Life as a Writer

I Failed my 2019 Writer’s Goals—But I Did So Much Better!

It’s almost 2020, so I went back to my blog post from the beginning of 2019 to see what my New Year goals were.

Before I remind you what they were, I just want to say this: I failed at least part of every single one. But I’m as happy as a clam!

Why?

I mentioned last year that I hate New Year’s resolutions. And this is part of why: We focus so much on the goals and our failures to meet them that we miss the things we have accomplished.

So let’s reevaluate my goals from last year. Here is what I wrote:

1. Build my platform.

To get published, it’s extremely important to have a platform. So, by the end of 2019, I’m shooting for:

Twitter @alyssawrote: 500 followers

Twitter @CasualYAVillain: 500 followers

Instagram @alyssawrote: 500 followers

Facebook: 500 page likes

LinkedIn: 1,500 connections

2. Get a book contract for one of my books.

I have an agent, and my books have been sent out to some publishers. So, I want one of them to be contracted. It helps that one is cowritten with a much cooler writer than me: Hope Bolinger.

3. Finish Greg Must Die.

Could I write several books this year? Probably. Will I write more than one? Most likely. But I don’t want to stress myself out. So I’m only going to require myself to finish my middle grade humor novel Greg Must Die.

Great goals, right? Reasonable? I certainly thought so.

Well, let’s begin with goal number one. As of this writing, @CasualYAVillain only has 261 followers, only a little over half of my goal. On LinkedIn, I have 1,260 connections—240 short of my goal. And Facebook…248. Less than half of my goal.

But! My @alyssawrote twitter has almost 1,400 followers, almost three times my goal. My Instagram, though less dramatic, exceeded my goal at 528. And perhaps more importantly, I regularly write articles for websites that have millions of subscribers, and each article has a bio at the end, giving me international exposure to thousands of people at least once a week. It wasn’t an avenue I expected, but I’ll take that over a few hundred more LinkedIn followers any day.

I want to skip number two for a minute and focus on number three. So, I did NOT finish Greg Must Die. I think I’m only on about chapter nine. However, I DID finish my new adult fantasy, The Dragon Flute. Which, incidentally, has a word count almost three times as long as Greg’s projected word count. So I’m content.

Now, for number two.

I wanted to get one book contracted. Well, here’s the kicker, my friends. I have had FOUR BOOKS CONTRACTED in 2019.

My upper MG/YA contemporary fantasy trilogy, The Wraithwood Trilogy, was contracted, as was the YA superhero romance I wrote with Hope Bolinger, Dear Hero.

These book deals trump everything. I couldn’t care less about missing some social media numbers; my books are coming out.

This is an extreme case, but I think it points to something a lot of us do all the time. We focus so much on the areas where we think we’ve failed that we forget to appreciate the areas where we’ve grown or succeeded. And these far outweigh the failures.

This year, I’m not making any New Year’s goals. I’m just going to appreciate what happened last year and look forward to next year. Perhaps others of you might do the same.

Maybe you didn’t diet. But did you improve a friendship? Maybe you didn’t read that book. But did you learn a new skill? Maybe you didn’t get a promotion. But did you improve at your job where you are?

Some people love resolutions; some hate them. Whatever you decide about New Year’s resolutions, remember to look back and appreciate everything good that happened last year.

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