It is that time of year again. The time where we look back at the last 12 months and assess just how little we’ve achieved on that list of things we wanted to do and look forward to the next 12 and once again set ourselves a bunch of targets we have no hope of hitting. I have this tradition where on the 31st of December I sit down and write my resolutions on a piece of paper before putting them in an envelope with the year written on it and put them away. I open them on the 31st of the following year and see how many of them I’ve hit. This year, for the first time, well… ever, I had a chance to smile.
I had four promises I made to myself this year just gone and I actually managed to make them. So I’m going to make 2015 an even better one. 2014 was about writing. It was about completing a NaNoWriMo for the first time in my career (+100,000 in total over the two sessions I did 😀 ). It was about taking some of those ideas that I’ve had cluttering my mind for so long and actually getting them down on paper. I’ve written two books this year. That is something I thought I’d never be able to say. I don’t care if they are rubbish, if the plots have so many holes they look like Swiss cheese or that they’ll will probably never get further than my recycle bin – for me, that is progress. It was about setting up a blog and putting myself out there (and thank you eternally for anyone reading this – you are part of what helped make 2014 such an awesome year). It was about finally learning how the hell Twitter worked and getting my face active on Social Media.
As writers, I think New Year is an important time for us. It is a time to set targets. Not crazy unreachable ones like selling a million copies of a book that hasn’t even got a coherent plot yet. I mean the ones we can do. We have the capability to amaze ourselves when we put our minds to it. So don’t give up chocolate. Don’t give up coffee. And for the sake of your sanity don’t give up alcohol, lord knows us writers need a nice glass of red once in a while. Instead, make promises. Not to mum and dad. Not to your best friend. But to you. Do it for you. Promise to write 2,000 words a week. Or promise to finally set up that Pinterest board full of inspiring images. Or maybe start that blog you’ve always promised yourself you’ll do but never have.
It is so easy to make New Year about looking back and seeing how stuck you are. Most people stay remarkably stationary in their lives. I should know, I’ve done that for enough years. 2014 proved to me that New Year doesn’t have to be like that. Let 2015 be the year that you move forward. When you open that envelope on the 31st of December let it be a tick-list of things you have done. You don’t need to land on Mars or meet the President of America to achieve something. Dieting is over-rated and no one ever actually goes to the gym. Don’t waste your resolutions. Resolutions are the dreams you have the power to make come true.
For me 2015 is going to be about polishing. I have the rough guts, now I want to turn them into something worth standing behind and being proud of. I want to do NaNoWriMo again (this year with the additional bonus of studying for a professional qualification and holding down a 9 hr a day job). I have promised that I will send a manuscript to at least one agent before the ball falls next year. I have promised that I will get my butt on this blog more regularly and post more than once every three months (sorry about that… in my defence, I have moved country, house, changed job and been unwell). And I have promised to write at least 1,000 words a week come hell or high water.
These are promises I can keep. These are promises I will keep. These are small fragments of a bigger dream I am working to make come true.
So Happy New Year!! I hope 2014 was good to you. I hope 2015 will be even better. And I hope that when you open that envelope it is big ticks next to each item. To writers everywhere, let’s make 2015 about progress. Go on. I dare you!!