Did you make any? Were they literary?

My favourite psychologist (yes, I do have a favourite) the excellently offbeat Professor Richard Wiseman, has been talking about resolutions and how little we know about the process of making (and breaking) them.

He points out that the advice given in every agony column and on every webpage to ‘tell others’ to ‘make them measurable’ etc is totally untested. And he’s setting about testing them. Visit to find out more

But for me, I already have the answer to one of those questions, for me at least – it may not be psychologically sound data (a sample of one rarely is). But it works. If you want to get more work published, you have to submit more work, and if you want to submit more work, you have to create a system that nudges you into submission, and nags and gloats if you don’t submit. So I submit work on Thursdays and on Fridays I tell the rest of my writing group about my submissions, acceptances and rejections.

I haven’t missed a week (apart from Christmas week) since November 2004 – and my publication rate is pretty damn impressive if I say so myself.

So what did you resolve, and have you stuck to it?


  1. Tribeless
    11th January 2007

    Damn, that makes me feel good. My resolution was to write two stories good enough to submit, ‘this year’.

    I think you may have done a rant about people like me last year some stage 🙂

    My wish for you Kay is that you break the agent/novel issue this year.

    Mark Hubbard

  2. Tom Saunders
    11th January 2007

    I’ve resolved to worry tomorrow.

  3. kathrynoh
    11th January 2007

    Most of my resolutions are to carry on with my goals from last year.

    I think the success of resolution process relies on making goals you want to achieve rather than goals you think you should achieve.

  4. Linera Lucas
    11th January 2007

    One of my New Year’s resolutions was to rack up 100 writing rejections. Somehow the focus on the rejection takes the sting out of those SASEs coming home.

    I have a spreadsheet where I track all submissions, and I report weekly to an online group (Zoe).

  5. Kate Harrison Whiteside
    14th January 2007

    Hi Kate,
    I chose to do a vision board this year instead of writing resolutions. Its was fun…nearly too much. Had to hold myself back from doing a mural.
    I became re-visually inspired after taking the Extreme Film School! Video diaries are top of my to do list.
    Did you see Zadie Smith’s Guardian essay (Sat 13th) for readers and writers entitled ‘Fail Better’. In her words writers should resolve ‘to tell their own truth’.
    blogging at


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