Have you made a New Year’s Resolution? To start that script? Or finish it? To start selling the novel you finished? To get proper feedback? To write more? Or less?

Do you really think you’re going to keep it?

I used to make New Year’s Resolutions that lasted about as long as the turkey left-overs, if that. But if you know how your brain works, you can make resolutions that really do have an effect on your writing.

To have effect a resolution needs to be exciting, acted on and frequently rewarded.

When I make a resolution, I like to see what it will look like when I succeed.

What will you see when you achieve it? What excites you? A beautifully finished script? An agent shaking you warmly by the hand? A producer shaking you warmly by the cheque?

What do you hear? What do you feel?

Next – take action. Now.

Decide now on two actions that you’re going to take to follow up on your resolution. One small action that you can take immediately without thinking. A second, maybe bigger, action that will make sure you’re really on your way.

Maybe the first action is to write the title on the first page and the second action is to start roughing out an outline in your head.

Or make one phone call to research a character. Or book yourself out an hour in your diary to write the opening scene.

Finally, if it’s a big resolution, how are you going to reward yourself along the way? Be generous to your creative mind and your creative mind will be generous to you. Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) believes in “artists’ treats” –  how will you treat yourself when you’ve taken those first two actions? How will you reward yourself at each stage along the way?

A movie? A downloaded mp3? Veg out for an hour in front of a mindless TV show? Make a trip to a local art gallery? Make a list of potential rewards.

So, this New Year: Decide what you want to do. Start doing it. Reward yourself.

And make 2011 a year for celebration. Have a very happy and successful one.