Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year, New (yet still cranky) Attitude

The ball is dropped, the hangover is fading, and a New Year has begun. The leftovers are down to crumbs of brownies and the dark meat nobody wanted. The tree is lilting because everyone stopped watering it after Christmas. If you're anything like me, you nudged aside boxes half-filled with decorations to stumble out of the house this morning in new clothes already feeling tight, to slink down into your desk chair and stare in horror at the number of new emails.

You'll have to excuse me. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by the New Year.

For the past few months, I've been slogging through a rewrite. I've set goals for myself, I've reached them and missed them, chastised myself, hated and loved the book, and generally managed to suck every bit of joy out of the writing process.

I don't want to slog through another year like this. It's time for some major changes. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that definitely will NOT change in 2013:
  • I won't find hours upon hours of spare time in which to sit in silence and write
  • Hire a maid
  • Hire a personal chef
  • Hire a live-in nanny
  • Receive a lump-sum of cash large enough to allow me to quit my job and be pampered by cabana boys
  • Invite said cabana boys over for dinner (they offered to cook AND do the dishes)
  • Invent a device that suctions ideas out of my brain and puts them on paper in exactly the way I envision them.
As dreamy of all these impossibilities sound, I can change my attitude. In 2013 I CAN:
  • Approach writing as a joy, rather than a chore
  • eat more chocolate while writing 
  • drink more martinis while writing
  • set manageable goals that don't just add to my stress levels
  • treat myself kindly when I don't reach my goals
  • drink more martinis and eat more chocolate when I don't reach my goals
So let's have some fun and see what's in store for the pirates in the New Year. If you're not a writer, feel free to sub out writing for reading. Copy and paste the questions below into your comment if you want to play along!

1. My writerly attitude in 2012 can best be described as:
2. In 2013, my writing will be:
3. Favorite time of day to write:
4. Favorite beverage while writing:
5. First thing my new personal chef would make for dinner:
6. The thing in my writing I'll do more of in 2013:
7. The thing in my writing I'll do less of in 2013:
8. One thing I will definitely NOT do in 2013:
9. Best inspirational quote to keep in mind for 2013:

Anyone else trying to turn a cranky attitude into a new start? Whose excited for the New Year? Anyone else get new clothes for Christmas?

24 comments:

haleigh said...

1. My writerly attitude in 2012 can best be described as: cantakerous

2. In 2013, my writing will be: epic

3. Favorite time of day to write: first thing in the morning, when my brain is still just a little fuzzy, and the coffee is brewing

4. Favorite beverage while writing: coffee with caramel creamer

5. First thing my new personal chef would make for dinner: seafood marinara. Mmmmm

6. The thing in my writing I'll do more of in 2013: love what I'm writing, even when it sucks

7. The thing in my writing I'll do less of in 2013: boring descriptions

8. One thing I will definitely NOT do in 2013: work out every day.

9. Best inspirational quote to keep in mind for 2013: I got nothing. Hence the cranky attitude.

Marnee Bailey said...

Great blog, Hal!! :) I'm not in for a nanny or maid or whatever this year either. You aren't alone there.

1. My writerly attitude in 2012 can best be described as: Reevaluate. I think I need to take a step back, at least initially, and figure out what I'm trying to accomplish. Going to start the year in a retrospective fashion. But I want to write at least one more book this year too.

2. In 2013, my writing will be: Fresh. I hope.

3. Favorite time of day to write: Night. After the house is quiet.

4. Favorite beverage while writing: Water. Or wine. I know, big difference. But, is the truth. :)

5. First thing my new personal chef would make for dinner: Lobster Mac and Cheese. Or any shellfishy dinner. I don't cook fish myself.

6. The thing in your writing you'll do more of in 2013: Focus on the growth of the relationship more.

7. The thing in your writing you'll do less of in 2013: Still figuring this out.

8. One thing I will definitely NOT do in 2013: Sleep more.

9. Best inspirational quote to keep in mind for 2013: "Ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you arrive in."
William Eardley IV

Marnee Bailey said...

Oh, errr.... I thought 1. said my attitude this coming year.

My attitude for 2012? I'd say impatient. I think I need to work on that this year.

haleigh said...

