The Year of Writing Something Big

I'm usually terrible with New Year's resolutions, mostly because I choose things I can't quite control.

Like, go on a date with a boy! (High School Caroline)
Or find a boyfriend! (College Caroline)
And nab a book deal! (Last Year Caroline)

Hmm, my younger self was rather boy-seeking, eh? Ah, youth! Anyway...

When 2013 rolled around, I decided I needed a change. Instead of choosing a lofty dependent-on-others goal, I wanted to pick a reasonable do-it-yourself one. See, I learned a tough lesson in 2012. Career-wise, I got far too entrenched with stuff I had no control over: comparing myself to other writers, staring listlessly at Publisher's Marketplace, and anguishing over the U-turns and roundabouts that my writerly journey had taken me on. To help you visualize what I looked like, I present you this:

ANGST CAT! Sighing on the sofa all day!
I was frustrated and deflated. For awhile, I even thought about returning to the museum profession. I mean, I got a discount for space ice cream at my last job! That ain't so bad!

After moping around for *mumble mumble* days, I realized that I'm a writer at heart and that I'll stay a writer until my heart goes ker-plunk. So quitting wasn't really an option. (Not even for unlimited space ice cream!) But to move forward with my writing career, I knew I needed to make some adjustments; specifically, I had to rediscover my joy for writing. Because that's what I lost sight of in 2012—I got so caught up with subs and PM that I forgot why I write in the first place.

Okay, I'm rambling a little but here is my point! In 2013, my resolution is to...



What I mean by "Something Big" isn't necessarily a book filled with magical sloths or loud explosions or a retelling of Romeo & Juliet set in space with robot nurses and laser guns (although that would be fun!). For me, writing Something Big means writing something that stretches me. That pushes me. That's simply more than the books I've written before: more character depth, more plot intricacy, more prose richness.

Simply put, I want to draft a book that scares me a little. That makes me ask: Can I pull this off? Am I good enough? Can I even finish it? By working through these fears and doubts, I really hope to grow as a wordsmith and as a story-builder. 'Cause that's the only thing I can control in this crazy world of publishing—improving my craft and crafting better books.

Or as I like to say, write Something Big!

So that's my resolution for 2013, and you know what? I started drafting a new WIP last week! It's a YA fantasy, and it's exceptionally weird (like, I'm not kidding you. It is Strange with a capital 's.') And that's scary because I've never written fantasy before and I have no idea if anyone will appreciate my book's strangeness...but that's okay. This is a book that'll stretch me. This is the book that's my Something Big.

Maybe my CPs will hate it. Maybe Agent Jim will think I've gone off the deep end. Who knows, you know? Right now, I'm setting those worries aside and writing this weird, weird manuscript that I don't know if I can pull off. I'm pretty scared. I'm pretty excited. And whatever happens, I hope I'll be proud of it.

Here's to 2013, the year to write Something Big!


How about you? What sort of projects are you working on for 2013? I'd love to hear them!