- by Laura Resnick
Lo, Christmas is past, and the New Year is approaching! Which means it’s time for… New Year’s Resolutions!
1. Resolved: I will eat right.
My personal chocolate consumption in 2009 was substantial enough to help efforts to rebuild the worldwide economy. This coming year, I vow that the economy will have to find someone else to shoulder that burden.
2. Resolved: I will exercise regularly.
My local recreation center was extensively remodeled in 2009, so that my modest membership fee now gives me access to a state-of-the-art health club, seven days a week, only one mile from my home. But, alas, it turns out that it takes more than that to thwart my dedication to couch potatoism. I resolve to do better in 2010!
3. Resolved: I will wear clean clothes every day.
Yes, grooming standards can slip a little when one works at home alone all day…
4. Resolved: I will meet all deadlines.
I’m so far behind that I can’t really do this, because I’ll be spending much of 2010 catching up on late projects. But I resolve not to miss any new deadlines in 2010, and to deliver all projects that are lingering from 2009.
5. Resolved: I will eschew envy.
Writers drive themselves crazy with envy all of the time. You know: “Why do her semi-literate books sell ten times better than mine do?” Or: “We started out at exactly the same time, but now he makes double the money I do.”
Envy is poisonous. It always hurts me far more than it hurts whomever I’m envying. It gains me nothing, and it costs me far too much: peace of mind, focus, energy, contentment, self-worth, self-respect, good digestion, sound sleep, and—need I even add?—personal charm.
So I vow that every time I feel the poison of envy seep into my blood in 2010, I will flush it out.
6. Resolved: I will not compare myself to others.
Nursing a sense of inadequacy is no more productive than harboring envy. If someone writes faster than I, gets up earlier, has a smaller waistline, understands the business better, does more research in less time, and always has a sunny disposition…
Well, actually, yes, that’s plenty of reason for me to feel inadequate by comparison.
But I vow not to do so. That person has her own inadequacies, even if they’re not immediately apparent to me; after all, my inadequacies aren’t always immediately apparent to everyone I meet.
7. Resolved: I will not let the business get me down.
Shrinking print-runs. Nose-diving advances. Canceled contracts. E-piracy. Plagiarism. Hate mail. Ugly reader reviews and snide professional reviews. Shipping mistakes, distribution disasters, art department gaffs, and printer errors. Spiraling sales figures, the midlist crunch, disappearing markets, rising costs, and vanishing retail outlets.
Life is hard and then you die. So suck it up and tough it out. What other choice is there?
8. Resolved: I will count my blessings.
I have my health—so far, anyhow. I have great and cherished friends in this business; their value is above rubies, and I wouldn’t have missed knowing them for the world. I have the opportunity to meet many writers whom I read; I also have the opportunity to read many writers whom I meet.
I’m a multi-published novelist, in a world where most people will only ever dream of selling even one novel.
I mostly get to write only what I want to write. Although I have written some things just because I needed the money, I haven’t had to do it very often, and I’m not doing it now. In fact, I really love every project I’ve got under contract right now!
In a tough market where many good writers are currently unable to get contracts or are getting offers with bad terms, I’m under contract and happy with the terms.
Though I certainly have a love-hate relationship with my work, I nonetheless find it artistically challenging, exciting, and satisfying, and it has so far been professionally rewarding for me.
These are all things I should keep in mind throughout 2010.
Happy New Year to Ninc and all Ninc Blog contributors, readers, friends, volunteers, staff, and guests!