Why New Year’s Resolutions Won’t Make You a Success

Why New Year's Resolutions Won't Make You a Success via KLWightman.com
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I’ve written about new year’s resolutions on my blog for years. I enjoy writing about setting goals and ways to reach your new year’s resolutions more than I should.

It’s also what my readers (that’s you!) want to read. My blog traffic increases around this time of year with greater interest in my blog posts about new year’s resolutions.

After January 15? Not so much.

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7 Things Successful Writers Don’t Say

7 Things Successful Writers Don’t Say
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7 Things Successful Writers Don’t Say

Credit: Doghousediaries

It’s easy to be hard on yourself. As a writer, you are a perfectionist. You want to be the best writer you can be.

And it sucks to struggle at it.

You turn to successful writers—the ones with the book deals and CEO titles—and you say, “some people have all the luck.”

That’s not something successful writers say.

If you want to be successful at writing, train yourself to think like a successful writer. So stop saying things that successful writers don’t have the time to say.

“It’s impossible to do that.”

Tell yourself that you can’t do something, then guess what? You won’t be able to do it.

Why work against yourself?

I’m not saying that you should try defying basic laws of nature. But if your writing goal is reasonable, don’t stand in your own way. Focus on how to make your writing goal a reality by breaking it up into achievable steps.

“I’m not in control of what I do.”

Is there really someone spending countless hours working tirelessly to prevent you from being successful in writing?

I didn’t think so.

And let go of the idea of “destiny” and “fate.” Pour all your energy doing what you need to do to make it happen.

It’s your life. It’s your writing goal. Own it.

“I’ll work on it later.”

That writing goal isn’t going anywhere, right?

Only when you’re doing nothing about it.

Wouldn’t you rather look back on your life glad that you had the courage to pursue that writing goal instead of pining over what could have been?

Stop procrastinating. Get to work.

“What if I fail?”

You probably will. You’ll fail many times.

Then one day, you’ll succeed.

Being afraid of failure means you already failed. And that’s not a way to start your writing goal.

Don’t ignore it. Analyze your fear and deal with it now so you can move forward with your writing goal.

“There’s no point.”

When I run a race, there’s that moment while I’m pushing myself so hard that I think that putting myself through this misery isn’t worth it.

When this moment comes—and it always does—I return to my mental mantra: Laugh about this moment later.

And I don’t quit.

When I accept my race metal, I laugh at that moment.

There comes a point when you’ll feel overwhelmed and quitting seems like an option.

Don’t make it an option. You’ll be glad you didn’t.

“That’s a lot of work.”

Of course it is. If success was easy, everyone would do it. It wouldn’t be much of a writing goal if you didn’t have to put in any effort.

Don’t compare yourself to your pals who are going on long vacations or watching TV marathons. That’s their choice.

It’s not yours.

“I don’t know where to start.”

Start somewhere. Start anywhere. Get the momentum going.

Don’t think about all the things you need to do to get there. Pick a task and do it. Pick another and complete that one.

You’ll have a better idea of how to get to that goal more efficiently and effectively once you start.

But you have to start.

You’re pursuing your writing goal because you want to be happy. So choose happy, motivating thoughts to think that keep your passion and inspiration alive. It’s your choice to pursue this writing goal and it’s your choice on your attitude about it.

What are other things successful writers don’t say? Share the quotes below.

Lessons From My Writing Fails

Rock Bottom doesn’t have to mean landing flat on your face. Make it a trampoline and bounce back, aiming to go higher than before.
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I got that dreaded phone call. It was the one from the hiring committee from that big job promotion I was certain I’d land.

They decided to go with someone else.

I was in shock for fifteen minutes. But I’ve been here before. This was the same feeling I had when I was told—twice—that I had to rewrite my 200+ page thesis.

Didn’t make the moment suck less.

It’s hard enough trying to make it as a paid writer. It’s also tough getting your writing published—or hearing no.

But it’s trying times like these where rejection in our writing or writing careers can hold us back—or move us forward.

I choose to keep going.

Lesson 1: Reaffirm What You Want

After ten hours of interviewing, hand shaking and department discussions, was this what I really wanted? Did this position align with my values, my talent and my ambitions?

Not so much.

So what was it that I really wanted?

I made a list. I thought big picture. I reevaluated my skills and how I wanted to put them to good use.

When you get stuck, reaffirm that your writing goal is still worth seeking. If not, rework it so that your goal rejuvenates your passion to get back into the game.

Lesson 2: This Isn’t Your One & Only Shot

To think that it’s the end of the world that I didn’t get offered this position is downright silly. There are numerous opportunities across the country—and the globe—where my writing and marketing talents can be put to great use.

Totally not fishing for compliments here.

It’s the same with your writing. Just because your writing was rejected by that one publisher doesn’t mean your story will never get published. Either your story needs to be revisited or you chose to propose to the wrong publisher.

The longer you dwell, the more missed opportunities will pass you by.

