Grateful in the New Year - Writer's Digest

Grateful in the New Year

Publish date:

Happy New Years, everyone! I hope you all had a happy, healthy, safe holiday season. I feel like I’ve been MIA lately… well, I have been MIA lately… But it feels good to be back. To be connecting again. Writing again.

I did take a great big break from writing—almost two weeks—and I’m feeling a little anxious about getting back to work. I think writing is like anything else, really—the more you do it, the easier it is to dive in. It becomes a habit, a routine, rhythmic. I wish I could say I’ve been writing in my head while I’m not technically writing, but I haven’t been. I shut myself off to it a bit, removed myself, but I am ready to flick the light back on.

That brings me to New Years resolutions…those awful things. I don’t like them because I tend to put pressure on myself to begin with and the additional pressure of a resolution just adds unnecessary weight. I read on YA author Sarah Dessen’s blogthat the way you spend the 1st day of the New Year is predictive of how your year will turn out overall. I spent the 1st of the year getting some much needed R& R, hibernating under a huge blanket on the couch, watching a movie. My loved ones suffered a few health issues this holiday season and the holiday proved less relaxing than hoped. And so, with the New Year came the opportunity to finally breathe a sigh of relief and tune out to The Inglorious Bastards. Anyway, I wonder what this means for me… will the year be full of relaxation? Probably not. But maybe that first day of the year, if anything, will be a reminder to stop and slow down and savor the small the things like buttery eggs for breakfast, some classical music, a flickering candle, an afternoon of movies and popcorn. And so I think if I was forced to make a resolution, it would be this: to savor, to enjoy, and to be grateful for what is right in front of me. To need less.Expect less. And in doing so, in slowing down and letting go, realizing how much I already have.

As for writing, well… my main goal is to do my best. It sounds cheesy, yes, but sometimes the cheesiest maxims, or proverbs, prove to be the truest. My goals are to work hard, work productively, and work often, but ultimately at the end of the day I want to be content with my effort, patient with my process. Perhaps my goal is really this: to not be so hard on myself. I want to dig into the craft with a new found fascination. I want to play a little more. Enjoy it. Be grateful for it.

More ponderings to come! What are your writing goals for the New Year?

Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.

-Henry David Thoreau

Image placeholder title

Seven Tips for Intuitive Writing: The Heart-Hand Connection

Award-winning author Jill G. Hall shares her top tips for how to dive into your latest project head-first.


Bearing vs. Baring vs. Barring (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use bearing vs. baring vs. barring on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.


15 Things a Writer Should Never Do

Former Writer's Digest managing editor Zachary Petit shares his list of 15 things a writer should never do, based on interviews with successful authors as well as his own occasional literary forays and flails.


Evie Green: Imaginary Friends and Allowing Change

Author Evie Green explains why she was surprised to end writing a horror novel and how she learned to trust the editorial process.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: The 3 Prime Rules of Horror Writing, Contest Deadlines, and More!

Welcome to the first installment of a new series! There's always so much happening in the Writer's Digest universe that even staff members have trouble keeping up. So we're going to start collecting what's on the horizon to make it easier for everyone to know what's happening and when.


Lenora Bell: When Fairy Tales Meet Reality TV

Bestselling historical romance author Lenora Bell discusses researching, avoiding info-dumps while still charming readers, and how her latest book was inspired by her life.


Three Keys to Crafting Chemistry Between Characters

Romance author Michelle Major explains her three go-to tips for ensuring your characters have believable chemistry.

Saving Money on Your Screenwriting Career

Take Two: Saving Money on Your Screenwriting Career

No one wants to break the bank to learn how to write a screenplay. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman shares practical tips on saving money on the pursuit of a screenwriting career.