New Year’s Day. The time of year when society tells us to make New Year’s Resolutions.
We vow to eat better and exercise more. We promise ourselves we’ll carve out more “me-time” for reading or other enjoyable activities. We hope to become better organized or more charitable.
Most of those resolutions don’t survive the month of January. That means a lot of people probably feel like failures as the year wears on.
For this reason, I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. As a perfectionist, I already have plenty of things to beat myself up about, and I don’t need to add to the list, thank you very much.
Instead, if I come up with anything resolution-ish, I usually vow to concentrate on something good or positive. For example, rather than a resolution that has a “success” or “failure” aspect, I’ll resolve to live my life normally, but celebrate the successes that naturally come my way. With a resolution like that, we can’t fail and we don’t have to beat ourselves up.
(Yes, I am a Pollyanna. While I’m a pragmatic realist who sees the good and bad in life equally, I’ve learned I’m a happier person when I choose to focus on the good aspects. Your mileage may vary. *smile*)
As writers, we already have too many opportunities to doubt ourselves. Rejections. Bad reviews. Low sales. We don’t need to create more opportunities for failure and self-doubt.
Rather, it’s healthier if we focus on the times when we feel like a success. At some point this past year, we probably all had at least one momentary flash of “I can do this.”
Maybe that spark of confidence came when the words flowed beautifully from our fingers. Maybe it came when positive feedback made us fall in love with our characters all over again. Maybe it was a request, a contest win, or a sale.
The point is that feeling of confidence can be caused by something external or internal, important or trivial, and can lead to bigger and better things or be a standalone response. Whatever the circumstances, we should make a notch in our mental “writing successes” ledger, so we have a balance to carry us through the bad days.
When we sense that flash of “I can do this,” we shouldn’t just gloss over it and move on. We should take the time to add that mental tally mark.
Sometimes those marks will come from external successes we receive from others (like a full request or a sale), and sometimes those marks will come from our internal perceptions just because we’re paying closer attention to our inner fist pumps. Either way, those flashes of confidence are real and we should make note of them. Almost every writer could use more confidence. *smile*
My 2013 New Year’s Resolution? Make more “I can do this” tally marks in my mental ledger.
Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Why or why not? Are you successful with them? Do you try to pay attention to your flashes of confidence? Do you have suggestions for other positive-focused resolutions we could make?Pin It