I am thrilled to have her guest posting today and offering my readers copies of her novel, CANCELLED.
I met Tia through a wonderful goal making program for writers called A Round of Words in 80 Days. I am very thankful she has invited me to her blog Depression Cookies, and I'm here for two things. We're going to talk about resolutions and at the end, I have a special gift for her readers: a free, autographed ebook in the format of their choice of my debut novel, CANCELLED.
CANCELLED is the result of my 2011 New Year's Resolution. I published the novel on September 13, 2011, a whole three months ahead of my beginning of the year deadline. The journey wasn't easy, but I wanted to share how I did it, and how you can apply the same logic to accomplishing your resolutions for 2012!!
I CAN SUCK
You have to give yourself permission to suck. Once you aren't hung up on missing one deadline, or one workout, it becomes much easier to shed the guilt. Without the guilt of falling short, it's easier to start back up where you left off.
I took nearly 30 days off from writing CANCELLED right after making it to about 35,000 words. Old me would have never finished that project. Instead, I didn't feel guilty about what I didn't do and focused on “Wow, I've written 35,000 words. Can I make it to 50,000?”
JOURNEYS, NOT DEADLINES
In the same vein of being allowed to suck, think of your resolution as a journey. Every journey has highs of new experiences and lows of lost luggage. If your journey takes a little longer than anticipated, that's okay. I repeat, it is OKAY to take longer than you expected! I planned to finish CANCELLED by May 31, 2011. Then I moved it to the middle of June. It finally took a weekend of me saying “We're done here” and jamming out 18,000 words in 72 hours. My fingers are still angry with me.
If you only work with deadlines, where's your overtime? Good resolutions map out over the entire year. If you miss a self-imposed deadline, don't sweat it. You've just moved into overtime where points count double!
We all hear how you must measure your goals. That usually translates to something like this: I'm going to work out X times per week. I'm going to only have X cups of coffee/cigarettes/Hershey's Kisses with Almonds. I'm going to write X blog posts per week. And so on. Sorry, but that kind of measurement is NO FUN!
A fun way to measure is to count up! That's right. Not workout three times a week, but accrue 100 workouts between now and April (and if I miss it, then there's OVERTIME). Or, I'm going to put a smiley in my planner every time I wanted a cup of coffee/cigarette/Hershey's Kiss with Almonds and substituted something healthier. When I get 100 smileys, I'm going to see a movie I want to see/Disneyland/buy an ereader. Focus on what you do, not what you haven't done... yet.
CHANGE YOUR VERNACULAR
“I'm going to” isn't very convincing. You might get to it... eventually. You know when absolutely nothing else exciting or interesting is available? Can't tell I've been there, can you?
To get through the tougher parts of writing my novel, I changed my mantra to “I want/I need/I am.” I want to write this novel. I need to finish this novel. I AM finishing this novel because I'm the boss. That's right, you're the boss. Don't make your resolution a “would be nice” to accomplish. Make it a goal you have wanted your entire life, or at least longer than the last 15 minutes that you've been thinking about it. Make it a goal that when you wake up in the morning, you're proud to work on it. You grin, uncontrollably, when you share a small success.
If your New Year's Resolution is an accomplishment others want from you, such as weight-loss or quitting an unhealthy habit, don't bother. Only once you reach the point of needing to adopt a resolution's outcome to your identity will you reach success. I was encouraged to write a book as early as 2009, but it wasn't until 2011 that I felt a NEED to write one. It's YOUR 2012, not anyone else's.
So what are my 2012 New Year's Resolutions?
I'm hiring a personal assistant. I've always wanted one, and this year, I'm getting one. I'm calling her Gacinda. Meet Gacinda, she's also known as Google Calendar. I tested using Google Calendar over the last few months and I liked receiving reminders in my email for things I need to do. I felt important. I didn't feel like a stay-at-home-Mommy. So yes, I'm loading laundry, vacuuming, and writing time into my Google Calendar and Gacinda will alert me. (I'm pretty sure I can get her to text my phone, too. I'm so going to be a “home executive” this year!).
I'm counting up to 100 yoga workouts. By May, I'd like to have 100 workouts and then I'll tack on walks.
I am writing a sequel to CANCELLED, 1 novella, and 3 short stories.
I want to be proud of the food I put in my body, so by June, I'd like to eliminate most processed foods from my family's diet (we're not going crazy, but I'm going to stop buying boxed mixes and use more fresh herbs and spices and ingredients we can spell).
My big challenge this year? I'm co-writing my first novel with Saffina Desforges, the best-selling author of Sugar and Spice and the Red Rose series.
So here's to an awesome 2012 for all of us!
WIN MY BOOK
First, everyone who leaves THEIR New Year's Resolution for 2012 below in the comments (today only, 1/2/12) wins a free, signed ebook of my novel, CANCELLED.
Just let me know who you would like it signed to and which format you prefer (.mobi or .epub). You can either leave your email below, or I can ask Tia to help me make sure you get the copy. :)
[Note: To sideload the file to your ereader, you will need a USB connection from your computer to the ereader. It came with the device, or you can get one at a superstore for a few bucks. You need a mini USB to USB cable. :) Once you plug it in, your computer will recognize the ereader like any portable device, and you just copy the file over into a folder probably labeled books.]
I also have a monthly newsletter sign-up on my site. Each week of my Virtual Book Signing Tour I am randomly drawing the name of one new subscriber. He or she wins a signed, annotated copy of CANCELLED!
Thank you again for having me visit Depression Cookies. This is a great blog, and I'm excited to see what Tia has in store for it in 2012! And if you missed the giveaway because you're visiting on another day, you can see the entire schedule for my Virtual Book Signing Tour and catch me at my next stop!
And just in case all of this has not convinced you to comment, please check out my review of CANCELLED here. A small preview: I gave it a squealing 5 stars.