My ‘Do More Writing in 2012’ Resolutions

When I look back at 2011, I accomplished some pretty big things.  I finished my first short film Saying Goodbye, which is screening at film festivals around the country and has won several awards.  I won another grant to make a new short film called High Heels and Hoodoo, which we’ve almost completed.  And I had a childhood dream come true when my story "Seeking a Hidden Hive" was published in Highlights magazine.  I am so grateful for these things, and my face goes into automatic grin mode when I think about them.  

The only problem is I didn’t actually do much writing in 2011.  Those accomplishments were set in motion with writing I did in 2010 or even earlier.  While I did adapt High Heels and Hoodoo into a screenplay in early 2011, I wrote the short story it was based on in 2010, so I’m not sure that even counts.  I did plenty of other things that needed to get done, including finally starting this blog after dilly-dallying for far too long, but it’s now time to get serious about my fiction writing.  

I hereby declare 2012 my year for prolific writing!  

However, I attended enough management seminars during my years in the corporate world to know a vague objective like write more isn’t going to cut it (in fact, the procrastination imp camped out inside me is currently doubled over in hysterical laughter).  I need specific goals to keep me accountable, so here they are:

  • Write one blog post each week.  Ideally I’d like to blog more often, but I want to keep these goals attainable so I don’t fail the very first week.
  • Each month rewrite at least one short story I wrote for NYCM contests, research appropriate places for publication, and submit them.  It’s an affront to my muse to leave those stories sitting on my hard drive, and she’s moody enough as it is.
  • Submit The Hunt to betas, collect feedback, and do a final rewrite to be ready to query agents by June.
  • Rewrite The Spirits Within (my current WIP screenplay) in time for the PAGE screenwriting contest on March 31st. 
Too much to do!These goals might end up being too aggressive, since we’ll have a lot going on with both movies in terms of film festivals and marketing, but I need to push myself.  And fortunately I’ll have cheerleaders in my corner for the month of January.  I met K.T. Hanna during the last platform building campaign, and she is a generous spirit – always the first to offer fellow writers much needed encouragement.  So it’s no surprise she started #writemotivation month for a group of writers to cheer each other on toward our January goals.  I’m looking forward to meeting everyone, and I’ve pulled out my fluffiest pom poms.  
And since today is the first check-in Monday for #writemotivation progress, I’m happy to report I wrote tweet tales for the first two days, and this post meets my blog post a week goal.  Hooray!  The bad news is I have yet to crack open the novel WIP.  I’m not sure where to start (yeah, I know, at the beginning), but hopefully I’ll venture into the void tonight.
I hope 2012 is off to a great start for everyone, and I wish you all a very happy and healthy new year!
What are your resolutions for 2012?  What writing projects are you excited about?  Any tips for a rewrite that just doesn’t want to happen?


K.T. Hanna's picture

I think defining your goals in this way makes you more aware of what you want to accomplish - and not some vague idea which is easy to let fall by the way.

I'm really glad to have met you last year, and I'm sure a bunch of motivation in January will help us all on our way to a really prolific 2012 :D

Jocelyn Rish's picture

I'm glad to have met you too, K.T.  Looking forward to cheering each other on to great writerly things!

LadyJai's picture

That is some awesome goals and great things that happened to you last year! Here's hoping 2012 is better for us all!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thanks, LadyJai! I'm expecting great writerly things from all of us!

Faith's picture

Here's to specific, manageable goals in 2012!!! I'm doing the same thing (and posted a few on my blog), and hoping that thinking of things in bite-sized pieces rather than giant, vague "I wish" statements will help me actually succeed this year. I can't believe the ABNA is coming up so fast, though!!! Every year I forget until like the week before, and then end up without anything ready... argh... oh well. If it motivates getting even a chunk of something done, that's a good thing, right? o_O

Jocelyn Rish's picture

This is actually the first time I've ever written out my writing goals, and I compund the scariness by posting them publically.  Yikes!  Hopefully it wil finally keep me accountable.

Yeah, ABNA always sneaks up on me too.  I've been meaning to do this rewrite for a while, and the looming ABNA entry date finally gave me a much needed deadline.  And getting chunks of something done is always a good thing!

Zeny Williams's picture

You can't even imagine how hard it is for me to come up with a specific list of goals, so seeing your list is very impressive. As well as seeing how much you've already accomplished. So far, 2012 seems like a great year (Yeah, I know it's only 2 days in lol) Optimism is one of my resolutions. Good luck on everything, you seem to be off to an awesome start.

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Ha, optimism is an awesome resolution!  I need me some of that too!  I'm terrible at making goals, so I was glad K.T. came up with #writemotivation to give me a reason to officially write some down.

DiDi's picture

Congrats on your goals! I wish you the best. BTW LOVE the "moody muse" comment...that's priceless. I admire your determination and hope you succeed on all!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thanks, DiDi!  And my muse is not only moody, but fickle and flighty and sometimes downright nasty.  But sometimes she cooperates and then all is forgiven.  :-)

Alessa's picture

Those are awesome goals. I definitely think making your goals concrete helps a lot with meeting them. That way you have a way to measure your progress.

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thanks, I've never been this specific before, so I'm hoping it works this time. :-)

Ceridwen's picture

Congratulations for your achievements, Jocelyn!

I hope you'll achieve even more this year. :)

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thanks, Ceridwen (awesome name!)!  I'm hoping for much writing success for all of us this year!

Mark Koopmans's picture

Aloha Jocelyn,

Nice to meet you - thanks for the well wishes and I think it's awesome that you even knew I was talking about Tripler AMC :)

Looking forward to reading more of your blogs - especially about the movies.... oh my gosh... how do you manage!!!

My goal for January is to complete *one* chapter!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Ha, Mark, it's all smoke and mirrors - it all sounds more impressive than it is.  I am personally amazed by the people who blog/write and have families too (especially brand new babies!).  My dog is demanding enough.  :-)

Callmebecks's picture

Damn - awesome goals. You can totally do it! I thought about the Amazon novel contest as well, but I really don't think ye olde WIP is going to be ready in time, so you'll have to let me know how it goes.

I'd also love to hear more about your film projects some time. :)

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thanks for the vote of confidence.  Although I'm not sure my WIP is going to be ready for ABNA either.  But even if I don't make it, it will still be much needed progress.  

My brother and I blog about our movies over at so you can find out waaaay more than you ever wanted there.  :-)

Lee 's picture

Hi, Jocelyn! Specific goals are great. I am sure you will make it. Especially interested in hearing when those nycmm stories get published - get them going on the submitting carousel!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thanks, Lee!  I hope you're doing stuff with your NYCM stories, too.  When I get around to my sci-fi one, I might hit you up for submission suggestions.  

Elisa's picture

I LOVE your views on things. So happy to have found you. You're inspiring. :0)

Wishing you a wonderful 2012!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Awww, you've made me blush. Thank you!

Jenn's picture

Happy to see the Hunt rewrite here and will be checking in to make sure you stay on track with it. :-) Get hopping lady!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

I know, it's getting kind of pathetic at this point that I haven't finished.  I'm hoping the ABNA deadline is just what I need.

AE's picture

KT Hanna deserves a prize for her wonderful motivation to others. While your goals seem lofty (they seem incredible! I surely couldn't pull it off), even if you don't succeed on each and every one, you will still get a lot accomplished if you only succeeded with a few. I enjoyed this post, thanks so much for sharing! Perhaps I will also make a goal list. Good idea!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

KT definitely deserves a prize!  And, yeah, I agree that even if I don't make them all (likely), then I will still have accomplished a lot.  Good luck with your 2012 goals!

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