Happy New Year, everyone. At the start of every year, people make all kinds of resolutions. For writers, it’s usually something along the lines of finishing that novel, writing more short stories (or simply more), submitting to that anthology, or something similar.
Here’s the thing about New Year’s resolutions: they usually don’t last long. The reason for this is because the designation of New Year’s Day as the beginning of new goals is arbitrary. I mean, what is New Year’s Day? It’s the event that makes us hang new calendars, start new billing and tax receipt files, and roll the little wheel another notch on our date stamps at work.
But, really, is January 1 any different than December 31? No, it isn’t. Not where life issues are concerned. Life doesn’t change one iota from December 31 to January 1. Our bodies keep functioning they way they’ve been (good or bad), we still have to get up at the same hour and go to the same job (unless you’ve gotten a new one), and your writing goals are still your writing goals—no less, no more.
The success of our goals relies not on the date, but our own determination. If your resolution is to lose weight and get in shape, do it because you want to live as healthy a life as you can, not because you need to be healthier “this year” (you need to be healthy every year because people love you). If you’ve been toiling on a novel and want to finish it, do it because you want to, not because the year has changed. If you’ve been wanting to get more short stories out there, do it because you want to increase your visibility as a writer, not because there’s some unnamed mystic juju on New Year’s Day. If there’s an anthology you’ve had your eyes on, submit something to it because you want to face your fear of rejection, not because you believe that the current new year is going to be “my year” or the “year my ship will come in.”
Now, if flipping that calendar spurs you to achieve your goals, fine. Go for it. But we should set out to achieve our goals all year long, no matter what the calendar says. Don’t focus on dates or deadlines. Just focus on what you want out of life.
Just do it.