We’re halfway through the first month of the New Year, which means that those of us who made resolutions should be in serious pursuit of them. Have you ever wondered how they came about? Originally, the concept wasn’t timed to the new year. Historians believe it got its start in the pre-Christian era with the Babylonians, then grew during the Roman empire.
Current studies show that roughly 50% of us still make resolutions. Sadly, we only have an 8% success rate.Here are the FIVE most popular resolutions:
1. Lose weight
2. Improve finances
3. Exercise more
4. Get a new job
5. Better diet/eat healthier
So did you make any resolutions? If so, what are you doing to achieve them? Resolutions should be achievable or else you will fail. For instance, if you have no desire to quit smoking then it is pointless to make it a resolution.
For wanna-be-writers, a common resolution is to “write a novel.” Wow! Talk about a tough one! If you have any hope of achieving this goal, you need to have specific goals in mind as to how to achieve this goal:
Do you have an idea? Have you written an outline? Who is the protagonist? Do you know how you want the story to end? For that matter, what is your genre? Have you researched what the common word count is for that genre? Novels vary in length from 60,000 – 120,000 words depending on whether it is a YA (young adult) novel or women’s fiction, etc. You need to know your genre and your target audience. This means reading lots of books by popular authors of that genre.
Once you have all these things nailed down, start writing. Don’t procrastinate. Set a goal. “I will write three pages every day.” Or if you are not a good self-starter then sign up for a writer’s workshop or creative writing class or a writer’s group so that you’ll have to write because you will have to show your work. (FYI: You’re in big trouble as a writer if you’re NOT self-motivated, but it’s okay if you just need a jump start or some guidance to get started).
Best advice: Do not start rewriting until you have a rough draft. It can be very, very, very, very rough but get the story down on paper before you start spending hours or days rewriting it.
More good advice: Once done (yeah!), put it away for awhile. This should be for at least a few weeks. During this time, you’ll gain perspective and you’ll be amazed at all the things you’ll think of to add or change regarding a character or a scene or even the beginning or ending of the novel.
Later this year, we’ll do another post about what to once you have finished a rough draft of your novel (editing, agents, publishers, etc) so stay tuned!
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND HAPPY WRITING!