Welcome to 2023. Now Take a Nap.
This Week In Writing, we kick off a new year with a chat about goals, self-care, and naps.
Happy new year! Today is my first day back to work since before Christmas. It’s been a lovely break where I did… well, I didn’t do much, friends. I slept. I cleaned the house. I slept some more. It was glorious. During that break, the only thing I wrote (aside from my daily journalling) was this newsletter — and that didn’t happen until a few days ago. Did I mention the break was wonderful?
This is the time of year when you can’t avoid discussions about “fresh starts” and “goals” and the dreaded r-word. I’m only brushing against this topic to say this: goals provide direction, but they don’t control you. There’s a chapter of my book dedicated to goal setting. While I believe in SMART goals, I also acknowledge that a missed goal is an opportunity for growth. Here’s what I said in the book:
If you didn’t achieve the goal, it’s a great place to ask questions and learn. Were there factors you didn’t consider when setting the goal? Did something unexpected come up? Was the goal set too high that it wasn’t achievable? Evaluate what happened and set your next goal accordingly.
So, set a goal for this week/month/year but don’t beat yourself up over it. Remember, it’s your goal. Be kind to yourself in 2023.
Speaking of being kind to yourself, did you know today is the Festival of Sleep Day? It’s supposed to remind us to catch up on sleep from a busy holiday season, but I think it’s a good reminder to make self-care part of your 2023 goals.
Life is about balance. While I’ve enjoyed my nearly two weeks without writing, it’s a good idea to take regular pauses and not wait until the end of the year to recharge the batteries.
What is your 2023 goal, and how will you weave self-care into it?
Commit to Community in 2023
I mentioned before that I’m diving in head-first to Mastodon and have largely found the experience thoroughly enjoyable. The writing community is just as (if not more) engaging as Twitter. Follow me and join the conversation. If the whole concept is confusing, Brendon Bigley has a great Mastodon primer that feels like something I would have written (if I didn’t take the last two weeks off).
If you’re looking for a dedicated community outside of mass-audience social media, I’m getting ready to relaunch my writing community on Discord. It’s not quite ready yet (time off and all), but it will be soon. I look forward to this announcement and will share more with you soon.
A few of you joined my writing community last year during a few of the test launches. You still have access and can say hello. For the rest of you, make sure you’re subscribed and stay tuned…
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Self-Care for Writers by Tammy Breitweiser
For me community has proven to be an effective component of self care. My weekly creativity group calls have been fueling through goal setting and accountability.
How to Set Accurate Writing Goals for Yourself by Fleurine Tideman
There is an unspoken power in writing down your intentions and an added drive to fulfill them. Perhaps we subconsciously find it more shameful to then ‘fail’, or maybe we merely hate crossing something out or seeing that unticked box. Whatever the case, always write down your goal.
Five Steps to Jumpstart Your Writing Goals in the New Year by Nancy Parish
For fifteen years I swam competitively, and setting goals was a big part of my training. I‘ve applied the same steps I used when I was swimming to my writing goals and you can too.
Happy new year, everyone!
I took a day off from writing about political issues and editing other people's submissions at Politically Speaking on Medium to write "Making New Year's Resolutions with a Little Help from a Long Ago God" -- at https://medium.com/illumination/making-new-years-resolutions-with-a-little-help-from-a-long-ago-god-7c1044768159?sk=79dcf35d804d4ac88c0e8d4e367e4fcf -- Now all I have to do is live up to what I wrote.