New Year’s Resolutions…Or Something Like That

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Like most people, I am usually terrible at keeping New Year’s resolutions. Exercise more, travel more, eat healthier, spend less time on social media, blah blah blah. Except during 2016, I actually was able to keep a resolution. I resolved to take more pictures, especially of myself. See, before this year I hated taking pictures of myself. Selfies were great for other people, but not for me.

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My first selfie of 2016

I had to work hard at being self confident enough to not only take selfies but want to take them. It was a long process and I am still a work in progress.

In my last post, I also mentioned a few other achievements I made this year, including several writing ones. I wanted to write more this year and by golly I did. I was able to complete a novel and several other works.

crazy-typingThis coming year, I want to do that and more. I am already halfway done with the first draft of my second novel and will write another novella and start a new series when I complete that. I will also finish a spec script, and a couple more pilot ideas I have. Even more importantly, I am going to actually do something with these works.

I am going to start the query process with my first novel and enter into some fellowships. This is the most terrifying thing for me. Everyone must overcome the fear of rejection at some point for different things. I will do these things, come hell or high water. It is almost like the important part is me putting myself out there not the outcome. Sure, I hope that I get an agent and make it into s fellowship, but as long as I have tried I will be proud of myself.

Do you believe in New Year’s resolutions? If so, what are yours?

Pulling Out of Procrastination Station

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I do it. You do it. We all do it. Procrastination is the bane of existence. It is especially worse for the writer that is trying to hustle. To be honest, even this blog post is a form of procrastination (I should really be working on my novel, but hey).

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The mantra of every writer. Thanks, Chuck.

We all have our favorite forms of procrastination. My go to ones are Twitter, Tumblr, and lately, writing blog posts. It is hard to drag yourself from these much more fun, but often less productive, activities to go write. So here are a few suggestions that usually help me.

  • Turn off the internet
    • The internet is usually a huge source of distraction. It is so full of things much more interesting that whatever it is you are supposed to be doing. Need to research one small thing? Welcome to the TIme Suck Pit, more commonly known as Wikipedia. Sometimes the solution to getting yourself refocused is just to turn off what is distracting you.
  • Take a short walk
    • A short walk helps in a couple different ways. First, just getting away from your work and other sources of distraction can help reorient you. It clears your mind and lets new and exciting thoughts about your project come. Also, walking will get your blood pumping in a way that sitting at a computer working won’t. You’ll come back more energized and ready to rock.
  • Word sprints
    • Nothing gets me writing like knowing I am on a short time limit to get words down. Sprints can be done alone or with friends. Just set a timer, usually between 15 and 30 minutes, and let loose. The lack of time makes you shake off your inner editor and doubter and forces you to focus. If you are writing with friends, you can share your word count and the end for added competition!
  • Change your writing format
    • Sometimes it is just starring at a too familiar doc that is making your mind wander. If you switch from a computer to pen and paper, then it may shake something new out of you. Writing in a new way forces your mind to work in a different way and may help your focus.

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Do you have tips and tricks for beating procrastination? Share them!

R.I.P. 2016

Sigh. For the most part, 2016 has been a mixed bag of a year. While I have made many personal strides, the world around me has also be falling apart. I am sure I don’t need to explain to you why 2016 was so awful (here’s a hint: Orlando, Trump, Brexit, so many cool people dying. I could go on and on).

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But as I also said, this had been a year of great personal achievement. I completed a novel, a novella, a script, my thesis, finally posted some short stories, worked on my self-confidence, gained new friends, cleared others out. It was all a lot of work, but I have grown as a person because of it. I am sure there are others out there have feel the same and are taking some semblance of joy out of what was a difficult year.

So, while I am grateful for all 2016 has taught me, good and bad, I am looking forward to 2017. I feel it will be a year of even greater progress, personal and societal. I have so many plans for the year.

Do you have any big plans for 2017? Share them below!