Monday, 31 December 2007

New Year's Irresolutions

It’s that time again; that time when everyone starts talking about New Year’s Resolutions.

I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve made just one. My New Year’s Resolution is that in 2008, I’m not going to make any New Year’s Resolutions. That probably sounds crazy, when I wrote, only weeks ago, about the need for goals. But I have my reasons.

This year, I made only two real resolutions. The first was that I would lose weight. I wasn’t well and my weight was beginning to creep up. That fact was making me even more miserable. So I resolved to lose weight. It didn’t happen. The more miserable I was the more I ate and vice versa. It wasn’t until I started to deal with why I was miserable that I began to feel better. Straight away, my weight turned around and it is ever so slowly creeping back down. No diet, no extra exercise, just a healthier outlook on life. I haven’t lost weight, I’ve just gone up and down to the same place. But that's something positive. Nothing to do with any resolution on my part, though.

My second resolution was to find a publisher for my story for adopted children. I had it critiqued, got professional advice on it (from a friend who’s an adoption psychologist) then started looking where to send it. I made the mistake of thinking I’d found the perfect place for it – a small publisher who was actually calling for stories specifically for adopted children. I e-queried them as they requested and waited the number of months they specified. Nothing. No answer whatsoever. So I learned a big lesson there, but I still have an unpublished story.

For a while, thinking on all this, I was a bit down. Then I turned it around and started thinking about what I did achieve in 2007 and decided that having failed my two New Year’s Resolutions wasn’t so bad. After all, I finished the first drafts of both my novels, I wrote two more picture books, I illustrated two more picture books (by other authors) and they’re both now on the bookshelves. And the piece I had accepted for an anthology on adoption three years ago finally got published. To top it off, I got the job I’ve had my eye on for the past ten years. That’s not a bad haul for a year. So I think I’ll resolve to just keep plugging away as I have been, taking each day as it comes, grabbing opportunities as they arise and setting short term goals as I need them.

Yes, that sounds good to me.

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