Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Writing Wednesday: Writing Resolutions plus giveaway

Harelquin Desire Author Andrea Laurence shares her Writing Resolutions for 2013 and offers a giveaway


It’s that time of year. The beginning. A fresh start, a clean slate. I have mixed feelings about the new year. It’s cold, I’m usually still in a post-holiday funk, and I compound the misery by starting my annual, failing diet. But I also like being able to say ‘the past is the past’ and move forward with all of last year’s junk hanging over my head. You can do that any time, I suppose, but January seems designed for that very thing. I want to clean off my desk, de-clutter my brain and get ready for another year.


Two years ago, my RWA chapter president sent around slips of paper for people to write down their writing goals and resolutions at the holiday party. The idea was that in January of the following year, we’d read what we wrote and see how we did. I didn’t put anything in there. At the time, I was feeling pretty down about my writing and my main goal – selling – was something I couldn’t control. All you can do is write your best book and submit it to the right people. The rest is out of your hands. I didn’t feel like that was worthy of being a goal. Why bother if you aren’t writing your best book and sending it out to the right publishing houses and editors? That’s the basics if you want to succeed.


I ended up selling to Harlequin six months later. At that point as a writer, everything changes. For me, it was now about writing my best book, over and over, on a deadline. I had to master the art of revisions (which I’d gotten a lot of practice doing, pre-sale) and be able to gut a book to an editor’s specifications in a two week turn-around time. No pressure.


It’s going well so far. I’m starting off this year with a new release, a great new contract and a more condensed schedule than I had in 2012. Instead of telling myself I’m going to lose *cough* pounds and finally start flossing, I’m going to set myself some writing-related resolutions. Here goes...


1.       Don’t go more than 3 days at a time without at least opening my current manuscript. I work full-time and tend to do most my writing over the weekends. But it takes me a while to get back into the groove with such a big gap. Even if I don’t actually write, I at least want to read over what I’ve written, make notes to myself on where I’m going next, and try to keep my head in the book.

2.       Use my new Trek Desk for at least 3 hours every week. Hopefully more. Yeah, this kind of circles back around to the pounds I need to lose, but it’s important. I bought myself a treadmill and a desk after Thanksgiving. I can easily walk 1.5-2 miles an hour while doing social media, reading line edits, etc. I have a lot of books to write and if I sit on my rear the whole time... bad news.

3.       Do a better job keeping up with my writing expenses. I tend to shove all my receipts into my purse and sort through them every few months. It’s a mess in there. I keep a really nifty spreadsheet for doing my taxes, but it would be nice if I could tame the paperwork. I bought a Neat Desk document scanner last year with the best of intentions. Now might be a good time to plug it in and see how it works.

4.       Social media is good. It’s necessary. But it’s not writing. I need to do better about logging in, doing what I need to do, then stepping away to get actual work done. I need to write more, Tweet less. Except when I’m on the treadmill for #2. I will not feel guilty at all for surfing Facebook as long as my feet are moving the whole time.


I bet you thought more of these would be about writing itself. But the actual writing is usually the least of my problems. It’s everything else going on that makes the writing more tricky. According to Franklin Covey, one third of all resolutions are broken by the end of January. Only 20% of all the resolutions made will be kept! Mine need to be in that 20%. I have four books to write this year and there’s no time for me to mess around. Two of the books I’m writing in 2013 are books 3 and 4 of my new Secrets of Eden mini-series, which kicks off this month with UNDENIABLE DEMANDS. Here’s the cover and blurb:

There’s Always Room to Negotiate

When Wade Mitchell finds himself face-to-face with Victoria Sullivan, he has to reconsider his usual tactics. Wade needs to buy something she owns, and he needs it now. Since he and Tori have enough heat to melt ice, it should be a done deal.

But melting Tori’s resolve is a harder task. She’s not giving in to the man who once fired her. Yet Wade has to keep trying, because if he doesn’t, he risks exposing a secret that could destroy his family. When all proper negotiation fails, seduction may be his only option.


Isn’t the cover great? I love it. It’s actually the scene from the book that takes place on New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Appropriate for this blog, don’t you think? It inspires me to want to write more great books so I can have more great covers just like this one.


Now it’s your turn. Do you have any writing resolutions for this year? If you’re not a writer, what kind of things are you resolving to do in 2013? Exercise more? Spend less? Quit smoking? Share your goals for 2013 and you can win an autographed copy of Undeniable Demands!





  1. Replies
    1. Chey - my desk at work and at home are usually terrible. That may be part of the reason I sit in my chair with a laptop. I don't have to look at any paper. Good luck!

  2. I AM going to catch up on my mending pile (which hasn't been caught up in three years). I HOPE to get a lot of scrapbooking done too (as I'm still on 1992 or 1993); no sense in saying I'll get caught up, as it just isn't happenin'....

    1. Laney - I scrapbook, too. I need to finish my first sale album, which is the last paper album I have. I switched to digital scrapbooking a few years ago and found it was a huge time saver. Some people like the paper and craftiness of it, so that wouldn't work for them, but to me, it's a way to organize and preserve memories. I can scrapbook an entire trip in a weekend retreat. Have you ever done one of those? Once or twice a year, I go with a group of ladies to a place just for that purpose. We sit there for three days and scrapbook while they feed us. I get so much done that way, digital or otherwise.

      Good luck!

  3. I love your honesty Andrea. I too need to be more organized when it comes to writing articles for my newspaper's business magazine. I'm expected to have stories in it but don't get time during regular work day. That means weekends and early or late on weekdays. May we both be in that 200% of successful New Year's resolutions :)
    My email is u2beegees (at)

  4. Replies
    1. If it was 200%, we'd have better odds! LOL. Good luck with your articles.

  5. Happy new year! Would like to read more


    1. I'd like to read more, too. I should. It's hard to make time for it. I've been enjoying Joanne Fluke's cookie murders. There's like 15 of them, and I'm on #5, so I have a long way to go. :)

  6. Andrea, your post on resolutions is so timely. I've just been transferring dates into my 2013 diary and starting to work out my deadlines for the year. I'm in the process of assessing what's achievable and how. I like your idea of opening the ms often, even if you can't write. I currently have a house full of visitors and getting time and space to write is tough. I may need to take a similar approach to you there. Happy new year and good luck with the new book.

    1. Thanks, Annie. I spent years before I published only writing when I wanted to. Then I had 2 books one year, 3 books the next, and I had to do better about writing on a schedule. But now I'm looking at 4 books written in 2013 and 5 in 2014. I have to seriously focus and write even when I don't feel the muse. Or when DB is yelling at the football game. :) I'm hoping getting into the file more often will help keep the flow even when I'm not in the mood to work.

      Good luck writing around your guests!

  7. I'd like to add that so far (yes, this is day 2) I have opened my file both days and walked on my treadmill and hour each day. I cleaned receipts out of my purse today, too. Feeling pretty good so far. Ask me again in March. :)

  8. My winner is Sasha! Congrats! Please email me at author (at) andrealaurence (dot) com with your snail mail address and I'll get a copy of UNDENIABLE DEMANDS out to you!