Tuesday, January 03, 2012

One Writer’s Resolutions

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Today I welcome Susan Paturzo as my first guest of 2012. Susan has accumulated houses during the economic downturn and to support her unfortunate real estate addiction turns to work as a software developer. When she manages to escape from a cubicle, Susan writes mysteries and has won awards for her short fiction. She also blogs about life – or the lack thereof – in corporate America. In today’s blog she shares with us her writing resolutions for 2012.

First of all, thank you for the opportunity to be the first guest of the year at Terry’s Place! I don’t ordinarily put much stock in New Year’s resolutions, but when it comes to writing I need all the help I can get. Herewith, one writer’s goals for the coming year:


I will put writing first instead of waiting until the email is read, the bills are paid, the laundry is done, the dog is walked, the web is surfed, and all the other myriad “necessary” tasks I reflexively put ahead of my creative life.


I will look rejection in the face and laugh. Or, at least not whimper. I have, as I write this, “only” been rejected by three agents. That’s nothing, a grain of sand, a proverbial drop in the bucket. When I’ve hit three hundred I can complain.

I will complain less. A wise friend once pointed out that the word complain shares the same root as the word comply. As long as you’re complaining about something you’re not ready to make a change. Here’s to more change and less complying in 2012.

I will write my next mystery. I took so long to write my first one that I think my friends expected every cataclysm from frogs and locusts to fire and brimstone to descend once it was finally finished. The refrain of “almost done” got very old. It’s been lovely to bask in the glow of completion but it’s time to move on.


I will not fear rough drafts. I personally love revising. I can re-work the same paragraph 150 times – in fact, it’s hard for me to stop. But the blank page? Putting something where once there was nothing? That’s when my inner critic gets vicious, inventive, and shuts me down completely.


I will prove that self discipline is not an oxymoron. According to Wikipedia, self discipline is the ability “to motivate oneself in spite of a negative emotional state.” See? I had to look it up. But this year I will experience it first-hand.

I will find out what the hell a platform is. In this context, I know it’s not a wooden structure to stand on but I swear, if I hear that word one more time – oh, wait. That’s complaining.

I will stop procrastinating. I will no longer list procrastination under hobbies along with sleep and self loathing. Time is a limited resource. I will do my best to act accordingly.

Organize, don’t agonize. Words first spoken by a professor of mine at the University of Colorado. I recently put them in the mouth of my fictional homicide detective, and I think they’re worth reiterating.


I will tell my stories. As often seems the case this time of year, I’ve heard of several deaths, some that hit close to home. I resolve to tell the stories in me that I was put on this earth to tell, without worrying about whether it’s any good, or marketable, or fashionable, or hip, or trendy, or what someone else thinks.

Happy New Writing Year everyone!

KILLING STREAK is Susan’s first mystery in a series featuring Denver Homicide Detective Jack Fariel. To find out more, including sample chapters and a link to Susan’s corporate blog, please visit www.susanpaturzo.com

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13 comments:

Jemi Fraser said...

Those are good goals! I love the Organize, don't agonize one! :)

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for the inspiring post. Cracked up over the one on procrastination. It has been a hobby of mine, too. LOL

Jan Morrison said...

A simply wonderful list of resolutions - almost like a bill of rights or a proclamation of writerly power! I'm going to print it and put it above my desk. Thanks thanks thanks.

Susan Paturzo said...

Hi Jemi, glad you liked that line! I always remember my old professor fondly when I use it. -Susan

Susan Paturzo said...

Maryann - procrastination is a hard habit to break. If you have any tips, let me know, LOL.

Susan Paturzo said...

Thanks for the kind words Jan! I'm glad the list is helpful.

Karen C said...

I wish you lots of success with your resolutions! I have to confess to procrastinating about organizing and spend too much time agonizing about it ...

Kathy said...

Those are great goals and none are overpowering. I tend to just get stuck doing the rough draft never can figure out how to polish it lol.

Susan Paturzo said...

Kathy, maybe you & I should get together and collaborate, LOL!

Susan Paturzo said...

Karen C -- I appreciate your comment, especially since I have spend most of today organizing my office -- hopeless :)

Page Lambert said...

Way to go, Susan. I can't wait to see what Detective Jack is up to next, so keep us posted!

ManicScribbler said...

I thought this was really endearing - and I also recognised some of myself in there.
Well done for the honest and interesting resolutions and the very best of luck with them.

Paul Boulton said...

Susan, where can I get my slippery hands on that first book?