Have you made any New Year’s resolutions yet?
Are any of them writing-related?
Writers new and experienced tend to set at least one or two milestones they want to hit in the year to come. We all want to finish that thing we started last year or finally bring an old idea into the spotlight.
We all want to do things. Create things. Embrace the new, accomplish what we never have before.
But what about the the things you want to STOP doing this year?
The things that might be getting in the way or even hurting you?
When we set goals, we don’t usually approach them with a more negative spin like this. But this year, I want to encourage you to try.
Instead of resolving to do more of something or start something or finish something, focus for at least a moment on the one writing-related thing you AREN’T going to do this year.
Maybe you’re NOT going to start writing a new book until you finish your current one.
Or you’re NOT going to abandon your three-month-old blog even though you’re feeling discouraged.
Or you’re NOT going to crumble to pieces the next time you get negative feedback (for real this time).
Me? I’m resolving to NOT set so many writing goals this year. The past two years, I’ve actually limited the amount of things I’ve been able to accomplish because I keep trying to accomplish too many things at once. I’m setting a goal not to set goals — I’m a work in progress. Aren’t we all?
This isn’t about focusing on the negative. Rather, it’s about leaving behind habits that hinder your productivity (e.g., reading Facebook comments) or challenging yourself to stick with something you might otherwise give up on outright.
Sometimes you have to let go of the old to make room for the new. Let the past die, and all that.
So tell me: what’s the one thing you’re NOT going to do in 2018? How are you going to refrain? Do you believe you can follow through?
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.