Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Okay, so I know some of you are frantically checking your Google Cal right now, trying to figure out if you missed Christmas and hey, why isn't it cold outside? Because, duh, Elana, resolutions happen in January.

For you.

See, my husband and I both teach school, so we function on an August to August calendar. When we start a new school year, it's a new year. Thus, resolutions.

1. I spent some time on the blogosphere on Monday. It caused a mini panic attack. Okay, not a mini panic attack. A full-blown, massive, what-have-I-been-missing? panic attack.

So resolution #1: I will get back to reading blogs. Your blogs. I'm sorry.

2. I've spent the last three years sitting at my computer, writing books. Publishing is a very up and down business, at least for the author. Yay! She likes my book! Let's go celebrate with cakes and chicken pot pies and bacon.

Boo! They hate my book. I can't cook dinner. Let's go to Wendy's and I'll eat two junior bacon cheeseburgers and forget about that person.

You can imagine where this is going.

Resolution #2: I will take better care of myself. I have been doing this for about 3 1/2 weeks already, and I've lost 11 pounds.

3. I have been writing for almost 4 years now, and I wrote a lot of books in the first 2 1/2 years, and not so many in the last little while. In fact, I've only written one book in the past 18 months.

I have scheduled time for writing, 9 - 11 PM.

Therefore, resolution #3: I will write another book by December. 

Do you have any resolutions at this time? Do tell.

60 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Awesome goals. I'll admit I was excited that you read my blog post on Monday. And I just was rereading an e-mail you wrote me on blogging advice. It was so good.

I need to take care of myself better and get back into my exercise and totally eating good routine.

I'm planning to get back into writing again as soon as I adjust to taking my daughter to swim practice at high school at 6:00 am 3 days a week and picking her up every day. The swim practicing has already started and the driving is really cutting into my day. But you're inspiring me!

Christine Danek said...

Great goals, Elana. I have to take better care of myself and focus on one manuscript so I can get it done to query. Focus, right? Not easy. Query--scary, but I must do it.
Good luck!

Laura Pauling said...

I also have a goal to finish my first draft before Thanksgiving, hopefully. And I'm experimenting to grow in my writing.

Angela Brown said...

I must commend you on your resolutions. I, myself, have found that when I make a resolution, there's this innate human need to break it. So I just stick to committing to something when I feel and decide the time has come. Perfect example, when the time came and I decided it was time to move out of state, I prayed, worked hard and did it. For me, being whole-heartedly committed seems to work a bit better than making resolutions.

You've got some great resolutions. I wish you great success in sticking with them. Maybe you can share little updates here and there as we cheer you on.

Go Elana Go!!!!

Sherrie Petersen said...

Congrats on the weight loss! I need to do that myself. Summer snacking has caught up with my hips :)

My resolution right now? Get out of my own way so I can finish my WIP.

Suzie F. said...

Great idea, Elana! I love your resolutions.

I'm on an September to September year but I never thought to make resolutions now. With work and 4 kids it's mandatory that I schedule writing time or it just doesn't happen. That's my resolution so that I can (hopefully) finish this first draft by December.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I love how you always make me laugh. Always.

Resolutions...hmm, getting our power back would be nice and then I think pouring myself into one thing at a time might be a nice art to learn.
~ Wendy

Donna K. Weaver said...

Fortunately my online critique groups forces us to set goals, so my goal for September is to get my next (and hopefully last) edit done on WIP #1 so I can get it to an editor. Then I'm on to doing some outlining for my NaNo project.

And surviving the running of the municipal election. Ugh.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Oooh, 11 pounds is huge. Good work on that. I do have resolutions right now, most of them revolving around finishing the current WIP I'm working on and big-picture wise, figuring out how to balance writing and home life even better this year. I also broke into vlogging last week and one of my goals, though it's frightening, is to try to do one weekly. We'll see:) Great post and good luck!! I'm sure you'll achieve!

Carolyn Abiad said...