Lesson 3: Bounce Back—And Fast

I gave myself two hours to pout. Then I went back to work.

I devised a strategy (see Lesson 1) then jumped back into my job search with more gusto, more clarity and more determination on where I wanted my career to go.

Rock Bottom doesn’t have to mean landing flat on your face. Make it a trampoline and bounce back, aiming to go higher than before.

That’s what I’m doing. And I can’t wait to land on my feet.

The One-Two Punch For Fighting Writing Fears

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That one writing fear can taunt you in your sleep, paralyze you when you plan to write, and do a number on your self-esteem.

Why are you letting your fear bully you?

Your fear is not the boss of you. Fighting your writing fears is as simple as calling it out, rationalizing it, and taking action.

Call Out The Fear

What is holding you back?

Write it out. Stare at it. Write it over and over again until it sinks in.

Now ask yourself:

  • Why do you feel this way?
  • When did you start feeling this way?
  • What triggers your fear?

Identify the fear so that you can conquer it. Now it’s time to face the fear head-on.

Is It A Lie?

Is your fear irrational?

An irrational fear is a premise that you hold as true that isn’t based on any factual basis.

In other words, there is no truth to your fear.

So replace your fear with a truth. Say your new truth out loud. Write it down. Post it in your writing space. Say it everyday with a smile on your face until you forget you had a fear in the first place.

But not all fears are irrational. A rational fear is a natural response to a real threat. Examine your fear realistically and decide if it should be faced or eliminated.

Tackle The Fear

If the fear is indeed rational and true, it’s time to knock it down.

What is the goal attached to your fear? For example, if your fear is that you can’t write a novel, the goal is to write a novel.

Examine the goal. What can you do to reach it?

Write down manageable steps to reaching your goal. How can you improve to reach it? Be honest. Incorporate it in your steps and keep tweaking until you reach your goal.

Crushing a fear and launching into a goal? That’s what I call a knockout.

How do you fight you writing fears? Share your strategies below.

What You Can Do for Your Writing in One Year

Here's a way to keep track of your writing goals this year
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Here's a way to keep track of your writing goals this year

On New Year’s Eve 2012, I didn’t expect that in 2013 I would move across the country to advance my career. It was something I wanted, but I didn’t think I’d have the guts to make it happen if the opportunity came.

But the opportunity did come. And when it did, I threw myself into it 100%.

Was this you in 2012 before 2013 began? Did you doubt that the one thing you wanted would happen yet still worked hard to make it happen?

I forgot about my 2012 perspective until New Year’s Eve 2013. Why do I only give myself one day a year to reflect on what I want to achieve, what I have done to achieve it, and celebrating that achievement?

Am I that busy to pause?

I don’t have an excuse. I can choose to reflect and to make a lot can happen in one year. That’s 12 months, 365 days, 8766 hours of writing time.

So why do we think that time goes by so fast when we can do so much in one year?

Maybe it’s because in one year’s time we haven’t done everything that we wanted to achieve.

Think about your writing in 2013. Did you write as much as you wanted? Did you submit your work often? Were you published? Were all your writing goals achieved?

It’s easy to forget your writing goals not long after January 1. We’re motivated for the first month of the year to stick to our New Year’s resolutions. When February or March hits, we let the everyday tasks take precedence over what we really want to achieve.

So how do we bypass this? How do we stay true to our writing while balancing everything else in our lives?

We make time to reflect.

Schedule an hour appointment with yourself one day each month to think or journal about your writing progress:

What have I done this month for my writing? Am I proud or disappointed?

What were my fears? Are they still fears I hold?

What has happened this month? Is it affecting my writing?

What have I learned about myself as a writer? What have I learned about my writing?

What do I want to achieve with my writing by next month? What are the steps to make that happen?

That’s 12 appointments, 12 New Year’s Eve moments you can have throughout the year to keep you on track with your writing goals and evaluate yourself as a writer.

And that’s something worth celebrating.

New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

Write New Year's resolutions that get the writer in you excited!
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Write New Year's resolutions that get the writer in you excited!

Credit: Greatist.com

It’s that time of year again! Every January you write New Year’s resolutions that excite you but disappoint you in December when your goals are far from complete. Maybe you’d stick to your New Year’s resolutions if they were shaped around an activity you actually enjoy: writing!

These are my writing New Year’s resolutions this year. Will you try these goals with me?

  1. I will make time to write everyday.
  2. I will create an online presence as a writer by blogging, joining an online writing community, or refining my online profile.
  3. I will read more, especially those books I keep putting off.
  4. I will create a personal writing workspace.
  5. I will submit my work to at least 3 publications.
  6. I will attend at least one writing conference.
  7. I will take a writing course to help improve my writing.
  8. I will learn to take criticism with grace.
  9. I will finish writing at least one story.
  10. I will know my publishing options and decide the best route for my novel.

What New Year’s resolutions for writers did I miss? Post your writing New Year’s resolutions below.