Resolving to Write in 2016

ToddColumnWith the arrival of a new year comes the obligatory New Year’s Resolutions. Every year I chart out my course for the year in hopes of bettering myself and improving my situation. Usually this involves 10 or more goals. Some years I have vowed to read at least two books each month. Other years, my goals focused on items such as obtaining my master’s degree, blogging more often, being physically active or becoming more organized.

Looking back over my resolutions of New Years past, I have accomplished a lot of what I set out to do. I did earn my master’s degree, and I have become organized to a point where I feel truly lost without my calendar and Wunderlist, which is a great little to-do list app on my iPhone.

Of course, I haven’t really become more physically active, and my blogging ebbs and flows. I have increased my reading, which is something I resolved to do every year as far back as I have keep some record of my resolutions, but even that hasn’t been consistent. Some months I might tear through three books, but then I will hit a stretch of a month or two where I don’t even pick up a book for the simple pleasure of reading.

And herein lies my problem with New Year’s Resolutions — those items left undone. Even though I reached several goals over the years, some of them larger than others, the ones I’ve come up short on haunt me. They make me feel as though I haven’t accomplished anything.

Going from year to year feeling like a failure is no way to enact positive change in one’s life, so I’m done making long lists of resolutions I will undoubtedly struggle to accomplish.

Instead, I am going to focus all my attention on one resolution.

I am going to write more.

Sure, I still plan to do a few other things, but those are things I am already working at making a part of my everyday life. Resolving to do them more would feel like cheating. It equates to setting the bar too low.

Instead, I am simply going to resolve to write more.

Writing is a passion of mine. I’ve self-published one novel, and I have written two more, which I aspire to get published as well, if I can only find an agent.

Since writing is a passion of mine, you might think that is already a part of my everyday life, but you would be wrong. It should be a part of my everyday life, but I have been extremely lax in my writing. It’s been nearly a year since I seriously wrote, and that kills me inside. When I write, I am a happier person. Even if every word I put down on the page is absolutely garbage, I feel better. My soul screams for me to sit down and do my work of writing.

So why haven’t I been doing this if it is such an important activity to me? Well, it comes down to time. I have been putting other tasks ahead of my writing, and with the dawning of 2016, that ends.

I resolve to carve out time, which I will hold onto dearly, and write. This time will be sacred.

I’m not going to go as far as saying, “I will write 2,000 words every day.” No, that would just be setting myself up for failure because life does tend to happen despite best-laid plans. However, that will be my goal, and it is attainable. In the past, I have taken part in National Novel Writing Month, during which I wrote more than 50,000 words in 30 days, so I can do it if I just do it.

For this resolution, though, I will simply plan to write more days than not. I am going to enter a few short story contests, which will give me deadlines, and I will start a new novel.

Hopefully, along the way, I get my other two novels published by finding an interested agent, but even if I don’t, I will continue to write.

The goal is to craft stories. Having others read them and maybe make a little income is purely icing on the cake.

So wish me luck, and I wish you all the best as you tackle your resolutions for 2016. Hopefully by this time next year, we will both be looking back on a very successful year.

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