Final Check-In for 2015

Hey, Merry Christmas!

I hope you’ve been enjoying a beautiful season. <3

Christmasy Harrods
Christmasy Harrods

This post is both a #WIPMarathon Check-in — the last for 2015 — and my declaration of New Year’s resolutions.

I’ve been the set-and-and-forget-it type when it comes to New Year’s resolutions in the past, but with the best of intentions. Usually it’s a few things I already really want to be doing but just lack the willpower. But I hope that stops here (a resolution in itself!)

Things I’m Glad I Did In 2015:

I’m glad I cultivated a habit of gratitude. It doesn’t always happen when I’m traveling, but when I’m at home, the first thing I do upon waking is write down at least 3 things I’m grateful for.

I flew back home to spend time with my family in October, after having been in the U.S. for summer holidays with the Scotsman. Yes, I had just been there a month prior, but going home when I did, on my own, gave me a chance to spend quality time without the running around. It sounds like a little thing but I think it was really important.

Therapy. Is it a blogging faux pas to mention this? As some of you know, 2014 was pretty rough for me with an ongoing mysterious health problem, most likely brought on by stress. (It wasn’t anything serious but it multiplied my anxiety, so hello, catch-22). To deal with what was likely the root cause, I started to see a therapist regularly for several months. Talking through my runaway worries with a kind, objective third party who showed me a way to tackle those OTT concerns head-on was gold. Bottom line? Getting *out* of your head, and getting what’s in there out to someone who can help you look at it differently are two things I think everybody can benefit from.

Strolling through Bath
Strolling through Bath

In 2016, I’ll love to:

Here’s the resolution part:

  1. Try something new, at LEAST once a week. 

    I recently read that time seems to crawl when we’re young in part because every experience is new. As we age, we’re in routines and ruts and have seen & done so much. It all blurs together, making time whiz.
    The suggestion? Broaden your horizons. So whether it’s driving a different way home, seeing a film I haven’t seen before, reading in a genre I haven’t read before, or trying a new restaurant/meal, I want 2016 to be the year I push against my boundaries.

  2. Read 40 books. 

    That doesn’t sound like a lot, to most avid readers/writers. But I did fairly miserable this year. I figure, if I aim lower, I’ll feel great when I surpass it. I read nearly as many manuscripts in 2015 as I did published books, and while I LOVE reading CPs’ and others’ works-in-progress, I’d like to double the amount of published works read.

  3. Write three first drafts.
    That means learning to get words down quickly, rather than dragging a first draft out across several months, which is what I’ve been doing.I just finished a 4-week LitReactor course taught by Delilah Dawson (highly recommended) where she compared first drafts to hot laundry out of the dryer. Paraphrasing (badly), she said she likes to carry it all to the sofa as fast as possible, without dropping any, and then folding it right away. Likewise, with first drafts, she tries to get it all down as quickly as possible. If you take too long, it’ll “cool down,” or you might forget sparks of imagination and muses’ whisperings. That resonated with me.

    GET THE HOT LAUNDRY ON THE PAGE.

  4. Invest in experiences over material goods. 
  5. Be a better/more attentive emailer and friend.
    Most of my friends hear from me via email given our various locations around the world. And I’m tired of beginning my emails, “I’m so sorry this is late!”

Now on to our month’s #WIPMarathon check-in:

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

I didn’t post last month. I’ve been buried in 2 online writing courses and endless manuscript revisions. I’m happy to report that I finished typing up my last set of edits on Christmas Eve Eve. 🙂 

WIP Issues This Month:

This is a whole blog topic by itself, but I’ll mention it here: opening scenes/chapters are the hardest. I thought mine was done, like, 8 months ago. The amazing Susan Dennard gave me some feedback that I hadn’t thought of but was such a complete and utter DUH! that I immediately got to work and killed my darling first scene.

Most of the dialogue and action remained, but the way it all worked out … Wow. I’m just so grateful for her, and for two of my CPs, Megan & Jessica, for helping me make the decision.

What distracted me this month while writing:

Christmas, revisions, ice skating, cookies, revisions, buying everything ever on Amazon and then waiting at home for said everything to arrive, cookies, pumpkin pie, revisions, the Bath Christmas market…

Oh yes.

AND BECOMING A BRITISH CITIZEN!

Well jel of that hat.
If it looks like I just woke up, it’s because I totally did.

As of 17 December 2015, I am officially a Brit. (And still an American). After 8.5 long years, 5 separate visas and their affiliated stress-inducing applications, fees, and waits, I am now free to . . .

Apply for a British passport, which could take months 😉

But seriously, HOORAH!

Goal for next month:

Finish reading Gretchen Rubin’s BETTER THAN BEFORE.

Finish Susan Dennard’s TRUTHWITCH (which I’ll probably do tonight, to be honest 😉

Draft 50k, to make up for having pooped out of NaNo to work on revisions.


So what about you? Is there one resolution/change you’re eager to make in 2016? I love hearing other people’s resolutions and goals, so I’d love to hear yours.

See you in 2016! <3

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