It’s the beginning of a whole new year; what time could possibly be better to become more motivated and inspired? You have a whole 365 days ahead of you, and now is the time to start making them count, so we're asking authors what they've got planned for the year ahead!
Sasha Greene tells us how to hone your New Year's Resolutions to focus on one specific aim for the year ahead.
New Year is always famous for well-intentioned resolutions which get abandoned not long afterwards, and I used to do exactly that. I would write long lists of changes I wanted to make in my life and then either end up stressed out trying to achieve them all, or forget to write them down and spend ages trying to remember what it was I actually wanted to do.
I truly believe every day can bring a fresh start, but there is something very compelling about the start of a new year. I always try to make sure the time around New Year is fairly free, and it's often a time when I get a lot of writing done. In the past couple of years my resolutions have focused on just one thing I want to achieve that year. Most people say that resolutions have to be very concrete to make them achievable, but I tend to focus on abstract wishes that can be applied to any situation.
In 2018, my resolution was to, spend less time helping other people and more on my own projects. To some people that may sound a bit selfish, but taking time for myself is something I often struggle with, so it was a really good focus for me to bear in mind. With each situation that came up I could then take the time to evaluate it against my priorities, and try to steer myself away from anything that would cut into time that I really needed for myself.
I wouldn't say that I was one hundred percent successful in my efforts, but it definitely helped. And it meant I managed to set aside enough time over the first six months of the year to write a whole book, which when working nearly full time feels like a massive achievement. Add to that the fact the book is now going to be published in 2019 as my debut novel, and it really feels like a miracle! I know this coming year is going to be a bit of a roller coaster, as there will be so many new experiences which will undoubtedly happen because of that. Something Like Happy is out on the 13th of May and thirteen has always been my lucky number, so I’m hoping that’s a good sign. It’s a story I feel really proud of as my characters tackle some quite challenging mental health issues, and it’s taken a lot of thought and research to put it all together.
I've also been thinking about what I want to have as my one resolution for 2019, and there are a few options on the table, but the one that currently resonates with me at the moment is, spending more quality time with people. We all spend a lot of time in the virtual world scrolling through social media, and sometimes overlook the personal connections that make the world a nicer place to live. This can be something as simple as calling a friend to see how they are, having a conversation with a random stranger on a train, or merely asking the cashier at the supermarket checkout how they are—and actually listening to the answer! When I don't have money to spare for people begging in the street I have started offering hugs instead, which are often accepted with a smile. So I think my resolution will be to spend more time on quality communication, whatever form it takes.
I do have a couple of wishes for Romancelandia for 2019. Firstly, I'd like to see romance as a genre truly be taken seriously in the mainstream publishing world. It still gets a lot of flack for being supposedly <insert unsuitable derogatory descriptor of your choice here>. I think things are changing slowly but, like women's issues such as equal pay and proper representation, the changes are moving oh-so-slowly. But definitely in the right direction.
Also, I know there are a lot of amazing writers out there who are not yet fortunate enough to secure a publishing contract. I wish them every success in the coming year. Don't give up! If I can make it, you can too! But above all, remember to FTDB!*
*(finish the darn book).
Sasha's debut, Something Like Happy, is available for preorder now. For more information about her and her writing, check out her website, and follow her on Twitter.