I tend to take my new year’s resolutions pretty seriously. Some years they’ve been a little frivolous, like the year my resolution was to watch Casablanca, but even then I did make sure to do it. They’re usually pretty concrete, and measurable, and designed to be achievable though a bit of a stretch. A legacy of my years at Intel, I guess.

My resolution for 2010 was to read the Aubrey-Maturin books by Patrick O’Brien, in order. I knew up front I wouldn’t be able to read all twenty-and-a-bit of them in one year, but I intended to read as many of them as I could. Well, that’s what I did, and “as many as I could” turned out to be three: Master and Commander, Post Captain, and HMS Surprise, plus a little bit of the fourth (The Mauritius Command). Fairly pathetic, really, but I gave it my best shot. I intend to continue plugging away at them until I’m done, along with all the other reading I want to do.

In 2011 I need to get back on the writing horse in a big way, after the many Mars-related and travel-related disruptions of 2010. They were enjoyable and valuable disruptions, to be sure, but they did interfere with the word count. So my new year’s reosolution for 2011 is: finish and submit my current novel and make a good start on another novel.

To break down the elephant into smaller, more chewable chunks, I intend to attack this resolution as follows:

  • Complete the first draft of the current novel by the end of the first quarter (March 31);
  • Have the current novel critiqued, revise it, and submit it to at least one publisher by the end of the second quarter (June 30);
  • Write at least 30,000 words on a second novel by the end of the third quarter (September 30);
  • Have at least 60,000 words of draft on the second novel by the end of the year.

In support of these goals, I intend to write at least 500 words, preferably 1000, every day. Though I’m not going to get doctrinaire about it like I did in 2009; if I miss a day, that’s life.

I know these goals are laughably unambitious by the standards of some of my writer friends, but for me they are a stretch. However, I think I can achieve them, with good quality, and if I can do this it’ll be my best novel-writing year ever. Wish me luck!

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