So how are those New Year Resolutions going?
I’m not really a huge fan. You know how it goes: you start off so well, dead keen, then three days in and you’ve missed a few… before you know it, you’re writing the whole year off as a failure. But perhaps there are some resolutions you can make that won’t leave you feeling bad about yourself:
Call yourself a writer?
Yes, why not? Start calling yourself a writer instead of apologizing: ‘I’m trying to write a book, a poem, a short story…’ If you call yourself a writer, then you’ll begin to believe it. ‘I am a writer, and this year I’m aiming for a greater social media presence through my blog and articles.’
Give yourself permission to be distracted
Instead of complaining you don’t have time for writing, try reducing time spent on things that take you away from it. Is it watching TV? Be more selective about what you watch. Is it your Facebook or WhatsApp habit? FocusMe allows you to limit your sessions to a couple of catch up’s a day, rather than dropping in every few minutes. Don’t go ‘cold turkey’. Instead, give yourself permission for these habits, just don’t let them take control. And if you can’t write, then read more. Reading is always good – it’s all research.
Be kind to yourself
Your ‘self’ needs nurturing. Take yourself off somewhere: go for a walk; go sit in a café, ride a bus, and listen to what’s going on around you. Listen and observe – ‘stop and smell the roses’. How about taking Julia Cameron’s advice in ‘The Artists Way’ and take yourself off (alone) on an artist’s date: visit an art gallery; a museum; a NT property; a library…
Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day and not a word gets written. Start the next day afresh. And give yourself little rewards, i.e. if I write for an hour, I can have a cuppa and one of those chocolate biscuits still hanging around after Christmas…
Aim for rejection
A good writer friend shared this with me. Instead of aiming to get things published, then beating yourself up when you don’t, aim for a certain number of rejections for the year. Aim for one rejection a month and submit that poem, article, short story anyway. We all learn from our mistakes and you will develop a thicker skin ready for those harsh reviews that will come once you do get published.
Make targets not resolutions
Make a list of targets for the year. I love checklists. There is nothing quite as rewarding as ticking things off on a list. So, if like me you started 2017 with a cold rather than a list of resolutions, it’s not too late. Start that list now. Set yourself SMART targets – simple, measureable, attainable, relevant, time focused, and enjoying checking them off.
Article on New Year Resolutions? CHECK.
About the author
Suzi Bamblett is in the final stages of her MA in Creative Writing at Brighton University. Her two YA fiction novels are soon to be published as e books: The Changeling and Pearl Seekers, and she is working on two further novels: The Travelling Philanthropist – a time slip novel, and Prescient Spirit – a gothic psychological thriller. Suzi writes short stories and poetry, and has published in Brighton University Anthologies – Small Worlds (2014) and Reflections (2015). Inspired by Suzi? – Find more on her blog broodleroo and also read this article from Suzi.