It’s that time of year again, when many people are making plans for the year and their resolutions – January ones and then their revised February ones! I personally prefer to come up with New Year goals. Resolutions often involve denying yourself things, but goals are full of possibilities. So I begin each year by writing down all of the things I want to achieve in the coming year. This has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve never been capable of keeping a resolution… I swear. Anyway, I started doing this back in 2009, when I wrote the following sentence in the first page of my new diary:
‘2009…the year I sign on the dotted line.’
I wanted more then anything to sign a publishing contract. I’d finished my first book, but at that stage I had no offers and no agent. However, I did have a feeling that 2009 was going to be a good year. So I would read that sentence to myself almost every day. It’s true what the say, a goal not written is only a wish. Writing it down made it seem more attainable. Months went by, but still I had no offers. Then on November 20th 2009, on my 23rd birthday, I signed a two-book deal with Puffin Books.
Aspiring writers often ask me for advice, and I always tell them to be positive. Even if you don’t achieve the exact goals you write down, I really do think that the process will help you get there eventually. If you think and act like you’re going to get published, this confidence will transfer over to your writing. If you believe in yourself, then agents or publishers are probably more likely to put their faith in you. Staying positive can be difficult at first, but it soon becomes a habit. A good attitude won’t necessarily guarantee you a smooth journey (I should know, I got lots of rejections before I found my agent!), but it will inspire you to keep going. I’m so glad I didn’t let myself give up after those rejections, because I ultimately signed with my dream publisher.
The way I see it, we have nothing to lose by being positive. So whatever it is you want for yourself this year, write it down (or type it into) that new diary now.
I wish you the very best of luck.
Here’s to a happy and successful year, full of wonderful words.