Writing Tips

The Pros and Cons of a New Year

Happy New Year, friends!

Each new year since I started my blog, I share my intention for the year. While I still have an intention (courage – I’ve written about that for The Pink Heart Society), I wanted share to something different this year. Because the truth is, I don’t always start out with an intention in mind. In fact, I don’t start my new years the way most people do.

Honestly? I struggle with the new year optimism.

It’s one of the pros of a new year, isn’t it? Feeling that excitement, that optimism for something new. The hope that this year will be better than the last. That this year will be the year. It’ll finally be the year we write that book; get published; find an agent; fulfil our dreams. Don’t get me wrong, I do still feel that when a new year rolls around. I also feel…overwhelmed.

Which, I suppose, is the con of a new year.

If you’re like me, your brain answers that optimism with pessimism. Sometimes, that pessimism outweighs the optimism. The endless opportunities of a new year aren’t only ways to fulfil your dreams, but ways to fail. That excitement can lead to disappointment. You anticipate that your hope will be squelched by the first rejection. Or you overthink things. Which of all these opportunities should you take? What happens if you fail? Will all this year’s efforts be enough?

I know. I know.

And I’m not telling you I know because I want sympathy. I’m sharing it because if I’m feeling it, some of you might be, too. You might not need sympathy either; but you deserve understanding. So if the ‘new year, new you’ messages don’t motivate you, I get it. If you feel less than, or ill-prepared for the new year, you’re not alone.

Feel those feelings. And then, lean in to the pros.

That was sneaky, wasn’t it? Finally, someone understands what you’re feeling and I tell you to work through them. (Imagine working through your feelings, you guys. LOL.) Seriously though, acknowledge the cons with the pros. There’s nothing wrong with feeling them, regardless of the messaging around you. But also don’t allow those fears to paralyse you. Because this year might be the year you write your book. Or get published. Or find an agent, or fulfil your dreams. The biggest pro and con of the new year is that it requires faith. And faith requires vulnerability. Which is scary as heck, but also rewarding as heck – even if things don’t pan out in the way you wanted them to.

For example: before Carina Press published A WEDDING ONE CHRISTMAS, it was rejected by several publishers. It took a revise and resubmit request to get it in a state where Carina would be interested in it. While it didn’t feel great to get those rejections, they were necessary, which I wouldn’t have known if I’d let the fear hold me back. Don’t let it hold you back either, friends. Lean in to the pros.

Have a little faith.

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