What if my New Year’s resolutions aren’t working out?

This has been a wild year so far. I can’t believe it’s already May! So much has happened. I’ve tried some different things with my blog, written lots of new stories, and started on many new journeys. But…nothing I planned has quite worked out the way I thought it would. In a sense, it’s been a year of “failure,” but not in a bad way (because yes, there is a good side to failure!). I tried some experiments, they didn’t work, and I moved on.

And that’s okay.

New Year’s resolutions are great. I love setting goals for the year, but in reality, I know that probably not all of them are going to work out. But as long as I’ve done my best, I’m okay with that. About halfway through the year, I usually find myself changing my goals a little. It’s not cheating, I promise! We can’t see the future, and when we make those New Year’s resolutions, we have no idea what the year will really bring.

Editing your goals is much better than just deciding to quit altogether.

You might be in the same boat too. It’s not even quite halfway through the year, and your resolutions are falling apart all around you. You feel discouraged and maybe you’re even wondering why you tried in the first place.

I’m here to tell you it’s okay to change your goals, and it’s okay to acknowledge that things didn’t work out.

The best thing to do now is to keep moving forward.

For us writers, it especially hurts when our stories don’t work out. We put so much planning, so much time and effort into this beautiful thing, and then…no one reads it. Hm. That’s discouraging.

But it’s not the end.

This year, I tried to build an audience on Ko-fi, a website kind of like Patreon but not as detailed or involved. I posted often, I even made an exclusive story for my page, but week after week I was only seeing bare minimum results. Not a single post ever got a comment. The majority of the donations were from family members (which was still absolutely fantastic, and I loved them so much for it, but I’d hoped to get other people interacting with my page, too).

Worst of all, that exclusive story, The Chosen Two, wasn’t being read. That’ll kill excitement for writing a story in a heartbeat.

So, after the many, many hours I’d dedicated to my Ko-fi page, I had to make the difficult decision to move on. Maybe I tried to branch out too soon, or maybe Ko-fi just isn’t for me. Whatever the case, it was like a sigh of relief. Taking all of the time to carefully craft so many posts that no one was reading had been like pushing against a solid brick wall. Now, I have more time to dedicate to this blog, my work, and my WIP. (And it isn’t the end for The Chosen Two either – stay tuned!)

Speaking of my WIP…

If you remember my post about writing a novel in 3 months from March, you’ll know that I’m currently working on my WIP within that strict timeline. I planned in March, started writing in April, and got over 20k words in when suddenly I thought:

“Hmm… I think I need to change the way I’m writing this.”

And it wasn’t a simple fix either. In fact, I decided to dive into a style of writing that I’ve never done before – and, to top it all off, it’s against the “writing rules.”

So… I started over.

I had a goal. I wanted to finish my WIP by the end of June, and I could have kept going, but instead, I decided to alter my goal. Now, I’m giving myself until the end of July to finish. That way, I was able to start over without feeling rushed and take the time I needed to get comfortable with the new writing style.

Now, I could be constantly thinking about how much time I lost by having to start over.

But I’m not. I only focus on what’s ahead, because that’s what’s going to help me achieve my new goal.

So maybe your New Year’s resolutions aren’t working out. I hope you recognise that that doesn’t negate all of the efforts you’ve put in to reach your goals. Likely, you’ve even learned some things along the way.

As Yoda once said: “The greatest teacher, failure is.”

Don’t give up. Make new goals. Try even harder. Keep going. And make sure to keep track of everything you achieve along the way. At the end of the year, even if you don’t quite meet all of your goals, I think you’ll be surprised at how much you’ve been able to accomplish.

Do you love writing? Have you ever wanted to have influence on the contents of a book before it’s published? Wondering how to become a freelance writer? Looking for more writing tips? Subscribe to my monthly emails to get all of this and a free book!

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

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One thought on “What if my New Year’s resolutions aren’t working out?

  1. Pingback: Do you really have to follow “writing rules?” | E.J. Robison

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