Saturday, January 6, 2018

What do Writers Intend for the New Year? by Rachelle Ayala

Photo by Victoria Bilsborough on Unsplash

Hello friends! I hope all of you have had a very wonderful holiday and rang in the new years with cheer. I had my family over, including my adult son and daughter and son-in-law. We went hiking in the desert, watched movies, took walks, ate out and cooked in, drank champagne and poured Guinness. I wish everyone a happy 2018!

So, what do writers do about New Year's Resolutions? Well, like most other people, there will be something about weight, maybe, or exercise, yeah, right, and writing goals, what else?

I'm not into resolutions, but I do believe in setting goals that are challenging enough not to be a "slam-dunk" but easy and doable so I don't discourage myself. Obviously, I want to write every day. Doesn't every writer? How many words is enough to count as having written? Why am I worried about this?

You are what you do. A writer writes. A dancer dances. An actor acts. A breather breathes.

But I'm here to tell you that you DON'T have to write every day to be a writer. You do have to breathe, yes, but you don't have to write or dance or practice your violin daily to claim your identity.

However, to write more is desirable. After all, we have stories brimming out of our heads, characters who need their stories recorded, and readers waiting anxiously. So here are some ways we writers psych ourselves out to get down to the business of writing (daily or hourly or minutely?)

1. Be grateful and set your mindset for an active and successful day. Stretch wide and reach up to the universe when you get out of bed. Tell yourself it's a beautiful day and you're going to have a wonderful day. Give thanks and take deep, full breaths. Smile and stretch. Stand up straight and get started with your best day ever.

2. Free-form journal first thing in the morning. Don't worry about grammar, sentence structure, thoughts, anything. Get out a notebook and a pen and rip away. Funny words, sad words, nonsense words or a to do list for the day. Once you do this, you've broken the dam and you can claim victory. "I've written today!"

3. Record the time each day that you open your manuscript file for your work in progress and make a change, add or delete a word. By setting a goal that is simple and doable, you don't fail. Now, scribble anything you can think about with your characters, what they're up to, how they feel, what they want to do next. Just write, even if it's for five minutes, ten or fifteen minutes. Some writers set a timer and that's great if it works for them. I get interrupted by husband and kids so I write in stolen moments, in my car, or waiting around at the mall, or between cooking tasks. Guess it means I'm sprinting all the time, and stolen moments are sweeter and more intense.

4. Be happy. Think happy thoughts. Avoid negative people, news, and drama. I've told my walking partner I don't want to hear the daily news or politics. I want to watch the birds, look at the lake, hear about her family, and marvel at the goodness of being alive and free.

So, that is my new year's intention. To be happier, more content, and grateful. The words and stories will flow, the friendships and relationships will thrive, and I will find the good in every day.

Happy New Year to all! Please do join the Sweet Romance Reader Facebook Group so you can connect with us and join our wonderful parties.

Check out my SWEET romances at:

Here's what I'm working on next. It's Larry and Jenna's third story, following Valentine Hound Dog (2016) and Valentine Wedding Hound (2017). I hope intend to have it out by Valentine's Day 2018.

Larry and Jenna have it all—a fairy tale romance, a sweet and gassy basset hound dog, and a dream home on the way.

As Valentine’s Day draws near, and with it, their first anniversary, Jenna plans a big surprise for Larry, a scarred and injured firefighter who is on disability.

When Harley, their hound dog, spoils the surprise, Jenna is shocked at Larry’s reaction.

Will a house full of puppies and kisses be the lucky charm Jenna needs to convince Larry that he can truly have a big and noisy happily-ever-after family?


  1. Those are a great list of intentions! Thanks for sharing!

    1. You're welcome! the beautiful thing about intentions is they can't be broken.

  2. I love how you crossed out hope and substituted intend. GOOD!

    1. Thanks! Yes, intentions are stronger than just hoping.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you. Trying to make it simple enough to keep, but meaningful enough to make positive changes.

  4. Excellent list, Rachelle, and very inspiring. (and positive!)

  5. Great post. It was interesting, relevant and helpful...even for non writers. I don’t truly make resolutions. I think the word alone has a big association with failure, negativity and depression for many people. A new year is a blank book waiting to be written..the latest book in the series called, The Life Of ....
    It should begin with a lead in from the past year’s positives, the hopes your going in the right direction and perhaps goals and challenges that are realistic. Don’t leave out room for fun and love, (in all forms not just romance though that is a plus).
    I like to pick out a word each year and find ways to use it. In the past I have used Joy, Kindness, Gratitude. They were all pretty easy for me though they held challenges. How to find joy when you are missing someone you lost. How to be kind when someone has purposely hurt you. How to find something to be grateful for in a day that has been anything but. They came easy to me because of my personality but the times they challenged me, they went all out. This year I decided to choose one that I have a harder time with...Fun. We shall see how it works.
    Thank you for this post. I am already incorporating your tips into writing my book of Life 2018.