I’ve never been good at resolutions, but that doesn’t mean I don’t accomplish things. Nineteen published works in 10 years is not bad at all. I prefer to be flexible.
In the past, I’d resolve to keep my house cleaner and straighter, to read X number of books, to be a better spouse/partner–all the typical resolutions. Then, Uncle Sam would say, “Oh, I need you to go here for two weeks, then here for three weeks then. . .” My new year’s resolutions would barely last through mid-January.
And at my work, management had recently adopted the concept of setting goals and measuring accomplishment, all part of “let’s run government like business” shite. With goal accomplishment as the priority, it was no point in putting myself under additional pressure.
I still don’t do a list of New Year’s Resolutions, because, again, who needs the pressure? The last two years have been bad enough without more.
I Love It When a Plan Comes Together
I do plan, however. You might ask, “How is that different from making resolutions?”
I’ve found we tend to be a tad unrealistic when it comes to resolutions. Planning is something more tangible for me.
I plan to write, and when I do I have tangible proof of it, so many words per day on the screen. Further down the road, all those words become a book I can hold in my hand. Positive reinforcement.
I make good use of a planning tool called The Author’s Planner, which my marketing consultant produces. If you’re a writer, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s comprehensive and thorough in walking you through goal setting. Again, the results are tangible. Each day as I accomplish a task geared toward writing, publishing, or marketing, I mark that task with a highlighter, so I can see how the plan is coming together. (I do become somewhat obsessive about making sure all a week’s tasks are marked done by the end of the week; apparently, overachieving is in my DNA.)
Moreover, at the end of the year, I can go back and see what worked and what didn’t and make adjustments to the next year’s plan.
Wow, that sounds like work!
It is. Writing is work. Hard work, but the sense of accomplishment is gratifying, ego-boosting, and worthwhile.
So What’s the Plan for 2022?
First and foremost, write every day, whether it’s the blog, a script for a podcast, rewriting a soon to be published work, or original material.
Edit, whether it’s for myself or for clients.
Market my work, despite the fact I loathe that it takes time away from writing. Note: I am taking a break from social media marketing in January to clear the cobwebs for the rest of the year.
Attend workshops and conferences, if Omicron allows it, and use my Master Class subscription, i.e., work on my craft.
Read, for instruction, to enjoy works in my genre, and to relax and refocus. I always include a few fluff books on my TBR list to escape the grind.
Publish, to work toward my long-term goal of producing as many books in my genre as John le Carre.
And last, but not least, to enjoy life beyond writing. If I’d let it, writing would be my be-all and end-all, but there’s more to life than writing. (Sometimes I forget that.) When a story comes into my head, it will overcome everything else in my life and compel me to write it. I’m glad, however, that the stories keep coming; when they don’t, that’ll be worrying.
So, there are my non-resolutions. What’s your plan for 2022?