Writers Take Note: Wherever You Ended Up This Year Is OK

By Jennifer Blanchard
Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve…which means 2009 will officially be over.

How did you do on your writing goals for the year? Did you reach them? Did you fail? Did you fall somewhere in between?

Remember, it’s difficult to create habits and make changes. Changing a habit–especially a habit you’ve had for years–is a big challenge.

Habits are our comfort zones. And stepping outside that comfort zone takes work and effort.

But as I’m sure you’ve found this year, it’s not impossible to change. You just have to do it one step at a time.

And if you really think about it, you’re doing great.

To become a doctor it takes about seven years. To become a journalist you have to go to school for two-to-four years. To be an expert, you have to spend years and years honing your craft.

So what makes you think that you can change all your procrastinating ways in a single year?

News flash, writers: You can’t.

Overcoming procrastination takes years and years of action, commitment and practice.

You’ll fail and you’ll fall down and you’ll make mistakes and you’ll learn what works for you and you’ll find a way to make writing a priority and you’ll become less and less of a procrastinator as the years go on (if you keep working at it).

So wherever you ended up with your writing this year is OK.

Tell yourself that over and over again; every time you want to berate yourself for not hitting all your writing goals, tell yourself that where you are right now is OK.

Maybe you didn’t finish a novel this year, but you probably did some novel planning. Maybe you didn’t consistently post on your blog, but you at least started your blog. Maybe you didn’t find a publisher, but you learned how to write better query letters.

See, if you look for the good in everything–even your mistakes–you’ll find that you’re doing a lot better than you give yourself credit for.

One of my writing goals for this year was to re-write my first draft of the novel I wrote in 2008. That didn’t happen. But do you think I’m sitting here complaining?

No way!

Because while I didn’t quite get my novel draft re-written, I DID grow this blog from zero visits a month to 5,042 visits a month.

That is a huge accomplishment.

While I might not have hit all my goals, I did hit some of them. And I even accomplished things I never had on my list to begin with (like my 30 Days of NaNo Tips newsletter, which was a smashing success).

So as you spend the next few days evaluating 2009 and making a plan for 2010, take a moment to give yourself credit for all you accomplished–the big things and the little things.

What writing goals did you accomplish this year? What are your writing goals for 2010?

About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is founder of Procrastinating Writers. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.

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