Very interesting, Marn, starting the year off all retrospective. I'm in need of that myself. And I love the quote!

MsHellion said...

(I did buy myself new clothes, 2 jeans, for Christmas; and I was given a bunch of clothes from a friend--but not for a Christmas gift, but a "donate" thing and I love being donated to.) I'm wearing the new jeans and donated shirt today...I look awesome.

1. My writerly attitude in 2012 can best be described as: Started off blah, ramped up to "I am kicking ass!", screeched to a stop for 2 months until my medicine was sorted out, and now merging back with traffic on the freeway.
2. In 2013, my writing will be: more prolific.
3. Favorite time of day to write: night (usually in bed, with a blue pen and yellow legal pad)
4. Favorite beverage while writing: Diet Mountain Dew
5. First thing my new personal chef would make for dinner: Beef Lo Mein (spicy, and it'd be "calorie free")
6. The thing in my writing I'll do more of in 2013: Have more fun (my voice shines more when I'm having fun)
7. The thing in my writing I'll do less of in 2013: Procrastinating (ha, ha, I hope I don't break this resolution before the end of the day); will help to adjust my attitude that I don't need scads of quiet time to type. Writing in 10 minute bursts is just as effective as exercising this way. Note to self: also start exercising.
8. One thing I will definitely NOT do in 2013: Eat shrimp (I'm allergic--and it's the only thing I can pretty much guarantee I wouldn't do.)
9. Best inspirational quote to keep in mind for 2013: Persistence pays off.

MsHellion said...

4. Favorite beverage while writing: Water. Or wine. I know, big difference. But, is the truth. :)

Can we start calling Marn "The Messiah"?

Janga said...

What a useful exercise, Hal!

1. My writerly attitude in 2012 can best be described as: discouraged.
2. In 2013, my writing will be: imperfect but fixable.
3. Favorite time of day to write: the wee hours—no phones, no visits, no spillover noise.
4. Favorite beverage while writing: water.
5. First thing my new personal chef would make for dinner: chicken and dumplings—if he/she can do a calorie free version.
6. The thing in my writing I'll do more of in 2013: write scenes without obsessing on word or page count.
7. The thing in my writing I'll do less of in 2013: delete because I'll remember that bad writing can be made better.
8. One thing I will definitely NOT do in 2013: give up, although I’m sure I’ll be tempted to do so.
9. Best inspirational quote to keep in mind for 2013: Those weighed down by baggage from the past will never reach the goal.

P. Kirby said...

1. My writerly attitude in 2012 can best be described as: Glum early on, but things looked up as the year progressed.
2. In 2013, my writing will be: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
3. Favorite time of day to write: 9AM - 12AM and after 7PM. Unfortunately, I rarely get to write during either time.
4. Favorite beverage while writing: Green tea
5. First thing my new personal chef would make for dinner: Red chile cheese enchiladas.
6. The thing in my writing I'll do more of in 2013: Enjoy my characters.
7. The thing in my writing I'll do less of in 2013: Let the @#$!%$!! internal editor take control again.
8. One thing I will definitely NOT do in 2013: Having acquired great habits regarding exercise and diet, I will not fall back into old habits.
9. Best inspirational quote to keep in mind for 2013: "Well they tell you: never hit a man with a closed fist. But it is, on occasion, hilarious." ~Captain Mal Reynolds. Whaaat? Hittin' people is very inspirational.

P. Kirby said...

I think I meant 12 noon, not 12 AM. Oh, well. Back to kindergarten to learn how to tell time.

Marnee Bailey said...

Can we start calling Marn "The Messiah"?

Just make sure you dodge the lightning bolts. But, I swear I'll answer.

TerriOsburn said...

I'm finally getting to read this blog. Oy vey, it's been that kind of morning. Love this! Still need to read the comments but I need to leave this comment while I have the chance.

