Happy New Year, fellow readers and writers! There’s something about a fresh start that appeals to all of us, especially this time of year. We’re all too aware of our mistakes, shortcomings, and failures. We’ve had more than our fair share of tough circumstances that we’d rather forget about.
Thankfully, by God’s grace, that old year is over and we get another chance – just the thought of it fills you with optimism, doesn’t it? That’s where the resolutions come in:
This year, I’m finally going to get serious about exercise.
Or, I’m going to start eating right.
Or, I’m going to write a novel, reorganize the entire house, make scrapbooks for the last five years’ worth of digital pictures, became a French pastry chef, and run six marathons…
You get the idea. Ever made a resolution that was unrealistically ambitious, or am I the only one? Now don’t get me wrong – I’m all about personal growth and improvement. In fact, so many areas of life are interrelated, that if you take even a small step in one area you’ll inevitably find positive change in others too. But a resolution that’s too ambiguous, or nearly impossible, isn’t one you can stick with. (Hey, if you already run five marathons a year, six is pretty reasonable. But if you’re like me and never run more than a mile at a time, it might be a bit of a stretch.)
For me, the key is making my resolution into a reachable goal, and then breaking it down into small steps. Eating right might start with trading out white bread for whole wheat, or adding one veggie a day. Exercising more might mean adding in a 10-minute walk during a break at work.
And writing a novel? It’s a marathon, not a sprint. This past year my daily word count goal was one word. Just one. Because I know myself, and I know that for me, carving out time to write and getting started are the hardest parts. Once I get going, I’ll turn out a page or two or six before I know it.
So what about my writing goals for 2017? This year, I want to:
- Revise The Cursed Ones and query agents
- Outline and write the first draft of a new, still-untitled project (YA Fantasy)
- Write 2-3 short stories for contests or Kindle
- Write 2 blog posts/ month for this site
- Enter at least one writing contest
They’re lofty goals, but I think they’re possible with effort and persistence. And how will I get there?
One word at a time.
How about you? What do you want to accomplish this year? What’s your “one word” – a small, daily step you can take to move you toward your goal?
Thanks for sharing the journey with me, and best wishes for the new year!