Happy New Year: What Do You Want to Happen in 2011?

I’ve said it before: I detest New Years.

This is partly because I’m against all periods of enforced fun, partly because if you do try to have fun you’ll be overcharged entry to a space packed elbow-to-elbow with sweaty drunken revelers, and partly because with only a couple of exceptions, I never seem to be where in the world I want to be on December 31st. But it’s mostly because the last day of the year – much like birthdays – serves as a reminder that yet another 12 precious months has gone by and you haven’t done all or any of the things you said you would, or wished that you had.

But this year I’m going to be a little easier on New Years than I normally am, because 2010 wasn’t a bad year. Far from it. Lots of great stuff happened, and some of it might even lead to fantastic stuff happening in 2011. (Here’s hoping!) I am also knee-deep in Novel No.2 and have some other fun things lurking on the horizon, so all in all, life is good.

Just some of the fun of 2010. Clockwise from top left: meeting Apollo astronaut Charlie Duke (thanks Ben!), 30 minutes of book-buying heaven at The Strand in New York, finally visiting Alcatraz Island, Mousetrapped, seeing Hogwarts and Hogsmeade wonderfully recreated at Universal Orlando, a fantastic Saturday night in Times Square with Andrea and Eva.

I could make a big long list of all the things I want to happen in 2011, all my goals and resolutions and dreams and plans and intentions, but really they all rest on just one thing: I want to get a novel published. It may seem naive to think that this will happen to me, what with the awful odds, etc., but what’s the point of even trying if you don’t believe that you can? You have to believe that you can do it. You have to have confidence in yourself, without being a crazy X-Factor auditionee.

The other thing I want to do is write more. I don’t mean write more often, I mean write more stuff. In 2010, I wrote posts for my own blog and worked on my novels. That was it. In 2011, I want to branch out. All will be revealed in due course but I can tell you that I have two new blog-writing gigs, and something very exciting in the freelance writing world (to me, anyway!) that should be happening in January-ish.

Finally, I want to learn how to compartmentalize my time. At the moment, if I’m working on the novel, I feel like I have to work on the novel all day and do absolutely nothing else. It’s an all or nothing situation. But really I should be able to start the day off with half an hour of Twitter and e-mails (only half an hour…?), then a couple of hours of one project, an hour’s worth of a blog post and still get to the novel after lunch instead of that other favorite activity of mine, napping. (My excuse: I don’t sleep very well. This is just a guess but it may have something to do with all the coffee…) That way I can work on multiple projects at the same time, instead of thinking I’ll get around to that once the novel’s done, which only makes me feel edgy and anxious. Doing this may also involve watching less television. Britain’s Got Talent starts soon, doesn’t it? Got to Dance, anyone? When is Grey’s back?

So this January 1st I feel pretty good about the year that’s passed, and I’m feeling really good about the year that’s coming, so…

Happy New Year! Love, Me.

Now: what do YOU want to happen in 2011?

P.S. I’ve given myself until February 14th to finish Novel No.2. As always, this seemed like a time period in which I could write a few novels back in November when I set it, but now I see that making it will require twelve hour days and more coffee than Starbucks would know what to do with. Luckily I am jobless and have nothing else to do, and I quite like drinking potentially fatal amounts of caffeine. But as novel-writing is kind of an all-or-nothing thing with me, my blog and Twitter page may well go a bit neglected. I’ll make up for it later, I swears. In the meantime, wish me luck.

5 thoughts on “Happy New Year: What Do You Want to Happen in 2011?

  1. Vanessa O'Loughlin says:

    ‘And will you succeed?
    Yes! You will, indeed!
    (98 and 3/4 per cent guaranteed.)


    Dr. Seuss ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’
    Can’t put it better than that! Vx

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      Indeed not! No better way to start the year than with a bit of Dr. Seuss! 🙂

      I hope so. But I really do feel good about this year. So much done and so much lined up already – very different to this time last year. I’m… dare I say it? – PROUD of myself!

  2. Averill Buchanan says:

    For what it’s worth I always have to nap in the afternoons. I’m a light sleeper, plus my body doesn’t seem to hold its charge well (if you know what I mean). I’ve been like this as long as I can remember. So now I just build it into my day as part of my routine – give muyself permission to nap. I reckon that it helps me think better afterwards, and I tend to work later into the evening.

    Good luck with the novels! Hope 2011 brings you what you need.

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      I love that phrase Averill – “my body doesn’t seem to hold its charge well.” I might have to use that, because that could apply me to too. Could be feeling sleeping only a couple of hours after getting up. I think you do a lot better work if you give into it and sleep, as you said, and work later. The downside for me is I work at a desk in my bedroom – which as I’ve said before is about the size of three telephone boxes strung together – so the temptation of the bed is never far away! 😦

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