We need a realistic view of our history to plan a reasonable vision for our future
My wife sometimes says I view things as though my glass is only half-full, that I’m pessimistic. I counter that I’m simply being a realist, but the truth is I’m not sure who’s right. Perhaps a bit of reality resides in both perspectives. So it is in viewing my past year as a writer.
As such, I share two perspectives:
Best Year Ever:
- After years of talk, I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time. What a great experience.
- I wrote two novels, the second one in about three weeks. (I’m still editing them both.)
- My work as a commercial freelance writer really took off this year, with more clients, more work, and more income—all new records.
- I grew my Twitter followers from 2,400 to 11,500, surpassing my year-end goal of 10,000. I’m enjoying good connections and engagement there.
- I took LinkedIn seriously and made 100 posts to a growing audience of 2,300, which more than doubled in 2016.
- I didn’t publish a book this year.
- I didn’t win any writing contests.
- I wasn’t published in any anthologies.
- I didn’t accomplish my number one goal for 2016. (Which is now my number one goal for 2017.)
- Work/life balance continues to elude me. (It’s even harder to achieve when you work at home.)
I could reasonably adopt either of these two perspectives as my primary view of 2016. While it’s easy to dwell on disappointments, missed goals, and wasted opportunities, a better outlook is to focus on what went great this year. Though I might need to reread this post to remind myself, I can truly say that 2016 was my best year ever, and I look forward to 2017 being even better.
As you review 2016, I encourage you to celebrate the mountains and not allow yourself to wallow in the valleys. Though everyone is at a different place as a writer, no one had a flawless year and everyone has something to celebrate. Focus on these things as you move into 2017.
May it be your best year ever.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.