distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

What I Resolved for 2009 and How It Didn’t Come True

I find this amusing. Here’s what I wrote on December 31, 2008, revealing what my “resolutions” would be for the year 2009:

I was going to make a list. You know, do it up right. Use bullet points. Set target dates. I was going to set out viable, approachable writing goals for myself. No goals like “sign with a literary agent,” because I have absolutely no control over whether I can get myself an agent in 2009 and I don’t want to measure myself by outside forces; I have no power over what someone else will or will not love. So my goal is not to get an agent. I have a book coming out in September 2009, but my goals will not include aspiring to any kind of Amazon ranking, or selling enough copies to earn out my advance, or getting stars on reviews, or getting reviews at all, or even having some readers like it (though, believe me, I really really really really really am sitting here hoping some readers will like it). Again, all that: outside forces, relying on others, out of my control. My writing resolution is simply something I can make myself do before the year is over:

I will finish my new novel in 2009.

That’s it.

Happy New Year!

So, looking back on the year 2009, the book did come out, it got reviewed, it got read, some people did like it, so… success? I think it went well.

But it’s especially amusing when I said that in 2009 “my goal is not to get an agent.” I now see how the universe works. I get it. So when you outright say that you are NOT trying to do something, only then does the universe decide you are allowed to have it.


Also, many other enormous things happened to me in 2009, and I was absolutely not expecting any of them. (Except the bad things; I await bad news with cookies, that’s how I am.) But the good? Never in a million years. So maybe another way the universe works is to surprise you when you are absolutely least expecting it and didn’t even know to ask?

Hm. Like I said, tricky.

I’m going to have to think really long and hard about the things I don’t want for 2010, that’s for sure!

Oh, and that little goal from last year saying I will finish my new novel in 2009? Curious about that one? We’re down to the wire, we’re racing ahead, we may die trying… but, yeah, I think there’s a good chance that might actually be met! If you’re flexible on what you’d call “finish,” that is.

Did anyone else’s resolutions come true—or not come true—from 2009?

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11 responses to “What I Resolved for 2009 and How It Didn’t Come True”

  1. I pretty much stayed status quo, I suppose. We have another little one in the house this year, which slowed me down a bit, but I’m still disappointed. I WILL finish a novel next year.

    Congratulations to you on your success. 🙂

    • A new little one deserves such CONGRATS! And don’t be disappointed in yourself. Maybe we should both come up with attainable goals for 2010… I think I copped out last year by saying I wasn’t going to try for much.

      You WILL finish your novel in 2010! I’ll be cheering you on.

      As for me… maybe I should clean my apartment? 😉

  2. Hi Nova,

    thank you for sharing about your 2009 journey. Awaiting bad news with cookies? 🙂
    I hide from them by going on long walks to clear my mind.

    My 2009: had some heartbreaking news. Had an epiphany regarding my writing life and the revelation, or rather the confirmation, that I can’t live without it. The latter had dire consequences.

    2010: still thinking on the goals. 🙂

    • The thing about the bad news + cookies… I think maybe one of my 2010 resolutions might have to be to stop being so negative all the time? I’ll consider.

      I’m sorry to hear about the heartbreaking news that found you in 2009, but the epiphany regarding your writing life sounds significantly life-changing… if worrisome. I’ll be popping over to your blog to see what happened.

  3. I am going to post about my 2009 goals sometime this week-ish, but I did manage most of them! Especially the one where I wanted to get pregnant, even if it happened by accident a little before I expected.

  4. Ohhh, how exciting it must be for you to look back on all the success your book has had this year. Congrats!

    Your description of your resolutions, though, is exactly why I don’t usually do new years resolutions. I’m a goal-type person, but I often feel a year is so long, how can I possibly have a sense of what I want to accomplish by the end of it? I didn’t even know 8 eight months ago that I’d be getting my MA now.

    • Anne, congrats on leaping in to get that MA! I love when a year surprises you and you look back and so much has changed. I feel just the same way about 2009.

  5. Great post! I am so happy your year turned out as it did – I just recommended your book to a bunch of co-workers with young adult readers in their family. You are a total inspiration and I look forward to following you in the coming year.

    • Oh thank you so much, Courtney!! And congratulations on reaching so many of your resolutions. I can’t wait to see what happens with you in 2010 🙂

  6. I avoid making resolutions because they never go the right way. But I like this anti-resolution thing you have going on. The things you “don’t” want will happen! Reverse-psychology! Must try this like now. 🙂

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