The new year seems to be one of the most exciting times of the year because everyone is geared up to work on their new year resolutions. January first is the new start with a clean slate and no one has any mistakes yet.
This is how I feel when I start writing a new story. I’m full of ideas, good intentions, and a mountain load of motivation. But just like a new year’s resolution, I find myself making mistakes and then a few months later I don’t even remember where I left my draft. I try to get my motivation back by starting a new draft, one that doesn’t include the mistakes that discouraged me in the last one. But it works the same as the renewed resolutions.
A new start will always be exciting and seem perfect. But there’s also always mistakes that come. I’ve experienced this in my years of making new year’s resolutions as well as in the countless stories that I’ve begun. I’ve learned a few things in the process. The first is that you’ll make mistakes and you have to be okay with that. There is no perfect first try or perfect draft, no perfect record. In fact, I don’t think there’s any thing we can do perfectly, so accepting it will make it easier to keep motivation up.
Our goals and our stories aren’t about perfection, they’re about continuing. No writer will claim to have written a perfect first draft, but those who keep writing can claim to be writers. The healthiest people you know have bad days, but they keep trying their best. Each day is a new start, we progress if we move past the mistakes.
Another thing I’ve learned is that having a plan is key. Goals and stories I’ve started without a plan end up flopping because I hit a hard day and don’t know what to do, so I skip for a day. A day turns into two or a week until I find the motivation to make a plan. But with a plan, I’m able to push myself through the rough patches. If I know what needs to happen next, then I can break it down into little steps that I can convince myself to work through.
So whether you’re writing a new story, starting resolutions, or both, I wish you all the best. Don’t forget to be forgiving of yourself, to just keep going, and to start with a good plan. Success isn’t about perfection, it’s about preparing and pushing on. Keep at it and feel free to share your tricks and ideas to make new starts more than just a start.