By Tracy Clark
It’s the new year! It’s that time of year when most of us leap into the new and shiny and kick off the old and spent. If I were the kind of person who made resolutions, I’d likely have busted them by now, but I’m not, and I didn’t, so I’m good. Or I thought I was. Then Reese Witherspoon and Ina Garten started playfully batting at each other on Twitter. And now I’m thinking about my 2022 goals.
I caught wind of the celeb back and forth while kicking back in my sweats watching reruns of “Life Below Zero.” I had just muttered the words “I could so take down a caribou. How hard could it be?” when Reese went all Oprah about building new lifestyle habits for 2022.
Reese tweeted: “1. Start the day with a big glass of water. 2. Get 10 mins of outdoor light, @Hubermanlab recommends morning light. 3. Spend 30-60 mins reading without distraction every day. 4. In bed by 10 p.m. *no late-night TV binges. Try to get 8 hours of rest!”
I laughed. It was funny.
Ina Garten, the OG of all things culinary, found it funny too, because she tweeted back her 2022 goals:
1. Drink more large cosmos. 2. Stay up late watching addictive streaming series. 3. Stay in bed in the morning playing Sudoku instead of reading a good book. 4. Spend more time (safely) with people you love. In a pandemic, I do what I can!”
I’m team Ina. Reese is okay, but, c’mon, eight hours? Outdoor light? Today, it’s 9 degrees in Chicago. Ten minutes of morning light would likely land me in the ER.
But I’m giving it a shot, and since I’m a writer and writing takes up most of my thinking time, I decided to work up four writer goals of my own for 2022. And if I can so take down a caribou, I can surely make these goals stick … at least until March.
So, drumroll, please.
Goal 1. Get out of my way. Don’t overthink it. Sit down and write. If you’ve got an idea, go for it. How bad can it be? If you don’t have an idea, fish around for one. And don’t judge it when you find it, either. Just go with it. Type the words, think about them later when you get to the editing phase. Till then, play like a kid in a sandbox. Free your mind and the words will follow. Most of the time.
Goal 2. Try not to edit while I write. This is a big one. I’m an editor by profession. I edit while I write. My brain tells me to. And in my defense, when you really think about it, punctuation, as the T-shirt slogan maintains, saves lives. “Let’s eat grandma” and “Let’s eat, grandma” take on totally different meanings without that freaking comma. But for 2022 I’m going to try to just write and not edit/write. I’m gonna leave stuff messy, keep moving forward, and fix it all later. Anybody else sweating, or is it just me?
Goal 3. Shake that imposter syndrome. I’m five books into my writing career and I still feel like a newbie who doesn’t know a darned thing about writing books. When does this end? After book six? Ten? Never? I’ll work on it in 2022. I know stuff. All I have to do is convince myself of that. I’ll start penciling in some pep talks.
Goal 4. Eat more cookies. Goals one through three are kinda tough. I think I should commit to a cookie a week to see me through.
So, take that Reese and Ina. Let’s all ace 2022!
What are your 2022 writer resolutions?
What are 2022 writer resolutions? Let’s see — I think I’ll start with your Goal 4 – except I wouldn’t only eat one cookie a week — right now it’s one cookie a day (at least not gaining weight, so how bad can they be?) As for writing — I’m resolving to finish thriller #6 this year (but I still tend to edit as I go along). Now, good luck with your own writing – which is really terrific!!! And thanks for a thought-provoking blog.
Clearly, with two–so far–award noms, imposter syndrome does not apply to you!
Personally I always go to bed at 10, but then, I’m really boring.
And I have to get up for work at 5:10.
I love these goals of yours. I’m Team Tracy Clark.
5. Get nominated for lots of mystery awards. Since you already did it this week, you can check it off the list and have an extra cookie!!
It’s 7 degrees here here in Maine, too, and brrr, the sidewalk and driveway are skating rinks! But then your writing goals are so good that I actually kinda got warmed up. Apparently simple, but still (oh, boy) challenging: the don’t get in my way, the phony fears, the pre-editing, and of course the cookies. You are right on all counts for me, too! Thank you, Writer Woman! 🧡
You are a multi-nominated author…no imposter there. And eat Twizzlers.
Love these goals, especially #3!
I still owe you cookies and have been brushing up my various chocolate chip cookie recipes in honor of Cass. (Spoiler alert: Giada deLaurentis’s is really, really, really good.)