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The New Year: Resolutions, Writing, and Promises We Won’t Keep

January 6, 2016

New years resolutions against above view of old typewriter

How the heck did it get to be 2016?

I seemed to have missed the passing of the end of 15. I’m usually more savvy with blogging about my Top Ten Lists and the books that changed my life. I’m usually more active on Facebook and Twitter, connecting with my readers and the outside world. But I pretty much crawled out of my cave, bloody and beaten, dove right into Christmas, and never went back into my office.

For a whole week.

It was kind of like taking an expensive tropical vacation with a swim up bar. It’s quite rare I deplug like that, unless I’m in Disneyworld and I end up believing I really do personally know Mickey Mouse. My husband took some time off, and being with him and the kids was a gift. We did a lot of nameless things that meant the world to me. We played board games, went to the movies, visited friends overlooked for too long, and spent way too much time in feety pajamas.

Umm, the kids. Not me.

I also read a lot. Tons. I averaged a book a day which reminded me of summer vacations when I was a kid and I had no real responsibilities. I stayed up too late every night reading, slept in, then woke up and read some more. When this past Monday came, I was inspired and ready for work, so I’ve been back in the  writing cave and quite happy.

I also read a ton of summaries on writing and publishing for the upcoming year by many well known sources. Smart people. People who earned my respect and people I always listen to because I learn things. I read about print sales increasing, and then the rebuttals. I read about ebooks decreasing and then the rebuttals. I read about traditional publishing reemerging as the best route, and the rebuttals. I read about the market glut and the writers jumping ship and then I read the rebuttals.

It’s so wonderful to be able to take all that valuable information and educated opinions and then decide how you want to use it. I agreed with a whole bunch of people, and the ones I didn’t agree with still gave me solid points to consider.

I won’t rehash what’s been summarized beautifully in many a blog. Here’s the one item I took from all of it:

If you want to be a writer, no one’s going to stop you. Just yourself.

The bad reviews won’t stop you, or the glutted market, or the multiple rejections, or the crappy sales. If you want to be a writer you will just write. End of story. Get too caught up in the minutia that can freeze the moody Muse and you’ll have a harder time writing. Yes, you need to educate yourself on market and craft, make solid business decisions, and know the obstacles you face. But you don’t need information overload or to immerse yourself deeply in everyone else’s junk so you begin screaming to others that the sky is falling.

If you want to be a writer, no one’s going to stop you. Just yourself.

Now, let’s talk about resolutions. I think they’re so much fun, even when you think you may fail. It’s a great starting point for an upcoming plan and you get a brand new, blank slate. Like a clean piece of paper, ready for you to write Chapter One.

Exciting, right?

So, here are mine and my analysis on my odds of success.

  1. Lose weight and get fit.

I’m tired of making them separate. I’m tired of explaining I want to be healthy. When I say that, people nod and agree much more vigorously than when I say what Kevin Spacey said in the movie, American Beauty:

“I want to look good naked.”

My analysis? I’ll lose a good ten pounds, and put it back on by the end of the year.


  1. I will drink more water and less alcohol.

Analysis: Not gonna happen unfortunately. But I like to write it down because I may lower my intake from two glasses of wine each night to just one. Then drink at least one more glass of water per day. Win/Win.


  1. I will not stress myself out with deadlines and new projects.

I failed at this last year, so now I’m paying for it this year. I am going to do better this time, so if I’m at a writer’s conference and we start drinking and talking about the awesome, fun, new project we want to write together, for God’s sakes, don’t follow up with me.


  1. Volunteer more.

I want to walk dogs at the shelters and help learn to rehabilitate them and do more for my local rescues. My problem is always the same. I don’t want to leave my house. I am a hermit who hates any person to come near me while I’m writing. Since I’m constantly writing, it’s extremely hard for me to clear those hours and drive somewhere to work with the animals. But I”m keeping this on my damn list because every time I do, I’m so happy.


  1. Stop making resolutions and stressing myself out.



Happy New Year my lovelies!


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  1. wkonsunshine says:

    Very sane resolutions, Jennifer. I don’t often make resolutions because I’m prone to break them. I just want to get started and keep in perpetuation motion that’s my resolution. We seem to have had some similar experiences. I had some great time off and read a ton of books too. I learned to play Aggravation with my 8 year old and was soundly beat. When did he get so smart. My time off was a gift and I was smiling and excited to return to work. And do you know what? Even though my plans for week dramatically changed, I smiled and rolled with the punches. Now that’s the measure of a great vacation for me.

    • Jennifer says:

      I love that! Yes, another reminder that refilling the well is good for everyone, especially our family and mental health!! Happy New year!

  2. bluedragon30 says:

    Christmas Vacation was long and wonderful at my house, too. I don’t usually make resolutions, but I remind myself that the new year is a new slate and a time of happy beginnings. Sooooo, maybe I’ll make it to the gym more than I did last year, and maybe I’ll walk on my lunch hour rather than read (doubtful! lol) but our family has definite plans for more family time – camping & hiking – so things are looking promising for 2016! Happy New Year!

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