Snuggled beneath whitened sheet,
Within winter’s cold embrace,
Lies tomorrow’s lifetime,
Waiting for birth into today’s
Isn’t that how it feels this morning? Thanksgiving and Christmas are past. A New Year beckons us to celebrate a new beginning by ignoring the cold reality of winter for the glitter of promised possibilities.
These last two weeks have been ones of re-evaluation for me—not so much about the projects I want or plan to do, but about methods, imperatives, and benefits.
We all go through this process, some more easily than others. Our culture has come to demand it of us, whether we like it or not. It’s goal-setting time. Our futures gleam and sparkle with dreams and schemes.
Writers, like everyone else, set goals. Editorial calendars are mulled over like fine spiced wine. Plans for new expansive projects that have percolated in the back of our brains for weeks or months find purchase on clean pages that echo snow-laden fallow fields. New endeavors wink at us as we pencil them into naked calendar squares.
But here’s a question for you. What criteria do we use to choose those lucky projects that simply can’t wait until another year to work on?
Deciding on Priorities
Any creative person has projects that require completion before another can begin. The type of project doesn’t change that need.
A choice is made, sometimes a quick one, about the importance of the project to the creator. If I’m thoroughly bored or frustrated with something, the likelihood of completion drops exponentially by length of projected time to completion. Usually, though not always, these involve physical crafts like crocheting or needlework.
Unfinished writing projects get priority over all new work; the short story I’ve expanded to a novella, the cookbook that requires formatting and submission, and the second in my “How-To Slay a Writer’s Dragon” series are all the first on my new year’s agenda. Sitting squarely behind those three is my women’s cozy novel.
These projects are definite priorities for the beginning of the New Year. I can hear the next question in your mind. What will you do when these works-in-progress are finished?
I have too many designs floating around in my head to worry about getting bored with writing. I enjoy interviewing other writers, poets, and creative types, and I haven’t done any interviews for a few years. Lining up an interview for each month seems like a good way to liven my writing time.
Likewise, I’ve been neglecting my poetry for a few months and need to return to verse on a regular basis. A short poem or two once a week would be good for me to do and post on my websites.
I don’t have time to read as many books as I’d like, but I’ve chosen to put the pleasure of reading at least one book per month on my agenda and to write a review of that book.
Taking time for self
One of the things that’s been lacking in my daily schedules for months is pleasure. Now, pleasure comes in many forms, depending on who you are. Reading for the fun of it hasn’t been something I’ve done much this past year, but I’m making it a priority on my calendar for the coming one.
And since I’ve chosen that route, I can also do a review of whatever book I’ve read. I’m fairly eclectic in my choices, so don’t be surprised if I wonder from fiction to non-fiction, poetry to children’s literature, or something totally off the wall. I’m a wanderer of words, so all things are fair game for me.
I’ve also decided to dedicate a few hours a day to continued study of the writing craft and self-exploration. If knowledge of self improves the quality of the characters I write, so much the better. Benefits can come on many sides of an exercise.
There you have it—the overview of my coming year’s design. Goals still need to be fleshed out in specifics. I’ll work on those in the next several days. I wanted to design the package before I began filling it with goodies. Short projects, long projects, and fillers that bring enjoyment will have their spots on the calendar before long.
Your possible achievements
Have you decided what you want to achieve in the coming year? Have you chosen specifics or designed the framework that you’ll use to create the life you want for yourself? Please share what you have planned as your possible future achievements. Leave a comment below and tell us all of your dreams, plans, and expectations.
We all have them. Sharing allows others to help in bringing those dreams to fruition.
Have a terrific New Year celebration, everyone. Take special care of yourselves and come back to work refreshed and ready to make things happen. Stay safe. I’ll see you again on the other side of midnight.