New Year’s Resolution. Beneficial or dangerous for writers?
Why do we make goals in accordance with a certain day of the year? The minute we know we want to change things is the minute we should set our gears in motion. Waiting around for a special day is really just another excuse to procrastinate.
And writers are too good at that already.
When I think about all the little goals a writer needs to reach in her career, one new year’s resolution doesn’t cut it. Writers need to be constantly on top of their game, they need to be constantly assessing their position, their progress, their attitude. Setting one or multiple goals once a year isn’t enough.
And yet, if we set ourselves too many goals too often, we will be overwhelmed, anxious, and drained (perfect victims of writer’s block).
Even worse is when we set ourselves the wrong goals, when we miscalculate, or when we simply don’t care enough.
2013 was a strange year for me. I started off with a bang and ended with a whimper. My 2013 resolution was to keep trying. Back then, I was struggling. I was feeling the pressure of failure (again), and I was facing the choice of giving up (again). Yet, I was able to turn that angst around into a fight and by the end of the post I was determined to succeed.
Immediately after reading that post, I wondered, ‘Who the hell was that woman and where did she go?’ It was the tone, the mood of the piece that struck me hard.
Because I don’t feel that fierce or spunky these days.
Rather, I’m numb and my emotions have plateaued. Rejection and disappointment have now become part of the expectation rather than the monster I’m fighting under the bed. I am road-weary.
So, what happened?
I resolved to keep trying. If that doesn’t scream procrastination, I don’t know what does. The problem with this resolution is that it isn’t specific enough. “Keep trying” is a great motivational phrase, but without a detailed strategy of exactly how I’m going to keep trying, then the resolution is nothing but an idea. The wheels may keep turning, but we go absolutely nowhere.
2013 fizzled out on a kind of sour note. And now, I have these pieces from 2013 that I have to either put back together or throw away.
I have to make a decision. Do I still care enough about this writing gig? What am I going to do in 2014?
Part of me wants to say that I don’t know if I’m going to make a resolution. But that would be another act of procrastination. Been there. Done that.
Instead of a resolution, I’m making a plan. A plan that can grow with me. A plan that is flexible and can be shaped dependent on how Life treats me. A plan that has deadlines and schedules and challenges. A plan that is meaningful, specific, and heartfelt. A plan that will get me places.
Procrastination Station will not be a stop on this revamped journey.