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Are You Insane?

The end of the year is fast approaching and it’s time to consider the woulda…coulda…shoulda’s from 2011.  I’ve decided to launch a pre-emptive strike on the whole New Year’s Resolution thing.  From a writing perspective, 2011 pretty much sucked!  Yes, I revised FALLEN KNIGHT again and started shopping it to agents, but I only distributed a dozen or so letters with nary a nibble before I halted the process due to dissatisfaction with my query letter.  I wrote just one original short story during the whole year, roughly outlined the premise for the third book in the Knights series, toyed around with a couple other book ideas, and I’ll top that under-whelming list off with the fact that I quit writing entirely for about five months.  From a broad view of where I need to be, very little positive happened last year.

My non-writing related goals tanked as well.  Let’s just say that neither my intellectual growth nor body image went in the direction I was shooting for!

So what should I do to prepare for 2012?  I’ll tell you what I do…the strategies I formulated last year to help me achieve my goals in 2011…they’re going out the window.  It was Albert Einstein who said that the definition of Insanity was doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Well, I must be a little bit nuts because I’ve basically been doing the same thing for two years and wondering why I’m still writing post like this.  You know what’s even more frustrating?  I’m not butting my head against the wall because nobody feels my manuscript is good enough, nope, I’ve not even made it that far.  I definitely need a new tact and a bolder approach.  It’s about to get mighty uncomfortable in my comfort zone.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet, but it won’t be the same ole, same ole.

So if you’re about to sit down to compose your list of 2012 resolutions, here’s a little advice.  If you jot down a familiar goal, one that’s made the list several years running, ask yourself this simple question…are you Insane?  If the answer is no, then it’s not the list of resolutions that needs updating…it’s your plan of attack!
Happy New Year everybody!  See you on the other side.  :)


  1. Have you let Matthew at the QQQE critique your query letter yet?

  2. Hmm. I'm interested to see what new strategy you come up with. On New Year's Eve, a few writers from Swagger and fellow bloggers Juliana Brandt and Julie Jordan will be publicly stating our resolutions for 2012. It's an accountability post. The idea is we'll revisit our resolutions mid-year to see how we're doing. We'll see how that works...

    Good luck to you in 2012. You're a talented guy. You'll find your way.

  3. I am not a New Year's resolution gal. I have goals that don't "begin" or "end" with the calendar year. That's my story and I'm stickin to it.

  4. Still debating my non-resolution path out of unmet goals and dreams.

    Insanity? Who told?!


  5. I resolve not to make up a resolutions list.
    I will try to finish my book, though.
    And participate in the A-Z Challenge.
    Hmm, that leaves a lot of time.
    Maybe I should make a list.....

  6. It sounds like you've done something better than make a resolution -- you've had a revelation! I hope it opens some new doors for you!

    Happy New Year, and good luck to you in 2012!

  7. Actually, the things I do are insane for giving me the same results. I am just fine, thank you very much.

  8. So true! And one of the reasons I never make resolutions :)

  9. I suppose I'm a bit insane myself:) I heartily approve of your preparations for 2012. Neat blog!

  10. Well, this year is the year! I'm sure you'll keep us informed along the way.

  11. Ha--I don't think I'm insane, since I'm constantly coming up with new ways to reach my goals. However, that very reluctance to give up on my goals could possibly qualify as insanity (especially when I'm up writing into the wee hours of the night, night after night, neglecting housework, etc.).

    Here's looking at your finding some great new strategies for success in the new year. And hoping my insane tenacity pays off someday!

  12. i actually hit most my goals this year, so i'm pretty excited about my 2012 goals.
    And if you need query letter help, let me know. I'm pretty good at them and got a lot of bites off mine

  13. Luckily, I'm proud to say that I'm NOT insane. My previous goals have been to write everyday, but this year I'm doing something different. By February I'm hoping to get a rough draft of a fantasy novel I'm working on done, and by June I want to have it edited enough so someone can look at it without their eyes bleeding. (I have handwritten this novel, so typing it will be an important part of the process!)

    And basically my writing goals are left at that. By February if THAT is done, than I will look at other goals I can add...but I REFUSE to add "writing everyday" to that list. It's ridiculous, I swear, to do that every damn year. It won't happen again.

    I also want to pay off debt.

    Okay, I'm done! :)

  14. I recently just saw an article where someone said that most people's New Year's resolutions fail from lack of preparation. You say that you're going to do this, but not how. The important thing is to make a plan as to how you are going to achieve your goal, not just the goal itself.

  15. Best of luck in 2012! I hope it ends up being everything you want it to be.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  16. Resolutions suck. I choose to make a theme for the year. Writing wise, last year's theme was, "figure out what makes me happy." Worked pretty well. This years will be, "Take charge."

