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.