Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Promises to Myself

I always make resolutions  only to break them in the next few days. Every new year I decide to eat less desserts, chocolates and Ice-creams and junk food (my weaknesses). The next day I would have binged and eaten the week’s share of these goodies. My exercise regimen after the initial burst of enthusiasm goes for a toss. So do my good intentions to be  a better daughter, sister, friend, aunt and confidante as I end up fighting accusations that I have not returned phone calls and ended up canceling outings.

But the promises I make to my parents and loved ones are sacrosanct. I never break them as that would be tantamount to hurting them, breaking their hearts, letting them down and shattering  their implicit faith and trust in me.

Last year I chartered two new territories: I started teaching Creative Writing  in college and started blogging. Both brought me in touch with wonderful people and enriched my growth as a writer. 

This year  I have decided to do away with resolutions, which I  am anyways unable to keep. So it will be a waste of time even making them. But I have made several promises to myself. I hope I don’t let myself down.

  1. I will try  to read  few books every month.

  1. I  will try to read atleast one book in my genre every month.

  1. I will try to read a few classics every few months.

  1. I will do some mental workout. Try Flash Fiction and Micro Fiction. It’s a wonderful way to sharpen my writing skills and polish my editing  skills.

  1. I will work on creating  unusual characters and pay a lot of attention to creating wonderful settings.

  1. I will spend few days before starting a new WIP, on brainstorming about it.

  1. I will work on that query letter and start sending out my manuscripts to publishers.

  1. I will read atleast two writing Craft Books this year.

  1. I will critique other  writers’ stories, picture book, first few chapters or Query Letters. Last year I critiqued 9. This year I want to do more. As critiquing is a wonderful  way of learning and helping someone.

  1. I will write daily. However busy my schedule is, I am trying to write atleast a page daily.

  1. I will read a few pages daily.

  1.  I will try to keep in touch with all my loved ones.

  1.  I will try to attend a  writing workshop or conference this year.

 What  are the promises  you have made to yourself where writing is concerned? Would you care to share it with us? I am sure we can help you  stay on your track by regularly motivating you.


  1. You have a lot! My biggest promise to myself is to take my time and not rush my writing just to get it out there.

  2. Like Terri, I don't want to rush this next book. But I do want it done by August. So I have a lot of work to do. :) A lot of time I need to spend in my book, but well worth it.

    You have a lot of goals, Rachna. I hope that you do well with all of them.

  3. Terri.. Though I wrote a lot in the past two years I did not send out any of my writing to publishers last year. This year I plan to get onto the submission wagon. I would like to know what is the publishers' response to my recent writing.

    Robyn..I realized that last year with my writing and teaching schedule I had ignored my reading habit. My TBR pile is threatening to bury me under it. Hopefully I will be able to squeeze in a little reading time this year. There are so many books I want to catch up with.

  4. Awesome list of promises for yourself. You can totally do all of them too! Good luck!

  5. Great list! I'm with you on reading at least a few books each month. I think that's the toughest, especially when I'm so involved with my own WIP. Best of luck to you in everything in this New Year!!!!

  6. Your list is outstanding. I need to make a promise to myself to read more. I write plenty but don't read exept when I have no internet or computer, or my betas are reading my WIP.
    I will try harder!

  7. I love your list of plans. They are attainable (unlike most resolutions -- honestly, who can cut out chocolate from the diet???)

  8. Great list! I second Lynda - not only who can, but who wants to cut out chocolate? Life is too short!

  9. Great list, Rachna, and the reading part is really fun, it's almost like chocolate! I've been lazy about submissions this past year, because I was reviewing books and writing my own. This year I plan to submit, submit, submit. That's probably my biggest resolution/promise.

  10. Love your goals, Rachna! I need to overcome fear and just write, or just relax and enjoy other's writing.

  11. I love your 'promises to self' and abandoning the idea of 'resolutions.' Too much pressure. your promises are very much like my 2011 goals list (which I'm still working on). It includes writing goals similar to yours, as well as professional and personal goals. I think, by writing our goals down, we are much more apt to achieve them ... if not all of them, MORE of them. Happy 2011. Thanks for the uplifting post.

  12. I just stumbled across your blog from Lydia K's and am so happy I did. That is so wonderful that you teach creative writing! Definitely one of my dream jobs :) Your resolutions sound wonderful and I'm sure you will fulfill them. I made one to write for at least 1.5 hours a day without any distractions. It's crazy how a small amount of time can be efficient if I focus. I hope to finish my novel this year as well.
    Oh and have you heard of the book The Wednesday Sisters?? I just got it as a gift and as a writer, am loving it!
    I'm excited to be a new follower and can't wait to read about you fulfilling your resolutions. Good luck :)

  13. These are all worthy goals, and definitely achievable! (sweets are my weakness too)

  14. Colene..I deliberately kept the list simple, so it would be achievable.

    Anne.. when I am writing the first drafts I find it difficult to read. But during rewrites and edits its relaxing to read.

    Lydia....this year I really want to make inroads into my TBR pile.

    Lynda and Alexia.. I would never be able to give up chocolates. Don't even want to think about it.

    Elizabeth...this year both of us need to submit, submit and submit. We need those crucial feedbacks.

    Cheryl..once you start writing you will soon overcome the fear as the story will ensnare you making you oblivious to any fear afflicting you.

    Melissa...promises are easier to keep than resolutions. I have a good number of writing goals this year.

    Saumya....I love the fact that you have resolved to write for one and half hours daily. Any writing discipline is good to get those words out and the story moving. All the best with your novel.

    Julie....I hope and pray that I achieve quite a few of these goals this year.

  15. What an awesome - and intimidating list, Rachna! Good luck with it. I do need to challenge myself like this. I've got goals lists, of course, but they end up getting tied into things other than just writing. Home improvement and the lot... Sigh.

  16. Hello Madam,
    firstly wish you a good year ahead.
    and secondly hope all your wishes come true.
    have been trying to write something, something so genuine to heart and near to life, but really lack a tactful skills to play with words and put it down on paper.
    i would like to request you to help me improve my writing skill and story.
    hope i am not asking more, if you are able to only, i ask you this favor,please.

  17. Victoria.....yes the list is intimidating, but hopefully achievable. As writers we have to challenge ourselves daily, we have to be disciplined about our work and really put in tremendous effort to makes our stories appealing.

    Sogyel...hello. Thanks for the wishes. Here is wishing you a wonderful 2011. Sogyel..I would advise you to start writing, the moment you do that the story and the words will start flowing. Once you have the basic story out on paper or computer, you can then start working on it. I checked your profile, you live in Delhi. See if you can attend a writing course in your city. It will help you learn the basic techniques of writing. Start writing by writing small articles and stories for the local paper which accepts free lance contributions. It will be a great way to get feedback and seeing your name in print will be a wonderful encouragement.
    And last but not the least, read. The more you read the more you will learn. Reading another writer's story is the best way to learn. And make it a point of writing a little everyday; that way you will get to know your character and story better. All the best for your writing.

  18. thank you so much for your response....and of course for your valuable advice.
    good day madam

  19. An awesome list of promises, Rachna. It is good to set ourselves challenges and numbers 4 and 10 will go together nicely.