You think: This is going to be a great year. I'm going to write 2,000 -- no, 5,000 words per day, at 6AM, every day! Right after my 3-mile run and my power breakfast of Wheaties and fresh fruit!
You do: Sleep until 9AM after activating your snooze alarm five times, eat two pop tarts, and spend two hours on Facebook and Twitter. When you open Word, you stare at it blankly, close it, and check what's on Food Network.
You think: This is the year I'm going to blog every single day, and it's going to be full of pith and wisdom and keep my readers clamouring for more!
You do: Stare at it in fear, day after day, wondering if the last wise thought you had came to you in a caffeine-induced hallucination during your 13-hr drive from Raleigh to Long Island. Come to think of it, did you ever have anything worthwhile to say?
You think: I'm going to write a novel and finish it in six months. No more of this two-year revision process! I'm a writer, dammit! This stuff oughtta just flow out of me like water! Heck, maybe I'll even write two novels this year!
You do: Re-read and revise, re-read and re-vise, re-read and revise, because it's that eighteenth draft that makes the difference, that scrutiny of choosing one word over another, that making sure you've woven your plot together without a dropped stitch somewhere that could potentially unravel the whole thing. It takes a little bit of time.
You think: I'm gonna sell a zillion copies, have my own merchandising empire with coffeecups and pillowcases and dolls that say catchphrases from my novel, and that's all before the movies get made!
You do: Publish your novel, obsessively check your Amazon rankings, and celebrate when the number of copies sold has exceeded your low expectations.
You think: This year I'm going to be the envy of my friends with my glamorous writing life!
You do: Thank God for your teaching job with health insurance while you're banging your head on the table after discovering halfway through your revisions that you wouldn't even buy this book if it were published. Heck, not even if it was free.
This year, I resolve to listen to what my characters have to say, write and read a little bit every day when I can (and some days writing is thinking), and accept that some days it's gonna suck and some days it's gonna be blissful. I'm going to try to be mindful in all areas of my life while allowing myself to play every chance I get. And when I'm not in the mood for any of it, I resolve to hug the teddy bear I got for Christmas (because I've decided you're never too old to have a teddy bear) and allow the words to come to me another day. Because they will. They always do.
As for the blog -- well, I can't make any promises.
Happy 2011, everyone. :)