  17. I'm also not a big believer in resolutions. According to Einstein's definition I'm probably on the verge of insanity, but I'm not quite ready for a strait jacket. The Deja Vu Blogfest was a big hit which was helpful to many bloggers. I think you've accomplished more than you realize. Happy New Year and I'm confident you'll reach your goals! Julie

  18. This sounds like good advice. It's good to revise ones plan of action if it's not getting desired results. Wishing you tons of success in the next round of 2012.

    Tossing It Out

  19. Yesterday tears -today I open your page and laughed so hard. Then I started to tell myself "It's rhetorical" over and over. OK rhetorical or not you asked;

    First -yes (I'm a writer I thought insanity was prerequisite)

    Second - resolutions~love them (their like little rules you can go out and intentionally break when your feeling rebellious)

    Third -Queries, Synopi(would that be the plural of synopsis) and Blurbs ~ all harder to write than the novel (in my opinion). Listen to Alex, get help. Matthew is incredible. Go to QQQE.

    Finally -that body image remark (you knew I would have to). There is a whole special set of vampires for that. I'm grateful I got all the necessary parts and they are in good working order(most days). Would I like a little more here and a little less there - You bet. But ya know,if you take your clothes off publicly enough,it starts to bother you less.

    The only way to lose at writing is to stop. Guess that's the only way to lose at anything.

    You still one of the good guys. Happy New Year.

    Hey, this year resolve to go to Montana.

  20. I make those lists and then forget where I put them. This year no list I'm just going to search for the old ones. :)

    We are ALL Good enough, just remember that!

    Happy New Year.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  21. DL, that's a saying I use all the time - insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you don't change something, nothing will ever change.

    I wish you luck in your year of changes.

  22. I love this post -- so true for me, too. And the line 'about to get uncomfortable in my comfort zone' jumped off the page. Yes! That's the attitude to have!

    Happy New Year!

  23. Here's hoping that 2012 is better. I'd like to get further on my MS, and actually query this one.*crosses fingers*

  24. Great post, D.L. Lots of food for thought. I need to take a long, hard look at my weight loss/get in shape goals for 2012. Every year I meet them, then fall off the wagon and find myself in the exact position I was in the year before, wanting to lose and firm up. Maybe I should revise my plan of attack.

    Best of luck on the querying process. Wishing all you all the best in 2012.

  25. Great post! I've definitely been insane in past years, but 2012 is my year!! It's OUR year! We're doing things differently. Doing them right! Getting it done!

  26. I've done a lot in 2011, but most of it isn't getting me any closer to publication, or even to querying. So while I've achieved a lot, I still feel like I'm standing still in a lot of ways!

    Good luck for 2012, and I like the approach you're taking here!

  27. Groan. Groan.
    This sounds too familiar.
    And you're right. If something isn't working we have to try something new.
    Best of luck to all of us.

  28. I'll look at your query if you'd like.

    I was email chatting with a published friend and she gave me a lecture (lovingly) about my querying techniques...I've only sent out a handful of them. She said you have to send them out to everyone...I'm going to be more assertive in the query process in 2012.

    Have a Happy New Year, Don!

  29. LOL! Love your perspective, DL! And that Einstein quote is a keeper. I've never been much for making goals or resolutions at New Years. Of course I'd like to get a contract this year, but I can't control if that happens or not. All I can do is write the best books I can, right? That's the best we all can do. :) Yes, keep us posted with your new strategy. All the best in 2012!

  30. Wishing ou a much better and more productive 2012. Thanks for pointing out the obvious. I don't know why I didn't figure it out sooner (and before my blog post that I just published) but you are so right. I did find myself jotting down too many way too familar sounding resolutions, goals, promises or whatever I called them. I like your idea. Let me know when you come up with your plan. I loved," It’s about to get mighty uncomfortable in my comfort zone." That's the approach I am taking. Thanks for reminding me of the definition of insanity.

    Have a happy and productive new year.

  31. DL - I wish you a productive new year! This post is one of the reasons I love your blog. Honest, realistic and thought provoking.

    I've been contemplating new strategies and goals already. My first goal might be to not make anymore. 2012 might be the year of following my heart wherever it leads.

  32. Forcing yourself out of the comfort zone is always good! Best of luck!

  33. My last query was revised more than any other. I just wasn't getting bites. I wasn't satisfied with it. Now it's better, but I've sent out only 4 queries with the new version. We'll see...

    This business is hard. We stall sometimes. Recognizing the problem is the first step. I wish you a productive and successful 2012.

  34. 2011 sucked big time! But 2012 is going to be fabulous!! Happy New Year, DL!!




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