb.com. 

I will keep track via the goal tracking app I downloaded a couple of weeks ago and promptly forgot about until yesterday. I'll post my daily/weekly progress on Twitter and Facebook as well as on my "Current Projects" page here on my blog.

#2 - I will improve my blog(s).

Doing the Resolution Thing - www.LysandraJames.com
The aforementioned laptop. I love how it turned out!
This one's a little tricky, but I have a few ideas. One of which is to stockpile a backlog of posts so when I do have sick weeks, I don't have to worry about it. All I have to do is click "Publish", link a few social media sites, and call it good. Ideally, I'd like to be 2-3 weeks ahead on blog posts. That would be cool...

I'm also going to make sure the photography is up to par for each post. I've already taken steps towards this and I think it's coming along beautifully. 

I'll research a few more ideas, compile a list, and start implementing them.

#3 - I will challenge myself and put myself out there.

Doing the Resolution Thing - www.LysandraJames.com
Business card anyone?
My goal this year is to complete the entire Corners series and have a publishing contract. At the very least, I want to land an agent. That means I need to complete revisions on Between Shadow and Light, outline both The Stolen Ones and The Shadow King, write and revise both, and query/submit Between Shadow and Light to agents. As long as I write every morning, this goal is completely doable. 

I'm also stepping out of my comfort zone. My writing group and Handyman Husband have already helped in this matter. They strongly encouraged me to sign up for a pitch session with a literary agent at the LDStorymakers Conference in May. I did and I got my first choice. 

Which means I freaked out.

But only a little.

Fine. Maybe more than a little. I've never pitched, queried, or submitted my writing to anyone other than a writing instructor or my writers group. Except for the First Chapter Contest at LDStorymakers Conference, of course. But that was anonymous.

Having committed to this pitch session, I have proper motivation to get things moving. I love having a deadline (completely serious here).

I'm not going to limit it to just the one pitch session, though. I'll begin querying and submitting mid to late May and continue to do so until I find someone willing to take a risk on me. Assuming I don't land an agent at the writers conference, of course.

#4 - I won't take on any new commitments unless I let go of ones I already have.

Doing the Resolution Thing - www.LysandraJames.com
I actually use the calendar on my phone for appointments and such.
The planner is for recording daily writing goals.
This one is a biggie. It's the one that steals time away from family and my dream-chasing. Someone asks me if I can help them out and I say to myself, "Oh, yeah, I can do that. It won't take much time out my day."

The problem with that is it all adds up. Between family, friends, writing, piano, church responsibilities, volunteering, Pilates, home management, errands, and everything else I have going on, almost every bit of my day is taken up by something. I need to be able to relax and just enjoy myself, to recharge my batteries. And if I fill up my time with unnecessary things, I'm going to be a complete wreck.

I'm going to politely turn down anything that doesn't help me further my goals and possibly let go of a couple current responsibilities to make room for dream chasing and dragon slaying. Then I'll fiercely protect what time I have.

#5 - I will prioritize.

Doing the Resolution Thing - www.LysandraJames.com

God and family first. Writing second. Everything else third. That's it. Enough said.

#6 - I will take time to play.

Doing the Resolution Thing - www.LysandraJames.com
My crafting cranny. Right next to my writing nook. Get it? Nook and cranny?
(Yes, I think I'm hilarious.)
I need time to recharge. I need time to goof off and lose myself in a video game every once in a while. I need to have an occasional lazy day where laundry piles up, dishes don't get done, and I spend the day buried in a book. I need to wander a store of my choosing by myself. I need to sit at an outdoor table with an Italian soda and people watch. I need to watch Lifetime movies with friends, make bets about what's going to happen next, and throw popcorn at the screen because the plot lines are too predictable. I need to splurge on the occasional pedicure because my toes deserve to be pretty, too. I need to visit friends and family who have babies so I can get my snuggles in, then hand said babies back when they start to get fussy. I need to play with my new toy (the previously mentioned Silhouette) and make pretty things for my home. I need to make cookies and bread and muffins and brownies and other delectable goodness. I need to geek out over, well, everything.

In other words, I need downtime. And I need to be actively working toward it. Schedule it in. Protect my time. Don't flake out because staying home is easier.

#7 I will continue to appreciate the little things in life.

Doing the Resolution Thing - www.LysandraJames.com
My new slippers to keep my toes warm during early morning writing time. Sigh...
For the most part, I already do this. But it's always good to have a reminder. And I like the number seven. Not as much as the number three. But it's a good number.

I appreciate it. (Haha! I think I'm so funny.)

That's it. I commit to these seven things. I'll keep track of my progress and report back to you the fifth Thursday of March. I hope to have completed Between Shadow and Light and have started The Stolen Ones by then.

How about you? What will you commit to this year?


Coming up...

Next week I'll talk about how to Pinterest like a pro. Having nearly thirteen thousand pins and almost three times as many followers as I follow, I think I know what I'm doing. I'll share what I know and tell you how to utilize Pinterest to help you chase your dreams and slay your dragons.

Until then, keep up the good work! I believe in you!

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