What Are You NOT Going to Do This Year?

Let go of those things you really don’t want to do anymore.

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.

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8 thoughts on “What Are You NOT Going to Do This Year?

  1. I like the way you turned things around to what not to do in 2018. I have one word – procrastinate. My first book didn’t make it out for Christmas due to this. It will be out in February due, to my procrastinating. 2018 will hopefully be better. Thanks for a great post.

    1. This is an all-too-familiar struggle. It’s easy to say “Oh, just do the thing you don’t want to do first” but that doesn’t always work depending on your schedule. Set small goals and work on them a bit at a time – you got this. :)

  2. I am not going to spend so much time reading about the writing craft and just start writing.

  3. Procrastination is one thing. And most often you procrastinate by doing something else. I have a problem even bigger then that: laziness. I will not be lazy this year. If time management alone can allow someone like Elon Musk to be capable of doing everything he is doing imagine what we can do. All be it an extreme example because he probably never sleeps, probably.

    But that is my major goal of what not to do in 2018. One productive thing on my new journey of creative expression has to be complete each day. Starting small here. Because when I’m lazy, nothing happens. Then I can increase the task completion rate as I move along.

    1. Hahaha. I have a small list of “don’t know how they do it” people on my desktop. Obviously the end goal isn’t to be as productive as they are, but to get to the point where I feel I’m balancing my time between “work” and “not work.” It’s OK to be a little lazy here and there I suppose, but if you have a few writing goals in place, that definitely makes it easier to turn “nah, I don’t wanna” into “Alright, let’s get this over with” until it feels more like “YAY time to write!”

  4. I am not going to put off writing. I am not going to only write blog posts or notes in for my classes. I will pull out old works and do some work on them, ad new work. I am not going to wait another year before cracking open my old work and letting it rot. It’s percolated enough, time to pour more on the pages.

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