Thursday, January 5, 2023

Some Thoughts on New Year's Resolutions

Posted by: Nicole Luiken

 Happy New Year to all our readers! I hope everyone got loads of books for Christmas (I did.)

Traditionally, one talks about resolutions at this time of year. All too often we set big lofty goals on New Years Day and then are disappointed in ourselves if they don't come to pass, which leads to us feeling bad about ourselves. So if you don't want to set a goal this year consider yourself off the hook.

Now there's nothing wrong with dreaming big, but most goals come with small sub-steps, that can't be skipped over. Sometimes its better to start with something small and concrete. "I will spend half an hour a day working a novel" rather than "I will write an entire novel."

And we need to recognize that some goals are entirely out of our control.

For instance, a dream of mine is to have a best-selling traditionally published novel. But setting a New Year's resolution to have a bestselling novel this year would be like shooting myself in the foot before a race. It is not in my power to control. I cannot force a traditional publisher to decide to publish my novel much less guarantee that it will be a bestseller. "Bestseller" is often a matter of luck, of a particular book hitting at a particular time. No one, not big publishers, not editors, not authors, know what is going to be this year's breakout book, or what new subgenres may suddenly become popular. No one.

At the same time, there are things I can do to make this dream of mine chance a better chance at reality.

I can write the best damn book I'm capable of writing (and rewriting and rewriting). That IS entirely under my control.

I can submit the finished book to agents and editors. I have a terrible tendency to get discouraged by the rejections that come with being a writer and shelve a project, pursuing the next bright new shiny idea instead.

So those are my resolutions. To do my best work and not give up too soon.

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