Happy New Year! As we roll into the new year, I’ve been asked by a lot of people what my goals for this year are. It’s a question I am asked every year, and it’s a question that some years I have a list of goals ready to fire off, or I have none at all.
I planned to sit down today to outline my writing goals for the year because in my head I have so many. But the amount I have is daunting. Do I set small, achievable goals for myself? Or do I make a giant list of everything I’d love to accomplish, even if they are not all feasible?
Last year I did the latter, and it worked out fine. I barely hit half the writing goals I set for myself, but I was proud of the ones I did. As I look at that list of goals, what I want to accomplish has changed a bit, but I know I can’t handle them all. And some of the goals I set for last year are goals I don’t want to work toward right now. The time I have to write is unfortunately very limited, and I want to use it wisely.
I’m going to take a moment to talk about something that happened to me last year that makes me uncomfortable to talk about because I know in spite of what happened, I am very lucky. In November, the position I was in was eliminated. It was a writing job that I loved, but I was lucky enough that I’ve worn a few hats for this company, and I was offered a different job instead. And despite the fact that this change had nothing to do with my ability as a writer, it really hit me hard, and my writing confidence has really dwindled ever since. I wish I could say that I was one of those people who handles change really well. I am not, but sometimes there’s no other choice, and I just had to go with the flow.
I had this incredible momentum up until this happened. I wrote and edited like crazy last year. I started this blog. I had a few poems published. I learned more about writing in the past year than I did in a decade. So to see my drive and confidence fizzle out has been really hard. Added to this is the fact that daylight savings really messed up my writing schedule for awhile. Before daylight savings, my two year old son was getting up later and I was able to write early in the morning. Daylight savings changed that, and now to keep writing in the morning, I have to get up an hour earlier, and that’s been a hard adjustment for me as well, but it is one I want to make.
So here’s my writing goal for 2023 right now, in this moment:
That’s it. Writing brings me joy, and I don’t want to stop. Even if I submit stories that get rejected. Even if I submit my poems and they get rejected. Even if no one reads my blog or my book reviews, I want to keep writing because at the end of the day, it is something I love.
That’s not to say this will be my only writing goal for this year. But it is the one I want to focus on. I took a two week writing break in December to enjoy the holidays, watch tv and catch up on some reading and napping. It feels like a six month break. I started getting that anxious feeling that I get from not writing for too long. I’m glad it’s only been two weeks, but I also am glad that I want to keep writing.
So for January, my goal is just to get back on a regular writing schedule that brings me happiness but doesn’t stress me out. I’d love to spend some time this month setting goals for the year, and I plan to do my monthly writing check ins around the first of each month. But at the end of the day, all I want to do is keep writing. I have new stories rising to the surface in my mind every day, and I want to tell those stories. I want to share them with everyone and keep going.
I hope for all the writers out there trying to write and publish their works that you have your most successful year yet. But I also hope that you have your most joyful year of writing yet. I hope the writing you do brings you boundless delight.
Cheers to another year of writing, cheers to another year of grueling editing, and cheers to another year of pulling the stories out of our head and putting them on the page.
Awww, I love this goal, Nicole (and how similar we are in main goal). I absolutely hate your job caused such a hit (nut not surprised at all, as it would be the same for me and my day job currently *is* a huge factor against my creative output).
All in all, I hope 2023 is much kinder!! And you know I am rooting for you always!
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You hit the nail on the head – our creative outlets must bring joy! I also get anxious when I don’t write for a little while. I think it’s partially insecurity that I’ll forget how and partially that it really is my self-care. Now when I schedule breaks I often lean into non-writing creative outlets, like crafts with my sons or creating a photo album, which seems to meet that therapeutic need. I hope 2023 brings you lots of joy and that a schedule clicks into place!
Yes! I really love writing and it’s something that helps me relax too, but it’s important to take breaks so you stay refreshed. I hope 2023 brings you a lot of writing joy too 😊