Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Writerly Resolutions, and this Mind’s plans for 2023 by Gabriel Valjan


I’ve always looked at New Year’s as a second birthday. With our first birthday, we acknowledge the day we first appeared on this blue marble. It’s personal to us, our unique day. We receive energy. New Year’s is different. We set intention and we direct our energy. A resolution is a commitment we impose on ourselves. It signals Change and whatever IT is, IT implies a journey. IT will take time.

I’ll write IT down in my pocket calendar ahead of time and check-mark it when it’s done. I find that writing out the goal is powerful. The check-mark makes me accountable to myself. Deadlines are targets. Some are built-in. My fifth Shane Cleary mystery, The Big Lie, is due to the editor in mid-July 2023.

I do three things when I make a goal.

One, have gratitude. My first book, for example, turns 11 this year. Liar’s Dice, which Level Best Books will publish in March, is my fifteenth novel. I’m grateful to be published.

Two, establish perspective. I’ll look behind me, to see where I’ve been, so I can appreciate where I am today, and I’ll orient myself to where I want to go.

Three, I’ll ask myself, How do I get from Here to There? How do I effect Change?

I’ve decided I’m not happy with where I am in my writing career. What does that mean? Answer: I’m not in libraries. I’m not in bookstores. I haven’t been reviewed in the major trades. I have some visibility on social media, but it hasn’t translated into Sales, as far I can tell. I want to change this, and I don’t think I can do it on my own.

My goal for 2023 is to secure an agent, ideally one who can help me with promotion. I do have one in mind. I am Elmer Fudd and they are Bugs Bunny.

This is the year I will pitch one of my other projects. I will have a zinger of a log line. I will craft a pithy synopsis and identify the audience for this novel. I hope we mesh well. Not to sound like online dating, but I think we’re a good match. I’ve been fortunate to have received several prestigious nominations. I take criticism well. I work hard. I don’t complain. Introverted though I may be, I am no fainting goat when asked to do something. I need someone with expertise to do what I can’t do alone.

There it is: I want an agent this year. As for other writerly goals?

Get better each day, even if it’s 1%.

Personal goals: Do one thing that scares me.


Brenda Chapman said...

Good resolutions, Gabriel. I hope your agent choice works out - Happy 2023!

Gabriel Valjan said...

Thank you, Brenda. The best of 2023 to you.