August resolutions make so much more sense than January. I have to say, writeoncon kicked me back into gear on the writing/blogging schedule. Perfect timing on that. Thanks!

Goals: SCBWI conference in September. Have to get my pitches and queries and drafts in top shape. After that, I have a new project floating around in my head, so I have to write at least the synopsis.

Cherie Reich said...

Great resolutions, even if it isn't New Year's. :D

My resolution is mainly focused on finishing rewrites in one novel and polishing it up by October. Then, in November, I plan to do NaNo and write a new novel.

It really is great to have goals. I do try to have bigger goals and then smaller goals for each month. Now, sticking to the goals is the hardest part. One day at a time makes it easier. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Congrats, Elana, on the awesome weight loss. That's a huge accomplishment.

I'm going to borrow Laura Pauling's goal of finishing my first draft by the American Thanksgiving (Canada's is in October, which isn't enough time). I'm planning to finish the preplanning for the novel by the end of September, and finish the edits for my WIP in two weeks then send it to an agent (I won a full MS critique in Carrie Harris's book launch auction). My goal is to start querying (eek!) in October or November.

Christine Fonseca said...

Awesome resolutions. Mine are nearly identical. Res 1 - yep, reading blogs; Res 2 - Yep, taking care of myself; Res 3 - Um...I say yes. I WILL write something NEW by December (After these blasted revisions are complete)

Charlotte said...

Good luck with resolutions. I know just what you mean about August to August because in about two and a half weeks I start a teacher training course, so I will soon (I hope) be a fellow teacher. My resolution is to have finished the first draft of my WIP by then. Seeing as I'm on the last stretch, this is an achievable goal- if I can just get myself to actually do some work!

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Yes, congrats on the weight loss!

I also slowed down my writing production when publishing became more my focus...even though all the advice says, "keep writing"...I'm hoping to finish my WIP in the next month...or two.

Slamdunk said...

Sounds like a great plan Elana, and congrats on your achievements thus far.

Iin response to your question, no answer is jumping into my mind--which is a problem.

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

Great time for resolutions. I make my resolutions outside New Year, since I need them all year long.
Your list is wonderful and very inspiring.

I also wanted to say "hi" and introduce myself -- I am a fellow Campaigner and we are in the same YA group. I'm looking forward to reading your posts and connecting with you.

I've been on your newsletter list for what seems forever and always find interesting things in there. Possession is on my "to-read-very-soon" list.

Chelsey said...

Since I'm still a student I work August to August too. My goals for this year are:

1. Make closer friends in Real Life (what? I know)
2. Keep pushing in my publishing journey
3. become more connected in the blogosphere
4. Put my heart back into my academics.

Matthew MacNish said...

Congratulations, Elana! We can totally lose weight together. We're having a weight loss challenge here at work, just a friendly one for very little money, but I'm doing it for my heart health, not the money.

Abby said...

I love this. Working on the school calendar makes sense! I love resolutions, especially when you make 'em happen! :)

Carolyn V said...

Woohoo! Congrats on the 11 pounds! That's awesome!

My resolution is much like yours, writing for at least 2 hours a day! Dang it! I've gone on summer hiatus and getting back is a little more painful than I thought.

Bethany Mattingly said...

I'm working on being a more active blogger and finishing a book my December too. I'm going to just try to take each day as it comes :)

Alice said...

I'm impressed with your goals and that you've only been writing for 4 years and had so much success so far! I've ben writing for ten years. My goal is to publish a book this year. I have an editor interested at this time in one of my novels and I have my fingers crossed.

anonymeet said...

Hey I have the same writing schedule! How do you get motivated? That's already the end of a long day and sometimes I struggle to find my muse at that time.

My resolution is to finish a book by the end of the year. This is a revised resolution since I ha previously resolved to finish this one book by August . . .

Shari said...

Can you BE any more awesome? I think not.

J.R. Johansson said...

