A Writer’s Overhaul for 2022

I’m fairly certain that every writer – who also blogs – has made half a dozen resolution or goals posts for New Year’s. While some are successful in meeting whatever challenge they set for themselves, there are just as many who fail within the first few weeks and refuse to admit it to their readers. Well, I’m not going to do that. In fact, this post is going to contain a brutally honest admission on my part:

I stink with keeping resolutions. I suck when it comes to adhering to any goals I set for myself. And I know that’s why, in all the years since deciding to become a writer, I do not possess a single finished novel.

Let’s take a look back at my two “resolution” posts for chocolateandpaper.com before we get into what goals I’ll be attempting in 2022.

My Seven Writing Goals for 2020

  1. Finish Project Firedamp
  2. Tour More Historical Sites
  3. Bring More Story-Themed Decor Into My Home
  4. Visit the Library of Congress for a Day
  5. Build a Paper Organizer
  6. Write in Tennessee
  7. Hand Copy a Novel

And so the question remains: did I accomplish any of these seven goals? No, no I did not. Project Firedamp was shelved; the schedule at my old job had me all over the place with times so I was always exhausted; I began decluttering my home and life so I nixed no. 3; the Library of Congress closed for a year; I found something else for my craft paper; we went to Johnstown instead of Tennessee, and I gave up on copying a novel.

As you can see, I had a very unsuccessful 2020. Did I do any better with 2021?

My Writing Goals for 2021

  1. Work on My Self-Doubt
  2. Set Aside Actual Writing Time
  3. Go in Those Historical Adventures
  4. Finish. That. Manuscript

I kinda worked on my self-doubt; I never “scheduled” writing time because I found I couldn’t take myself seriously as a writer anymore; I did go on a few local history tours, and I never finished any manuscripts.

What now?

As you can see, my lists have progressively shrunk over the years. And rightfully so. For one year, I bit off more than I could chew. For the other, I set realistic goals that I still barely met. Why? Because my drive for that coveted “writer’s life” has slowly dwindled over the past few years. Every idea felt too big, too out-of-reach, or too over done in that genre.

What am I going to do in 2022?

First of all, I’m not going to call any of my actions “goals” or “resolutions.” I don’t care if other bloggers modernized the New Years’ Resolution with “goal.” I don’t know how you handle your life choices, but I don’t like trying, forgetting, and feeling like an immediate failure.

Second, no more lists. Don’t get me wrong – I love lists as much as the next writer. Heck, I’m an outliner when it comes to my writing style. That “goals itemized list,” however, totally fed my anxiety throughout the year. So, to save myself some angst somewhere around mid June, I’ll not make a list of any sort for 2022.

Finally, change as a whole takes time. If you’ve felt like a failure yourself with goals, resolutions and all that jazz, please know that you’re not alone. Go easy on yourself. Example: it’s taken me two full years to completely declutter my home of everything unnecessary for my life. It took a year of those two years to decide to try doing a “No Buy Year” in 2022 as well. Never would I have thought to even attempt if I hadn’t already made significant choices over a period of time.

Because my drive for that coveted “writer’s life” has slowly dwindled over the past few years. Every idea felt too big, too out-of-reach, or too over done in that genre.

No. More. Lists. Except a Novel Outline!

If an overhaul on what I thought the “writer’s life” was going to look for me five years ago and it hasn’t come to fruition, then grace and patience is what it’ll be. For many, writing after a hiatus is like riding a bike. If you’re anything like me, it’s more like a “passionate struggle.”

2022 will be a practice in resetting my writing priorities, routines and drive. Don’t just “hope” to do something about changing your bad habits. Make the change happen, and then don’t beat yourself up if you don’t see immediate progress. Now go and write that story you’ve thought about these past six months!