Good morning! It’s a new year and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a fresh start! And what better way to get a fresh start than to talk about New Year’s resolutions?
Don’t roll your eyes at me. We’re doing this!
I love New Year’s resolutions. I know that it’s pretty much a cliché at this point to make lofty goals that you are almost certainly never going to stick with. I mean, National Quitters Day (the day people are most likely to give up on their New Year’s resolutions) is January 17th. Most of us can’t even make it three weeks, let alone a full year. I am no stranger to this phenomenon.
So, why do I like New Year’s resolutions? Well, the thing is that while I have failed many, many times in my life, there have also been a number of occasions in which I’ve succeeded.
One year I gave up caffeine and managed not to drink it again for nearly four years. Okay, yes, eventually I went back, but four years is pretty good, you must agree.
One year I vowed to organize my home, and while I did give up a few months in, many of the spaces I organized have remained so, even several years on.
And one year I said I would write every single day, holidays and all, and you know what? I did just that. And that was the only year I participated in—and won—all three NaNoWriMo sessions. I wrote three separate novels that year, which at the time was a pretty big deal for me. Milwordy was not yet a glimmer in my eye. In fact, if I hadn’t made it through that year, I don’t think I would have had the confidence, or the mental tools, to give Milwordy a try.
So, in spite of all the failures, I’ve had some real wins. Even when I don’t make it through the full year, I often make some real progress that sticks with me.
That brings me to my 2021 goals. It’s been hard for me to pick out resolutions for the coming year because I sort of feel like my big project is finishing Milwordy. I can’t exactly call it a New Year’s resolution, can I? I started last September! Of course, I am resolved to continue on, and reach the million-word mark, but it feels weird making that a resolution when it’s already in progress.
I considered vowing to write every day, but I don’t actually think that’s a good goal for me this time around. Because I have to write so many words, I’m finding that having a couple days off is an important use of my time.
I don’t even necessarily feel like I’m in a place where I can say, I will completely finish X project before the year is over, because with Milwordy I’ve found that the only way to power through is to follow the path my brain wants to take me on. If I force myself to finish a certain project, it may end up meaning that I stall on my word count. Plus finishing a project means revising it, and I still haven’t quite figured out how to fit revision into my Milwordy work—not extensive revision. I don’t know that I can commit to a long-term revision project during the Milwordy challenge.
So, what am I going to resolve to do for the new year?
First, I want to keep up with this blog more regularly. In particular, I want to make sure that I’m getting my weekly update out every Tuesday. I’ve gotten kind of lax with that. I would also like to put out at least one additional post each week. So that’s my first goal: Publish two blog posts a week, including one Milwordy update every Tuesday.
Second, I want to get back into a good groove with social media. I’ve pretty much let Instagram slide entirely and my Twitter posts are sporadic at best. Yet, I don’t think the way I was doing it back in September was a good long-term plan for me. I was posting to Instagram twice a day for a few weeks there, which was just too much to keep up with. I’d like to post there 2-3 times a week. On Twitter, I would like to post 1 time a day. This is the resolution that I think that I’m most likely to break, but I’m going to give it a try.
And finally, I’d like by the end of the year to have found myself a critique partner. This is something I’ve never done before because I’ve always been a bit shy about sharing my work. I’m also just shy in general, so finding someone to partner with has always seemed daunting. Especially trying to find someone that has both a similar skill level and a similar taste in genre. But I sort of feel like I’m at the point in my writing that I can’t improve further without outside help, so this seems like an important step. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to start searching for a partner immediately, or if I want to wait until later in the year when Milwordy is over. Then I’ll have more time that’s not entirely devoted to putting as many words to paper as I can, so I can focus on someone else’s project as well. But I’m hoping that by December 31st, 2021, I will have found myself a fitting critique partner.
I have some other non-writing goals: reading goals, exercise goals, organizing goals, but I figured you guys wouldn’t necessarily want to hear about those. Basically, what I’m telling you is that I have a lot of goals. I’m certain that I won’t be able to reach all of them, but I do think having something to reach for is important—even if you don’t end up grasping it in the end.
Are you making any resolutions this year? What are they? Are you in the habit of following through on your goals, or are you planning on celebrating Quitters Day on January 17th? Let me know down in the comments!
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