I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Year

January 2011?

What???? It hasn’t been fifteen minutes since January 2010.

What happened to all those New Year’s resolutions and goals I had a year ago? You know the ones—

2010 was the year I would:

•Lose 10 pounds.
•Get published.
•Finish my WIP—totally finish, no more rewriting.
•Write at least a complete first draft of a new novel.

Accomplished goals for January 1, 2010 — December 31, 2010:
Nada. Zip. Zero. Not one goal met.

So, does that make me a failure? No Way!

First of all, I don’t think goals are supposed to be viewed at the end of the year to see if you passed or failed. I think what you actually did in the dash between January and December is much more important. It’s kind of like the dates on a tombstone. It’s not so much about the day the person was born or when they died. It’s how they lived the years in between, what they did with the dash.

A lot happened in my – between January and December. Thanks to Susie’s help, I grew as a writer. Deepened my characters, added layers to my story, learned how to write a pitch and a synopsis (woo-woo), finaled in the Frasier, attended the ACFW conference where I was asked to submit proposals, and actually got the first couple of chapters of my next book down. I even lost 5 pounds. So even though I didn’t meet my goals from last year, I feel as though I accomplished a lot.

And now for 2011, I’m ready to make at least one new goal. I will set aside regular time to write.

This is so important, yet so hard to do. Life grabs at our attention and time. But as writers, we must commit to carving out that time. I’m a free-lance speaker in schools and on the days I’m scheduled, I wouldn’t dream of not showing up or leaving the classroom to run an errand. This year I will respect my writing time in the same way I respect my real job. I will make a schedule and stick to it.

That’s the only goal I’m making for 2011. Want to join me?

Pat Trainum


  1. Angela Bell1/5/11, 12:29 PM

    Great post, Pat! I also need to be more consistent and disciplined in my writing time. My goal is to sit down and write every day, even if it's only 10 minutes. Thanks for the encouragement! :-)

  2. Agreed, Pat! It is sooo hard to be self-disciplined when it comes to writing! Glad I'm not the only one with that "challenge." :) Sounds like you've got a great goal in place, though, for 2011!

  3. Self-discipline is the HARDEST, I think. Last year was going fairly well, writing-wise, until after the ACFW conference. I was asked to submit a full and proposal (cutting about 10,000 words), and literally froze. I'm back in the saddle now, somewhat, with the edits continuing before I get up the nerve to submit! It's good to hear that other people have the same issues I do!

  4. Pat, I loved how you talked about the "dash." I've considered the dash for a lifetime, but I hadn't thought about it when looking back on a year. Thanks for that perspective. :) One of my goals for this year is to write daily too, whether it's planning out a scene or actually writing (which I'm off to do now!). Thanks for sharing your thoughts about evaluating a year. :) Happy writing!

  5. You are all so right. It is so hard to self discipline ourselves to sit down every day and write. Thank you for the encouragement!

  6. Awesome post Pat. Life makes us think we need to "dash" here and "dash" there, but really its what in between the here and there that really makes us successful.

    Thanks for reminding us!

  7. Great post Pat! Keeping to a schedule is better than having nothing to do. Most people function better with a schedule, which includes setting aside time for exercise, or like us writing. If you don't make time for it - it will never get done. Or like a friend told me - if it doesn't have a start, it will never get done.

  8. Good job guys! I bought a day timer...man, I'm getting SO old. I am writing the things I accomplish each day. Not just writing goals, but my goals for reading the Bible, miles run, sit-ups done, dinners made...so I can look back and see the daily steps that compile the dash, the accomplishments between January and September.

    I'm so excited to see what this year holds!

  9. Love this, Pat. I know God will smile on you and these priorities this year and make you very fruitful in the speaking, too--wonderful!