Now's the time a lot of writers are looking their goal sheet for this year and silently weeping into their whiskey.
A little grief is okay. Give yourselves a five-minute pity party, then toss back the rest of the whiskey.
First, look at what you did accomplish. Did you publish a book? Did you finish writing a book? Did you submit a short story to an anthology or magazine? How many words did you write? Was it more than one? A whole sentence? Paragraph? Page?
Then fucking congratulate yourself! That's more than some people do in a lifetime.
Where did you fall down? Furthermore, was it really a fall?
Sometimes, life has to take precedence over art. What if your parents, your siblings, your significant other(s), or your kids needed a little extra help this year? Or a lot? Setting aside your art for them doesn't make you a failure. It makes you a compassionate, caring human being.
Or maybe you were the one facing the life-changing event. If so, cut yourself some slack. If you're not healthy, physically and mentally, doing any kind of art is nearly impossible.
More likely though, you overestimated what you could do in a year. No shame in that, but make next year's a bit more realistic. Take a good look at what you did accomplish and add, say, ten percent. Or one percent. Or fifty percent. Just make it within the realm of possibility for you. Giving yourself unobtainable goals only destroys your self-esteem because there's no way to win.
Were my 2018 goals obtainable? Maybe, but cancer made sure I couldn't hit them.
That's okay. I'm alive. I'm healthy. And 2019 is a brand-new, glorious year!
Good luck to us all!
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