Resolutions resolved

Originally posted 05.01.12

So another year ends and a new one begins, who would have thought that would happen?

At this time of year the dreaded resolutions come to mind and this year I’ll be making a couple. Having already quit smoking (the secret is to get a stinking cold, it really helps for the first two weeks, after that you’re on your own) and enjoying drinking and red meat far too much, I will focus my resolutions on my writing. My first resolution will be to successfully pass my MA with a good grade. Unlike many resolutions in the past, I think I have a very good chance of fulfilling this one. The first year has gone well and I am actually looking forward to starting work on my final project.

My second resolution is to complete my first novel manuscript. This, if I am honest, is the same resolution I have made for the last two years and, as I am making it again, you can guess how well the previous attempts turned out. This time though, I am much more confident that I will achieve this resolution as well. The first reason is that the course has improved my discipline, which I am first to admit has not been that strong in the past. I am helped this time by the need to complete fifteen thousand words for my MA project. This gives me a structure, a deadline to stick to, and will be a good start.

The course has improved my writing as well, which helps me avoid the plot holes which killed off one novel, the unrealistic characters who only succeeded in murdering another manuscript, and the generally poor prose which halted progress on a few more novels due to my despondency. With these failings resolved, my chances of seeing a book through to the end are significantly improved.

The last reason is because I have more confidence in my own writing. This is due to what I have learned on the course and, more importantly, good and encouraging comments from my tutors and fellow students that have given me self-belief. I can actually do this! Working through the course has also shown me that the publishing world is not as scary a place to enter as I have imagined in the past. I am sure I will get my fair share of rejections, but it is not the impregnable fortress of my nightmares and if I can’t secure an agent the self-publishing route is now a very viable alternative.

All in all, I am quite confident that this is the last time I’ll have to make that particular resolution. Next year, who knows, maybe I’ll resolve to secure my first book deal.

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