This was going to be one of those super-positive, energetic, hopeful New Year’s resolutions posts. I was going to review what I accomplished last year (or what I didn’t accomplish), then set out some ambitious, inspiring goals for 2017. Right after I read Richelle Morgan’s great post at The Winged Pen about goals, I felt like I was ready to take on the whole Empire myself.
So what happened?
Well, just as I was about to open a shiny, new notebook and start resolutioning, I read this post by Catherine Ryan Howard, the gist of which is, basically, that there’s something to be said for just shutting the hell up and actually doing some writing. In it, she also refers to a classic post by Chuck Wendig that pretty much says the same thing (except with far more profanity because, you know, Chuck Wendig).
Goals can be motivating, if they’re the right kinds of goals (hint: “getting published” is the wrong kind of goal). But what Howard and Wendig are getting at is that it’s so very easy to let your writing aspirations fall prey to activities like:
- Blogging about writing.
- Blogging about writing goals.
- Blogging about not meeting writing goals.
And all the other metawriting the unpublished writer engages in: conferences, workshops, classes, platform building, critiquing, reviewing, and so on. I’ve done it all.
Don’t get me wrong; all of these things are helpful. But if we fall into the dangerous Sarlacc pit of thinking we have to do all this stuff before we start writing, before we finish that project we started, then it’s going to keep us from moving forward.
So here’s my writing resolution for 2017: If at any time I’ve got a choice between a writing-related activity and doing some actual writing, I’m going to choose to write. And after I’ve done some writing, if I still have time, I’ll do the blog/conference/class/workshop/thing. Cuz I ain’t getting any younger, you know?
Oh, and also resolved: Stay away from Sarlacc pits.