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Meghan Ward

I'm a freelance writer and book editor represented by Andy Ross of the Andy Ross Literary Agency. You can read an excerpt of my memoir, Paris On Less Than $10,000 A Day, and visit my website for more info about me.

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Writerly New Year’s Resolutions

What are your New Year’s resolutions? Mine are:

1. Run the Oakland Half Marathon on March 25, no matter how slowly. I ran this marathon in 2010, and then in 2011 I wimped out after a 10-mile run two weeks before because I hadn’t trained enough. My ego didn’t want to run it slower than I had the year before, so I didn’t run it at all. Talk about self-sabotage. So this year, my goal is to run it no matter how little I’ve trained and no matter how slowly I run.

2. Publish my book. I plan to publish two books this year—Paris On Less Than $10,000 A Day and a second memoir I’m writing about parenting. I hope to sell the second one on proposal rather than writing the book first. And here is the whopper: I retain every right to renege on this resolution come end of March, but if I don’t sign with an agent by the end of March, I plan to self-publish Paris On Less Than $10,000 a Day. I’ve worked too long and hard on it to let it sit in Scrivener for the rest of the year. And this will give me the kick in the pants I need to really get it out there as quickly as possible.

3. Write the proposal for Book Two and send it out by the end of March. (Notice a theme? All of my resolutions are due end of March. Then I get to spend the rest of the year lying on the couch eating bon-bons.)

4. Continue to read two books/month. I’m starting the year off with Peter Orner’s Love and Shame and Love followed by Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Marriage Plot. Also on my TBR list are the books of all my fabulous bloggy buddies: Samuel Park’s This Burns My Heart, Anne Allen’s The Gatsby Game, Roni Loren’s steamy romance Crash Into You, which—by the way— JUST CAME OUT, Tawna Fenske’s Making Waves (which I’ve already purchased on my Kindle), and Brian Meeks’s Henry Wood Detective Agency.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? If you need some ideas, check out this great post I found via Kristan Hoffman.

And for those of you who had questions for Ivory Madison about Red Room, she has answers!

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22 comments to Writerly New Year’s Resolutions

  • KLM

    Oh, whoa! I like this plan of yours. Very aggressive. In short, "Make it happen before the world ends … or in March, as the case may be." I must admit, being able to get a book out quickly is a HUGE advantage with self-pubbing. I hope you'll do some posts on that process if you don't renege on your resolution. I'm particularly curious about the packaging aspect — the cover design and layout and all that.

    I couldn't run a marathon if I was being chased by a bear. I admire my jogger brethren greatly. Good luck and may your knees be strong!

    • KLM – I forgot all about the world ending this year. I'm thinking now that I should push back the date of the book proposal. And maybe the agent deadline, too. That's a lot to accomplish in three months. Sigh.

  • I'm slow, but I run half marathons, too. I figure each season I'm a bit older, and there's no shame in adding time.

    Here's to a great year!

    • Caroline – I'm slow, too! I did my last one at 9min40-second miles, but I have to train a while just to work up to 10-minute-miles. Oh well. Better than sitting on the couch eating bon-bons.

  • She Started It

    Great goals! I'm looking for an agent for my first novel…And hope to also finish the first draft of my second novel in 2012.

  • Kristan

    "Then I get to spend the rest of the year lying on the couch eating bon-bons."

    LOL. I don't even know what bonbons are, but you are hilarious.

    These look like some great goals. I look forward to seeing how the year plays out for you. I anticipate good things. ;)

  • Jon

    Hmm…nice resolutions. Good luck with the half-marathon! It's funny, I'm trying to increase my mileage too. We'll see if I make it that far.

    • meghancward

      Good luck with your mileage, Jon! I once had aspirations of running a full marathon, but I think I'd rather save my knees. 13 miles is long enough for me.

  • How fun to be in somebody's New Year's Resolution! I'm so glad you're going forward with Paris on Less than $10,000 a Day. I can't wait to read it.

  • Thanks for including my book in your resolutions! :D

    And good luck on all your goals. We'll both be staring down the end of March. My book 3 draft is due then and I'm only halfway through writing it. Eek! But your plan sounds great. And I hear you on not letting things die on your hard drive. If you believe in your story, look at all the ways you can possible get it out there. Good luck!

  • kimkircher

    Holy Cow! You're a rockstar. Hopefully your March goals come true. Brava!

    • meghancward

      Well, since I achieved exactly zero of my resolutions by the end of March, I don't know that I'm much of a rockstar, but thanks for the encouragement! :)

  • Autumn

    One of my New Years resolution to actually post comments on blogs I find helpful. It feels a little strange to me. I'll get more courage, I am sure as I comment more. I enjoyed the 2012 resolutions you made and wish you well. You encouraged me to start reading again! I used to read all the time–don't know why I stopped, I just did. So thank you. I wouldn't have thought of it as a resolution, since it had always been part of my character until lately. So, ta-da! Going to library and/or bookstore tomorrow. Happiest New Year!

    • meghancward

      Autumn, So maybe if I'd responded to your comment, you would be posting more comments on people's blogs! Sorry for the delay. Sometimes comments get lost in all the spam comments I've been getting lately. I hope the reading is going well, too!

  • Hi, Meghan! Skipping the tortuous back story . . . I was reminded of a book I've had on my shelf for a long time, "Wild Mind : Living The Writer's Life" by Natalie Goldberg. I looked her website up and thought of the memoir you are writing. Goldberg's latest books is "Old Friend From Far Away:
    The Practice of Writing Memoir". Have a great weekend!

  • Teresa

    Megan, what's the status of resolution #2? I saw the guest post on self-publishing.

    • meghancward

      Teresa, Thanks for asking. Although I haven't officially signed anything, as agent is interested in my book, and has been since about February. He's waiting for me to do a final revision and then we'll see from there. So I'm holding off on self-publishing for the time being :)

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