Monday, December 23, 2013

A Writerly Lifestyle: Reflections and Resolutions

‘Tis the season! From now untill the New Year, a cyber-slew of resolution posts will hit the web. So, first off, let me offer why my perspective is a bit unique: for me, 2013 was The Year of All the Things.  
First: Enter Izzysaurus. (my newest daughter – nicknamed for her cute-ish sounding roars)

Izzysaurus: The roaring baby.
Two weeks after Izzysaurus entered our lives, I got THE CALL. While stumbling through what I call “newborn haze” I took the most important call of my writing career. 

But a quick step back: In the months just before the Izzysaurus came along, I was polishing up my middle grade manuscript. I’d gotten feedback from beta readers and I entered a few query/first chapter online contests. I was prepping for a big dive into the query-letter waters. Then something great happened. My pages did well enough in Cupid’s Literary Connection contest that I got a full request, which led to a phone call with (cue drum roll) my incredible agent, Danielle Smith from Foreword Literary

Agent Danielle Smith of Foreword Literary.

In the fog of newborn haze, I pulled it together for this one phone call. It took about 32 seconds of talking to Danielle to know I wanted this brilliant person to be my agent, advocate and advisor. When she offered representation I was honored, ecstatic, over the moon… you name it. It was THE CALL, after all.  

Soon thereafter, our first-born started kindergarten. 

Our eager beaver.

And in November, we moved into a new home. 

Casa de la Heisel

And this is why my family calls 2013 The Year of All the Things. And like a ribbon of flash powder—poof, it’s just gone. 

These kinds of years happen to everyone. But the thing is, while many of life’s pieces were falling into place, one piece suffered: my creative time. This time was gobbled up by crazy things like finding a carpet installer, pricing bathroom vanities, etc. Well, no more.

I have an AGENT.  

Which gets me to my much-needed Writerly Resolutions for 2014:

!        1)  Plan a Writing Schedule. Communicate and plan for this block of time with the family. Doesn’t this sound obvious? It probably is. But it’s a new concept to this previous freewheeler. I’ve already discovered it’s not as easy as it sounds, either. If 2013 taught me anything, it’s that Things Come Up. This leads to my next resolution…

      2)   Stick to the Writing Schedule. Again, obvious, right? And yet, and yet…   I’m not great at saying no, but I’ve gotten better. This is the year of Scheduled Writing Time, after all.

          3)  Bad Mojo is Not Allowed in Writing Dojo. When I push that button on my laptop, I need to flip a switch and focus on my WIP. I owe it to my family, my agent and myself to NOT think about the broken wash machine, finding a new cell phone plan, etc. ALL OF THAT can wait until after Scheduled Writing Time.

I’ve already worked out a plan with my family, so here’s hoping 2014 is the Year of Productivity. Feel free to hold me accountable: message me, ask on Twitter, post here. I’m hoping next year my writerly resolutions will be all craft related, and I’ll have this writerly lifestyle business down.
How about you? What are your resolutions for 2014? And, do you have any time saving tips I could use? ;-)


  1. Love "Bad Mojo is NOT Allowed in the Writing Dojo"! These are great resolutions for 2014! What a year 2013 was! Goodness me! :) 2014 will be AWESOME!!!

  2. I love the bad mojo/writing dojo idea! Writing is just like any other job in that we have to compartmentalize and get down to business. I want to make a "Bad Mojo is Not Allowed in Writing Dojo" sign and hang it on my office door!

    My main goal for 2014 is to complete at least one new project and figure out the baby steps to make that happen. We should definitely share our goals and hold each other accountable. :)

  3. Thanks Diane and Cheryl! Yes, let's hold each other to it. I need a little accountability. It's almost unsafe to not having anyone keeping tabs on us anyway. ;) I also need to complete a new ms and get another one outlined.

  4. What a wonderful post! Okay ---- goal for 2014 -- write NEW words and yes, please hold me accountable. I refuse to let myself drown in query world.

  5. Bad Mojo is not allowed. That's right. I can pull it together for things I have to do. And writing is something I have to do.