Many writers, creative people in general, have one thing in common: they’re really, really good at wanting to do things, but putting them off as long as possible.
So when the end of the year appears, harsh and frantic and demanding, one of two things usually happens. You either transplant Stuff You Want to Do from 2016’s list over to 2017, or you take a deep breath and try to get as much done as possible before you have to throw your old calendar away.
You don’t have to give up and Try Again Next Year. You also don’t have to Try to Do Everything right here, right now. But you SHOULD do something. One thing. You should decide how to make the most of the rest of the time you have left before 2016 ends forever.
Why? Because, why not?
What are you going to do? Work really hard this week and then take next week off (because you can and you deserve it)? Go easy on yourself this week because the holidays are hard – which is totally OK because you’re allowed to be human? How about finally doing that one thing you’ve been putting off all year – submitting that article, emailing that editor, finishing that book, finally starting that blog?
I’m all for using the New Year as an excuse to start fresh and Do All The Things. But this is the time of year for Doing All The Things You Haven’t Yet. 2016 is not over. We all wish it would end already, but there are two weeks left. Two weeks to do what you need to do. If you already have in mind something you haven’t done yet, that’s your thing. It’s time to plan out how you’re going to get it done before the year ends, sit down and do it.
Why? Because if not now, then when? Never is a major possibility when you’re actively procrastinating. There are probably a lot of things in your life that are already wrapping up. Next week is especially critical, because most people are going to stop – or at least slow down significantly. So sure, maybe you’ll email someone and they won’t get back to you because they’re enjoying a nice tropical vacation while you’re stuck in your office trying to meet a goal no one else seems to care about. But that’s why it’s so important. Fewer distractions. Less of a chance that someone will reject you within two hours of hitting the submit button.
Whatever is holding you back – there’s no more room for excuses. Look at your calendar. Look at all the things you have accomplished in the past year. Look at your list of things that haven’t been accomplished yet. What’s the one thing you still want to cross off that list before everything resets? Circle it, highlight it, underline it, whatever you need to do. And then do it. Now. Don’t wait. Right now, the outcome is the least of your worries. Finish it. Get it off your mind. Don’t drag it along with you into 2017. Get it done and, in the most basic sense of the idea, leave it behind. If you transfer it over to your 2017 to-do list, you’re just going to put it off all year, again.
You have two weeks left to Do That Thing. This time of year is busy in many ways and awfully slow and boring in others. Just make this part of the deal.
You have to weeks left. What are you going to do? Why? How? Don’t ask when. Do it now. Start it now. Finish it soon. Start fresh; new.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.