I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions, one because I don’t like that word and two because I never manage to keep any of them. Ever. Maybe that’s because most of the time, a New Year’s resolution is vague and unquantifiable, something like “lose weight” or “spend time with family” or “read more.” Well, that’s all great and everything, but at the end of the year, how can you look back and know if you managed it?
I know a lot of people choose one word to lead and shape a new year, and I’ve gone back and forth with a few of them. But I’ve settled on one in particular that will probably not come as too much of a surprise: WRITE
With WRITE in mind as the umbrella under which all of 2015 will settle for me, I do have some goals and ambitions for the coming twelve months.
1. Finish, revise, revise again, & query my current WIP.
A daunting task of course, considering how much I hate the revision process. But I’m nearly at the end and I’ve already started revising and my awesome writing group is working through it with me, so this is an easily accomplished goal. I want to be querying by the summer. Yes, I’m crazy. Then, by September, maybe I can start something new. (Or sooner, you know.)
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These past few days, going on a couple weeks, I’ve been vastly unsuccessful at getting any writing done, be it blog posts (I have several started), my work-in-progress (I have three scenes begun and am only 3K from my word count goal, not to mention I’m pretty sure I’m only five scenes away from finishing the first draft).
Instead of writing, I’ve done all sorts of other things:
- Read. I’m 4 books away from my 2014 reading goal.
- Watched every episode of “Holiday Baking Championship” on Food Network.
- Wasted an hour (or two, or three) on Pinterest: This always happens to me, this looks incredibly delicious, & I want to make this for my keychain collection.
- Made pumpkin bread. It’s yummy.
- Attempted (& failed) to hang up Christmas lights. (See above photo.)
- Wrapped (most of) my Christmas presents.
- Addressed and sent over 50 Christmas cards.
- Gone through my feedly feed. Over & over again.
- Took a bath.
- Listened to the Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder soundtrack on repeat.
- Found a new poet whom I adore. (Billy Collins!)
- Stalked my Facebook newsfeed.
- Watched every episode of “Beat Bobby Flay” on Food Network.
- Enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy again.
- Went to the zoo to see penguins on parade!
- Marathoned a ton of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, in order. I’m only missing Iron Man 3 now. (Oh, and The Hulk, but who cares.)
- Played a lot of Tiny Monsters, Frozen Free Fall, and Plague, Inc. on my tablet.
- Wrote this list of things that I’ve been doing instead of writing.
adjective: 1. spending much more than is necessary or wise; wasteful; 2. excessively high; 3. exceeding the bounds of reason, as actions, demands, opinions, or passions; 4. going beyond what is deserved or justifiable.
What I love most about this word is that it’s an extravagant word itself. It’s long, it contains not only a v and a g but also an x. That third definition, “exceeding the bounds of…” makes me think about how loud and over-the-top this word is, and what that can and should mean for me and for my writing.
verb: 1. to praise; extol.
One letter away from loud, but to laud doesn’t necessarily mean to be loud. Of course, the act of lauding can be loud if one chooses. Say the word aloud: that’s what I like about the word. I also like that it isn’t used often, and its synonyms are used more often. Let’s bring laud back into the vernacular.
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There are a lot of words I just really love. I thought it might be fun to highlight a few of them here and there, why I like it, what I like about it, how I want to use it (or, maybe, why I don’t use it).
There’s really just something incredibly special about finding the right word at the right moment. The word makes the sentence, I think. There are a lot of times I know there’s a better word, a word that would evoke the exact image, sense, or emotion that I’m trying to get across, and it just escapes me. That’s one of the many things I’m working on with my writing. I want my words to matter.
Here are my top 5 words this November.
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