Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Resolutions


It's that time of year when we start thinking about the New Year and making those pesky resolutions. Most of them go unfulfilled. The goal of losing weight vanishes and a gym membership is wasted. Maybe a vow to go back to school or to save more money--June comes and you realize that you didn't make it.


I remember one New Year's resolution of mine that happened almost by accident. One New Year's Day I was sitting at my computer, Word on the screen and staring at that horrid blank page, trying to come up with a story. I had the character, John Logan, former spy, and nothing else. I'd tried numersous times to come up with a plot, something, anything to build that first novel on, and after a couple of years of work, had nothing to show for it.


Enter my daughter.


She came in and saw me at the computer and in her unique way asked me a question. "Are you still trying to write that stupid novel?"


I confessed that I was and that I was getting nowhere. My daughter said, "I will bet you a McDonalds milkshake that you won't have it done by Christmas."


I turned back to the blank screen, staring morosely at it, knowing that I'd just made a bet with my kid that I'd probably lose. I thought about the past attempts and what had gone wrong. I'd tried everything I knew and still the story wasn't clicking. So, in sheer desperation, I thought of an idea. What if John Logan was a former spy but is now a private eye?


I straightened up in my chair and began writing the first paragraph, the plot already forming in my head and by the second paragraph, John Logan had found his voice. The first draft took me three months and it was pretty bad but I went back and rewrote it, changed it, began sculpting the story and I learned so much on the way. My daughter bought me the milkshake in March.

That experience taught me a lot about writing and setting goals. It also taught me that without conviction and perseverance, there is no use setting a goal. Most of us set goals that we don't really have a passion for doing. Everyone I know who has fulfilled a New Year's goal has done so because they were passionate about accomplishing the goal.


Whatever you goal is this comng year, make sure you have the passion and desire to get it done.





Happy 2012, everyone.

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