1. My writerly attitude in 2012 can best be described as: Enthusiastic!
2. In 2013, my writing will be: gray-hair inducing but in the best way.
3. Favorite time of day to write: I'm at my best between 7-10p but if I had all day I think I could do well in the mornings too.
4. Favorite beverage while writing: water
5. First thing my new personal chef would make for dinner: steak or lasagna
6. The thing in my writing I'll do more of in 2013: Promoting I guess. As I've never really done any and now I have to. Which totally freaks me out.
7. The thing in my writing I'll do less of in 2013: Maybe I should put freaking out here. LOL!
8. One thing I will definitely NOT do in 2013: Get lots and lots of sleep. Sigh.
9. Best inspirational quote to keep in mind for 2013: I have this one from CS Lewis on my Inspiration Pinterest board: You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

TerriOsburn said...

Loving these comments and they remind me I forgot to answer the other part. I bought myself an All Time Low shirt and an awesome pair of boots for Christmas. That's the extent of my take so far, except the gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings from my cousin. We went on Monday and that was one of the best burgers I've had in a while. Will definitely go back!

haleigh said...

Yay for new jeans and donated clothes, Hellie! I love it when a friend passes on their clothes :) You make an excellent point about writing in bursts and making progress that way. I definitely need to keep that in mind this year.

I'd say the same about procrastinating, but I know myself better than that :)

haleigh said...

Janga - 'imperfect but fixable.' What a great attitude to start the New Year with! It gives you both the freedom to write regardless of quality, and the space to improve it down the road. Nice!

And I'll all about a calorie free chicken and dumplings!

haleigh said...

Pat - I love that you'll both enjoy your characters more, and make more use of the closed-fist :) After all, enjoying characters does not require being nice to them!

Kudos on your excellent exercise and diet habits! That's definitely one not to give up

haleigh said...

Ter, sleep doesn't seem to be on my to-do list either. Yay for new boots and buffalo wild wings! I've never been there, but the commercials are always hysterical. I would like to say that I'm hip enough to know All Time Low was a band, but alas, I had to google it :)

Good luck with the promotion this year - I'm sure you're going to rock at it.

TerriOsburn said...

They're the band I took kiddo to see in November, Hal. She's converted me over to Punk Pop and Emo Rock. It seems I'm having a new adolescence in my 40s. It's quite fun!

Maureen said...

1. My writerly attitude in 2012 can best be described as: (I'm gonna misspell this... schizophrenic. Ah, wasn't that sweet? My computer corrected it for me!)

2. In 2013, my writing will be: Steady. And fun, must be fun.

3. Favorite time of day to write: Late morning, early afternoon in Starbucks.

4. Favorite beverage while writing: Iced Venti Americano, decaf, with no room.

5. First thing my new personal chef would make for dinner: Something I've never had but will love.

6. The thing in my writing I'll do more of in 2013: Appreciate it.

7. The thing in my writing I'll do less of in 2013: Not open the computer at all.

8. One thing I will definitely NOT do in 2013: Wasting time on promo that doesn't work.

9. Best inspirational quote to keep in mind for 2013: I don't really know where I got this... First you fall, then you fly.

I got a very nice scarf from my BIL. That was it for the clothes. What excited me from the New Year? Uh...I got nothing there... Oh! Finally watched Firefly.

haleigh said...

Firefly!!! What'd you think, Mo? That drink from Starbucks sounds divine. And I agree, there must be fun in writing. I too am trying hard to find the appreciation and fun in the moments that seem like neither at first glance.

Maureen said...

Well, I don't feel like I drank the koolaid. It was fun, the dialogue was great. The characters...everything I would expect from Joss. Which sorta meant...uh, nothing surprised me?

I understand the cult like status the show has and I found myself seeing how it influences many of the writers I've met the last few years.

But at the risk of incurring the wrath of the born again brownshirts...it was fun. Uh, period.

haleigh said...

Aren't the characters great? Jayne is definitely my favorite, and I love that every time I watch Firefly, I go back to Chuck and see Casey in a whole new light ;)

No wrath incurred here!

Maureen said...

I actually did like Jayne most of all... He is certainly the most pirate of them all... ;-)

TerriOsburn said...

I tried watching Firefly once. It was cute and I could see the rebel appeal, but I didn't get addicted. To be fair, I was never a Buffy or Angel fan either and I don't typically do sci-fi. Though if I did, Firefly would be it.

Maureen said...

It's really a western...set in space. ;-)