These started off as resolutions for writers but ended up with a kind of biblical theme – so (as per point 10) I’ve changed it to ‘Commandments’ and just gone with it! So here are your New Year’s writer’s resolutions – if you have any more you’d like included, feel free to include them at the bottom.
1) Thou salt not procrastinate. Writing shall come before: TV, housework, and random/ impromptu pub visits.
2) I am a writer – this shall be repeated at least 10 times a day to both reinvigorate your desire for the written word and reinforce your chosen career path.
3) Thou shalt not make a rod for your own back. Too many publishing deadlines lead to a dangerously high consumption rate of caffeine and general panic. Thou shall say ‘no’ when you’ve reached your optimum level of manuscripts.
4) Remember social media and use it wisely. No more posts of cute animals and evidence of Bigfoot.
5) You shall help to get the word out for fellow authors, mostly in hopes that they will do the same for you – but also because it’s nice.
6) Do not take your editors’ names in vain – they are just trying to help!
7) Thou shalt not kill or give away any psychopathy tendencies (no wait, this one is just for me!)
8) Honor your publishers and readers with free bonus materials and stories.
9) You shall not covet the same ol’ genre troupes – thou shalt spread your literary wings.
10) Thou shalt roll with the punches and just go with it. Evolution can happen on small scales.
Although I hope there’s some good advice above, I’d like to leave you with a serious, yet playful, piece of life advice that I wish someone had told me sooner.
One of my favourite books is ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and there’s an exchange between The Cheshire Cat and Alice that perfectly demonstrates the point:
“Excuse me sir,” Alice enquires, “could you tell me which road to take?”
Wisely the cat asks, “Where are you going?”
Somewhat dismayed, Alice responds, “Oh, I don’t know where I’m going sir.”
“Well,” replied the cat, “if you don’t know where you are going, it really doesn’t matter which road you take.”
Know where you are going! People that say that it’s ‘the journey not the destination’ are the kind of people you see in the supermarket with their trolley proudly holding a stick of garlic butter, a jar of olives and a three for two offer on doughnuts! Make a list, people – know where you are going!