Michaeline: The Fabulous Five Weeks of New Year Plan

a check. Upper banner: May Courage and Good Health and Fortune Favour You. Your Course keep Cleap (clear) Through all the Year. The Consolidated BANK OF SUCCESS Pay to (blank line) the Bearer, Three hundred and sixty-five days of Prosperity, Good Luck and Happiness. L (pound mark?) New Year Greeting. Being the sincere wish of (blank line). Mountains, crest, New Zealand (?) flag bearer woman, native person (Maori?) with a spear and two feathers. Mountains and a road with a small bridge. The border repeats: Good luck, happiness, prosperity.
OK, Capitalism. But from New Zealand! So it’s got to be better for us! Wishing you all a nice draft from the bank of success in the coming year. (Image via Wikimedia)

Look, it’s been a rough 2020 for the world as a whole, and for many of us personally. I’m not here to tell you what you should or should not do. Except for this: you need to make room in your life for things you enjoy. Some of you are probably doing an excellent job of this already, while others may feel guilty about failing yourself on this as well as other things.

Well, first of all, stop feeling guilty about fun. It IS a luxury, no matter what people these days say. If you don’t find room for fun, well, that was life for millions of people all through the ages.

But . . . it is a delicious feeling to have a little fun when you’ve already got a lot going on. There’s no failing this quest – but there is winning this quest.

So, go ahead and read through my advice – and I’m going to tell you, making plans is really, really fun for me! I love giving advice, particularly if I think it’s good advice. But if it’s not for you, no hard feelings. You can comment about what does work for you, or go research a little deeper into methods that look more interesting. But I hope this will work for some of you (and I hope it will work for me, too).

Four kittens marching through the snow on hind legs, with ribbons around their necks, holly in their front paws. Flag by biggest cat reads: Bright and happy thy New Year. Caption is Happy and Free Jolly Cats are we.
May your new year be full of metaphorical jolly cats (and literal ones, if that’s the way you like it). (Image via Toronto Public Library)

The whole Fabulous Five Weeks of New Year Plan hinges on second chances and redemption. Maybe you don’t keep resolutions well for a whole year. This is a shorter-range plan than that. You only have to try for five weeks at a time. Then, the beauty of 2021 is that February 12 is almost

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Nancy: New Year, New Writer, Zen Edition

Welcome to the last post of 2018! Hard to believe, isn’t it? And you know what the end of the year means. Recaps and reviews of 2018. Resolutions and predictions for 2019. Here at 8LW, it also means discussing our writing plans for the new year. Today, I’m keeping up that tradition, and expanding it to other important areas of life.

You might have noticed over the past year that I’ve set lots of writing goals, accomplished several of them, and missed the mark on others. Overall, I made good progress, but in the coming year I hope to do better. But I also burned out when we reached December, and next year, I’d like to avoid that end-of-year collapse. You’ll be shocked (shocked, I tell you!) to learn I have a plan to do better in 2019. And it all begins with balance in a few key areas of my life. Continue reading

Justine: Flexing Your Writing Muscles

manlifting-weightsIn many ways, writing is like working out. The more you do it, the easier it is, and the more stamina you have. On the flip side, when you stop working out, it’s a bitch to get back into it again.

One of my New Years Resolutions was to get moving for 30 minutes a day. Aside from not writing, I’ve also been neglecting myself, and I decided, after reading this stunning NY Times article about how much of your LIFE you can lose by being inactive, that I needed to Continue reading

Nancy: Joie D’Ecriture

Happy-New-Year-2016Last week, I  gave you some food for thought regarding setting goals for 2016. This week, I’m going to share my goals. But you might notice something…different about them.

This year, I’m not going to tell you about my word count targets or list of projects to complete. Yes, I have them. Yes, I’m working on a my multi-year strategic plan. And yes, there are spreadsheets (need you even ask???). But this year, for public accountability purposes, I’m sharing my plan for something more important, something I’m calling joie d’ecriture Continue reading

Nancy: You Say You Want a Resolution

Time to write the pages!

As regular readers of the blog know, we Ladies have spent some time this January talking about our New Year’s resolutions or lack thereof. Many of us have chosen to go the route of using the dawn of 2014 to recalibrate and update e our goals instead of making official declarations. I am one of those in the goals camp. One of the upsides of that approach is that things I haven’t accomplished thus far aren’t lost resolutions or chances. Even if I miss a deadline for a goal, I can reset it and come up with a plan to do better starting now. Technically, the same can be said of resolutions, but words have certain connotations, and failing at a resolution just makes me feel worse than recalibrating a goal.

While some of my goals are specific to finishing drafts and submitting manuscripts for publishing consideration, one is the granddaddy of them all, because if I manage to achieve it, it will make my other writing career goals possible. Continue reading

Nancy: New Writer, New Year – A Year of Writing Courageously

Random Act of Courage

For the past several weeks, the other Ladies and I have been chatting about 2014 and our goals (as opposed to resolutions) for this coming year. In addition to the concrete milestones I plan to achieve, my mind also went to a big picture goal I’ve set for myself: to have a year of writing fearlessly. And that was the title for my first blog post of the year, until I started writing the post and realized that writing fearlessly means writing without fear, and for me and possibly many other writers, that just isn’t gonna happen. But what can happen is I can recognize the fears, embrace them, and write in spite of them. That’s courage, hence the newly minted ‘Year of Writing Courageously’.

The first step in writing courageously is recognizing what fears may come. Continue reading