Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010: These Are The Things I Will Do To You

While I was up at my inlaws' for Christmas, I was munching away at MaggieCereal for breakfast and sort of watching TV, because that's what you do when you're at someone else's house for breakfast, and an Expert came on talking about New Years Resolutions. As y'all might guess, my ears pricked up, because goals/ resolutions and me, we are like this. Tight.

Expert: 90% of New Year's Resolutions will fail this year.
Host: That is a stunning and saddening figure.
Expert: Yes. That means 90% of all Americans will be failures.
Host: Yikes. Tell us how to keep our resolutions from failing. Or should we just not make them.
Expert: Resolutions are fantastic. I'll tell you how to make them succeed. I'll also tell you CUT TO COMMERCIAL.

They cut to a commercial. I kept eating cereal. Lover and I mused gently over whether Expert would give the same advice I always give on resolutions while I ate my cereal. Thing 1 joined us at the table to also partake of cereal. She made a small pile of Thing1Cereal around her bowl as she ate.

When the Expert came back, she told us we really needed to want to change, and that we should have a reward system built in, and that we should hang with people who helped our resolutions instead of hurting them. For instance, if your resolution was to lose weight, make friends at the gym and not at Dunkin Donuts. She didn't say that, but that's what she meant. And then she said, booyah, the force be with you, peace out. It was all very feel good and empowering and fluff-making.

And yeah, those are all very nice things. But she didn't say anything about the resolutions themselves. If you make well-meaning, empowering, flufftastic resolutions that aren't really achievable while wanting to change and having reward systems in place, it's like having great cooking habits and a craptastic recipe. You'll spend hours in the kitchen and end up with hamburger helper muffins.

Sooo again for our television viewers who just tuned in, remember that I already said why think most resolutions fail. Because folks don't think of them like goals, and good goals are quantifiable and within my control, and bad, hamburger helper goals are nebulous, subjective, or mostly in the hands of politicians. Here's my official goals/ resolutions/ Cleveland post on that. I also like goals that make me stretch and define my year in a way that I wouldn't have normally. So I don't put stuff on the list that I'd be doing anyway. For instance I have two novels due in 2010, but I'm not going to put them on the list because they have to get done whether or not they end up on the list.

Here, without further ado, are my 2010 Resolutions.

1. Write a screenplay
2. Write a song every week.
3. Sketch once a day.
4. Take Thing 1 & Thing 2 to a Broadway show.
5. Go to the UK in September.
6. Take Lover to a new sort of concert that we've never been to before.
7. Compile an album/ demo.
8. Create dummy/ general shape for graphic novel.
9. Organize a teenage writer's workshop.
10. If LINGER goes to #1, buy a piano.

When I was making these up, I was trying to think of things that would stretch me in ways that I wouldn't normally go, and things that would push me out of my comfort zone. I tried to keep the ones that couldn't be crossed off until the end of the year to a minimum (the only two I have are sketch once a day and write a song each week -- note they can't be crossed off until December 31st, 2010)(if they were all like that it would make for a really unsatisfying list as the whole point is to be able to cross those bad boys off). And I only have one on there that's not in my control: the last one. I had one of those for 2009 too: if the UK rights sold for SHIVER, go to the UK. I figured it wasn't cheating because if I didn't add that to the list, I might have sold the rights and then just not have followed through with the UK trip. Same with LINGER and #1. I can't control the "if" part. But I can control the second half.

So. It looks like an entertaining list to me. And an entertained Maggie is a Maggie that stays out of trouble (when I was a pre-teen, I learned the adage "a tired puppy is a good puppy" and I found out it also applied to me). So now these are officially out there.

Ahem. Ahem. You guys done with yours?


Larissa said...

I posted mine earlier today, but only the writerly ones...

I hope you'll share some more of your songs with us! ;)

Catherine Denton said...

I like the "If" on the list with the added part that you CAN control. Great idea. Don't have a list yet but yours has inspired me.

Unknown said...

Seriously, you need to brand MaggieCereal and then you'll be about ready to take over the world. Wasn't that on your list of things to-do? Or was that just Queen of the Universe... or are they one and the same? :D

Very motivating post! I've never really done resolutions before... but that might explain why I never accomplish anything. I'll have to remedy that this year!

And wow, I want to read your graphic novel!!

storyqueen said...

I don't know if I am resolving anything this year...except the usual, which is to give up bad words.


Sara {Rhapsody and Chaos} said...

I love your goal to write a song every week! It's so unique and if you blog about it, I will live vicariously through you :-) I am musically (both vocal and instrumental) challenged... sigh

PS I absolutely can not wait until July for Linger! I made a list of my favorite things from 2009 and Shiver was at the very top for books. July is just so far away *grumble grumble*
(So to make up for it I picked up Lament and Ballad today!)

Linda said...

Writing a screenplay and graphic novel are on my list as well (although I won't be doing any drawings, my fiance will be doing that part since he's the artist) and a few other writerly goals plus some personal ones. Mostly, I just want to finish the projects I started this year and continue to query my butt off.

Elisabeth Black said...

Yeah, thanks to your influence I have finished making my resolutions. I blogged about it, mentioned your post, so I'll include the link, but you should know that I hate my blog at this point: it's barely viable. I advise you not to look.

Happy New Year! Rock your goals.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Larissa -- I have a song for LINGER written, it's just a question of getting into the studio now . . . and plus I can't decide if I want to do a trailer for LINGER as well.

Catherine -- I'm glad to inspire! I love having just one IF . . . THEN goal.

Marisa -- MaggieCereal is for 2011.

Shelley -- LOL WTF!? ;p

Sara -- I'm so glad you loved SHIVER and hope you like the faerie books too. Also, I will blog about all these . . . don't know how much of the music I will share/ record/ we'll see . . . :D

Linda -- good luck querying your butt off! And finishing up ongoing stuff.

Elisabeth - Whoo! Also, now I want to know what your hubby had hidden in his truck.

Kate said...

If #9 happens, I'm there! My main goal of the year is finish my rewrite for my superhero book. Also to get out of the house more often, get out and have adventures! These two goals seem contradictory...

Maggie Stiefvater said...

*grin* Good luck on those adventures, Kate!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

I had a NY Revolution on my blog and listed all the promises I plan to break this year just so I can be successful. :)

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