Happy New Year, one and all. All right, in all pragmatic fairness, no one can ensure 365-6 continuous days of happiness, so um, Survive the New Year?

First off, my first novel Case of the Missing Millionaire for Kindle is now available through Kindle Select for 90 days. This means if you're a Kindle user and have Amazon Prime (I do and if you don't, Prime is soooo worth it. For something like $75 a year all your 2-day shipping on Prime products is free and your overnight is only $3.99. I probably saved myself $300 in 2011 using it) you can borrow it through the lending option (like a library) for free. Also, for 5 days only (I will announce when selected) between 1/1/12 and 3/30/12 the book will be FREE for all Kindle Prime users to download permanently.

If you'll notice I didn't have a post up about NYE. That's because I felt my post covering how not to get sidetracked from writing during the holidays applies to them all, all the holidays evilly grouped together at the end of the year.

I really hope that advice helped some. I had to take it myself. I have 3 books due this year and yet during the holidays I couldn't concentrate at all on any of them over the last week or so. I found myself writing the short story sequel to my short story The Claiming. At least at some point in the future I know I can use it.

Now that it's January 1st, time to get down to business. Sincerely, I hope you do not attempt a New Year's Resolution. If you decide to drink less, eat less, lose weight, learn a language, quit smoking...these are all good things, if you do it for yourself. However a new year's resolution is an almost empty promise because you are doing some on a completely arbitrary timeline. Let me save you time: you are doomed to fail.

Trust me on this, if your goal is something you seriously desire, try starting it in a week. The one cardinal sin every writer must avoid on this day is a resolution dealing with writing. Writing is an art. It doesn't happen on a schedule. Most writers try to sit at the computer at certain times but we're the nuts who carry around flip pads or scribble character notes on a cocktail napkin. It comes when it comes. Forcing yourself to write for a goal means failure.

Remember the Douglas Adams quote (one of my favorites): "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by"

He could get away with it. Most of us cannot. Writers are inherently rebels. We're not free spirited artists like sculptors or painters, we're not extroverts like musicians, and though we may have a day job of 9-5 suit & tie, by night we dream of international cloak & dagger. We rebel against the logical world and stand out in the artistic. Embrace it! But remember part of our natural otherness means we don't deal too well with deadlines.

Don't believe me? Here's a goal most editors/publishers would love; try writing 10,000 words of a larger story or novel this week, fully edited for typos, misspellings, and grammar  but not content. Try this when you're not on vacation time and just sitting around the house, do it during a normal week. Notice how a million other things like reddit, stumbleupon, or Xbox call to you. 

So if you made a resolution about writing...kill it.  KILL IT! Make your resolution to stop eating the blue M&Ms (there are blue ones right?) or to only text back people who don't text like a 17 year old girl. If you must have one keep it simple. Leave the writing alone.

Writing should always be free and can only handle general goals. Finish a book in a year? Good goal, it can be done. Finish a decent novel in a month? Good luck. Call me when anyone who participated in that write-a-book-completely-in-November thing actually sells their manuscript without having cheated. I'll hold my breath.

Remember that if you followed the holiday survival plan and did free form writing, wrote individual remainder scenes, etc you should have some good stuff for the future. If you were able to work on current projects, great! Share your secret with all of us! No matter what the holidays are ending now, and you should be able to get back to your priority projects.

I'm going to goof off and try to catch up on literotica.com writing this week. Hey, do as I say, not as a I write, right? Nope, do whatever works for you, my advice is designed to be jumping off point for brainstorming.