Or three guesses for this years resolution!
It's not quite a month on from my Arvon foundation crime-writing course, but it feels a lot longer! Somehow the intervention of Christmas and the new year has drained some of the inspiration I felt. Maybe other people are good at making and keeping new year's resolutions but I find January a depressing month. How can I change my life for the better when it's so cold and wet outside?!
I'd like to resolve this year that I'll finally get a novel published, but it's not something I can guarantee. What I can do, though, is to maximise my chances. So here are my own personal resolutions for making 2012 the year I become a published author.
- I resolve to tell people that I am a writer. For so many years I've used words such as "I'd like to be a writer...." But I do believe that my subconscious listens to what I say. And I am much more likely to keep writing, keep submitting, keep smiling at the rejection letters when I know that I am already a writer. I don't need permission from anyone to describe myself in this way!
- I resolve to write something every day. Too often I'm tempted to wait until I have a decent chunk of time to write something, but even if it's only a few minutes, writing every day will keep my plot and characters at the forefront of my mind. I know I'm much more likely to have that "eureka" moment when I'm washing up if I've been thinking about my characters that day.
- I resolve to enter at least three competitions this year: Debut Dagger (for unpublished crime writers), the Good Housekeeping competition which is open to all unpublished writers, and a short story competition. And I will read the winning entries with a keen eye to see what I can learn from them. I've entered the Debut Dagger the last couple of years and the winners all have something that makes them stand out. Just need to translate that into my own work now.....
- I resolve to attend the two major crimewriting festivals in the UK, the Bristol CrimeFest in May and the Festival in Harrogate in July. I honestly believe that to get published, I can't just sit at home crafting the perfect novel - I've got to get out and meet writers, readers - and hopefully agents. And I'll have a perfectly prepared 30 second pitch for any agents I happen to meet - but no more than that. And I'll try not to go too puppy-like and bouncy when talking to them.....
So that's my resolutions for becoming a published author in 2012. I'd love to hear from others what steps you'll be taking towards your writing goals this year!