Interestingly, I have almost the exact same resolutions. I've started going back to the gym regularly and even signed on with a personal trainer. Also, I'm trying to find a specific time to write every day. I haven't figured out when is the best time yet...so, well done on that. But I'm on it. :P

Good luck!

Krista said...

I made a few resolutions about a month ago. I was going to take better care of my house, spend more time with my husband, and be more consistent with writing.

Well - one out of three is not bad. Been making an effort to spend more time with my better half :)

Talli Roland said...

Oh, I so hear you on number 2. Who needs drugs when you work in publishing, lol! My resolution is to stay more balanced and care less what people think.

Christina Lee said...

Oh yeah good stuff over here!!! I need to finish the two that I began in the last two months (books, that is)!!

Tere Kirkland said...

Good for you, Elana! That's awesome!

I vow to have my wip finished and ready for critique by Thanksgiving. I'm 20K in, so if I keep plugging away, I should be able to do it.

Good luck finishing yours!

Stephanie McGee said...

Excellent goals, all of them.

I need to think about resolutions but I think it would mostly be just finding a routine again that works. My universe kind of blew up on me the last few weeks so getting back to a sense of normalcy is important for me right now.

That includes writing and blogging and all that jazz.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Ooo--you and I have the same goal (though mine really isn't optional...)

We should have late night writing parties and word wars and other motivational things. IT WILL BE EPIC!!!!

Or... you can do the smart thing and hide from that crazy blonde friend of yours who's clearly cracking under the pressure. :)

Carol Riggs said...

Awesome, good for you! It's always great to re-evaluate and make new goals. Like you, I'm appalled by the lack of books I've written lately. So much time has been spent revising and doing summer stuff and so on. I USED to write at least 2 books a year. This year? Um...1/2?

Susan R. Mills said...

This time of year, I usually try and re-start my work on the goals I set back in January and let fall to the wayside. Sometimes I do set new ones because things have changed since January. Good luck with your goals!

Stacy Henrie said...

Great resolutions, Elana! I like the idea of doing them at the beginning of the school year with all the new schedules, etc.

My resolutions for the rest of the year are finish my WiP (hurray for scheduled writing time again!) and enter a national contest.

Angie said...

This is a great time to make resolutions. Good luck with yours. Good job on the 11 pounds!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

School is almost starting over here, I could definitely use some resolutions! And mega-congrats on 11 pounds in 3 1/2 weeks! :)

June G said...

I want to read more for pleasure and less for review. I have so many books waiting! We'll see if I can pull this off.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you're back to visiting blogs! And eating better. We just never do fast food. That's our rule. I intend to complete the third book in my series by the end of this year. And I intend for it to be my last.

Theresa Milstein said...

September as your new year. I know you're a teacher, but maybe you're Jewish... ; )

Excellent resolutions. I've missed you in the blogosphere, but it's understandable. How could you not be burned out and need to tackle the stuff you put on the back burner?

I'm proud of you for losing weight. It's not easy.

Jemi Fraser said...

Your title made me laugh - I live in a Sept to Sept calender so I knew what you were doing :)

We go back to school Tuesday and one of the things the kids will do is write resolutions for themselves!

My resolution is to get to my walking again - I usually walk home from work so that should help!

Krispy said...

Eep, I don't even want to think about how I'm doing on the resolutions I made in January. Don't know if I can handle any more now! But great job on yours! :D

Deana said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who uses every bad or good thing in life as an excuse to eat crap. Good for you to make that change!

And it isn't like you've been busy publishing a book, starting school, being a mom....to take a break on blogging:)

These are great resolutions!

Martha Ramirez said...

This is great, Elana. Congrats on losing the 11 lbs! That's fantastic.

Sounds as if we have been writing for the same amount of time. Professionally that is. And you are so right about the roller coaster ride! And I'm not even traditionally pubbed. Yet. :)

My resolution is to whip out another book soon. To have at least outlined and have half of it done by the end of the year. Having to go over edits on a few ms has really took me away and I am soo very anxious to start my next project.

