Monday, February 23, 2015

Throw Out the Resolutions

By Andrea Merrell

How is 2015 going for you so far? We’re now approximately eight weeks into another year and I wonder how many of you made resolutions that have already fallen to the wayside. We all do it—make promises to ourselves to eat healthy, exercise, and lose weight. Some of us resolve to touch base with an old friend, get organized, or refinish a piece of furniture. Others vow to spend more time in God’s Word and prayer or to volunteer at a local shelter.

As writers, our goals may be a little different. Maybe you’re determined to finish a manuscript and start working on those proposals and query letters. Perhaps you plan to make a schedule and set aside a certain portion of each day to devote to writing. If you’re like most writers, you’re probably trying to decide which conference is the right fit for you this year.

Whatever your goals and desires for this year, try something different. Instead of making the usual resolutions—which fade further and further from our mind with each passing day—make reasonable commitments instead. The key here is to establish small, bite-sized goals that can easily be achieved. When we set unrealistic expectations for ourselves, we end up disappointed, frustrated, and ready to give up completely. In other words, don’t vow to have your book on Amazon by this time next year. Instead, establish some reachable goals and then make a commitment to stick to them.
But a word of warning: be flexible. Life happens. When it does and it derails your best efforts, don’t beat yourself up and pronounce yourself a failure. And, whatever you do, don’t quit. Tomorrow is a new day and God’s mercies are new each morning.

Everyone has different needs and expectations, but here are a few ideas to get you started. Read through the list, pick out a couple of items, and then put them on your calendar or to-do list.

This Year I Will:
  • Pray over my writing and commit each project to God.
  • Set aside at least fifteen to thirty minutes each day to write.
  • Clean and organize my desk/workspace (and consolidate all my notes).
  • Spend less time on FB, Twitter, and computer games.
  • Attend at least one workshop or writers’ conference.
  • Take an online course.
  • Stop procrastinating and complete one unfinished project (devotion, article, blog post, short story, or novel).
  • Step out of my comfort zone and try a different genre.
  • Start a blog (or blog more).
  • Update my website.
  • Join a critique group.
  • Offer to mentor another writer or help them promote their book, blog, or services.
  • Send thank-you notes or e-mails to those who have helped and inspired me.

Do you have other suggestions you would like to share? We would love to hear from you.


(Photo courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art.) 

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