Today I’d like to talk about resolve. The noun, that is, not the verb – all these people around me “resolving” to lose ten pounds or write every day make me tired.

Also, not Resolve the cleaning solution that gets dog pee out of my carpet, although that is a very, very important kind of resolve to have around here, what with the new puppy and all.

No, I want to discuss the necessity of resolve — defined as “ a firmness of purpose or intent; determination” — in the Writing Life.

I know many, many writers. (Mostly because of the Internetz, but also because writers cluster at book signings, book launches, bookstores, and anywhere that has free food and people willing to hear all about your New Novel Idea.) Some of these writers are published, some are New York Times Bestselling Poobahs, some are brand spankin’ new, and some are like me – somewhere in between.

Some of them actually do write every day, without any need for a New Year’s resolution. I’m getting there.

Although my published Writer Friends have oodles of talent, I have to say that some of my Unpublished WFs have just as much.  Talent aside, the published writers have one thing that not all of the other ones do: resolve. They are determined – probably always have been — to see their words in print, to write enough, to practice enough, to research and sweat and cry and think enough to let their stories, like water behind the dam the publishing world presents, find an outlet.

Craft? Sure. Technique’s important. Practice, practice, practice. But at some point, every Writer has to dig deep and find the resolve – the persistence, perseverance, call it what you will — to keep on going, even when you fall down.

Even when the novel you sign with your agent on goes on life support, like mine did last summer.

Even when the final rejection comes in on it, like mine did a few weeks back.

Even when your agent doesn’t think novel #2 is commercial enough. *cough, cough* Been there, done that.

Even when the revisions of novel #3 threaten to drive you mad.*whimper*

Even when you have three more novels in a drawer that aren’t anywhere near ready to see the light of publishing day. *sigh*

Even then, Writer Friends, you have to have something more than the desire to see your name in print, to be able to tell your doubting circle of non-writer friends that you’re An Author, to sneak into Barnes and Noble and turn all your copies face-out on the shelf.  More than the desire to be legit.

I want you all to be legit. Too legit… to quit, Writer Friends. That’s the resolve I’m talking about. Not this kind, although I kinda like it.

So, sure, make your resolution to write every day. I think that’s awesome. But think about this — maybe you should resolve to foster some resolve, so that when the Writing Life gives you a major smackdown (oh, hello, 2010!) you’ll have the one ingredient you really can’t do without.

I know for darn sure I couldn’t have made it this far without resolve. And you, Dear Writer Friends, let’s never forget You.

Happy New Year! Let’s kick 2011’s booty down the block.

Posted in Children's Fiction, Miscellaneous on 01/03/2011 11:03 pm


  1. Resolve… That’s a great word for 2011.

    Happy New Year, Nicky. I hope we both celebrate good things together this year!


  2. Good advice, Nikki. More resolve for all (from all?) in 2011!


  3. Too legit to quit?! Gawd, you make resolve sound fun even. But this is truly good advice. Last year I worked harder than the year before. This year, I’m hoping to learn even more.

    P.S. I’m resolute in my belief that 2011 will be the Year of Nikki!


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