Another goal of mine is to
get toned up. It's not easy to balance everything in life—but I'm tryin'.
Great post!

Elle Strauss said...

This is actually a really good time of year to set goals--congrats on yours!

My goal is to indie publish 3- books in the next year, plus I've got that other wip I'm trying to get out to editors.

Other than that, just need to get back into my fall routine, including that Tuesday am hot yoga class!

CherylAnne Ham said...

Sept is the new Jan, I think. I've read a few blogs today with Sept. resolutions. :D

You've set some great goals. For me, I stress eat. I'd like to stop doing that.

REINHARDT! said...

My one resolution that I'd like to keep, mostly because I constantly fail at it, is finding the balance between work life, writing life, and being a human being. At times, work just takes over.

I'll join you, Elana, by resolving to write a new book by December. Right after I freak out about it being September already.

Meredith said...

What great resolutions! I tend to make mine in August/September, too. Love that you're taking concrete steps to work for them--that's definitely the best way!

Jenny S. Morris said...

With my kiddos going back to school it's more about getting back into a routine. And I do have a list of things I'm promising myself I will do. This year will be crazy, and I know I have to get on top of it.

Great post.

Ishta Mercurio said...

I knew I'd seen you around more often these days! Welcome back to the blogosphere.

And YEAH on taking better care of yourself and losing 11 pounds in such a short time! Keep at it. Much of a healthy lifestyle is simply about developing good habits, and choosing every day to continue those habits. No-one falls off the wagon; they jump. Stay on that wagon. Any time you feel tempted to jump, email me.

My resolutions are to submit at least one thing (PB manuscript, short story, poem, something) to an editor or query a batch of agents every month. It's a new resolution, so I'll keep you posted.

And also to limit my blogging time, and spend more of that time writing. I have a new schedule: internet three mornings a week while my kids are at school, writing every night. That starts next Tuesday.

Kimberly said...

Wow, great resolutions and accomplishments already.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. :) I'm glad you joined the campaign - we're in the same YA group.

Kimberly said...

Oh, and the same Dystopian group. :)

Leigh Ann said...

I completely. freaked. out. When I saw that you read my blog post! The level to which I love POSSESSION - well, you probably love it more, bc it's your baby, but just a little more. So, thank you. :)

Okay, so I'm a Jew, and we also have our New Years' resolutions in the fall, on Rosh HaShanah. Mine is pretty much one big one - the same as #2 and #3 of yours rolled into one. When I make time to write, I *am* taking care of myself. But I can't write unless I'm spending a little time working out and eating right. Tried to work on a lunch of Doritos once, and it was amazing how horrible I felt.

Anyhow, it sounds like you're well on your way. And your Resolution #3 can only benefit all of us as well - more amazing Elana Johnson books! Yay!

Karen Lange said...

I had the same kind of schedule when my kids were in school, so I did the resolution thing about now too. Only I called it goals for the school year, and you know, there was never any mention of bacon. There should have been, you know?

Congrats on the weight loss!
Have a good weekend,
Karen

Ghenet Myrthil said...

Good luck with all of your resolutions! Taking care of yourself is very important. I like the schedule you came up with. It's hard balancing work with writing but finding a couple hours a day helps. I've started squeezing in early morning writing before I go to work.

Kadie Kinney said...

how lucky am I that you're in my campaign group? I'm so glad you stopped by! And I love the New Year's Resolutions in the summer. I'm all for it!

F.E. Sewell said...

Yay! We're in the same campaign group! Looking forward to spending more time on your blog!

ali cross said...

I. Love. THIS. It's great to have ELANA back!! Good luck on ALL your resolutions. You can totally ROCK THIS!!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great goals! WTG on losing 11 pounds! I'm trying to get healthy again too.

I finally finished (blushes) a chapter book and sent it to an editor.

My goal for next week is to do some art projects and work on a new picture book.

Good luck with all of your goals!

Amie Borst said...

yeah, i have a gazillion of them. none of which are ever met. apparently i'm not good at goals. ;)

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