Message from the President

February 2023 RWR
Clair Brett
Happy February!

For some of us, winter has just decided to pay a visit. Some of you are seeing the first signs of spring, and life marches on.

Statistically, they say that by March many New Year’s resolutions have petered out and people are fatigued at forcing these new habits. I say maybe it is time to stop and assess the situation.

We all have writing goals for the next year. It could be to publish more books than you did last year. Maybe you are hoping to launch a new pen name. Or, you could simply want to write more or on a regular schedule. All of these are noble goals for a writer. But, a few months into our new goals, we can begin to see the chinks in the plan.

Life gets in the way. No one plans for the flu to take up residence and slowly march through the family one by one, leaving you the last man standing, until you aren’t.

I could list all day the things that could throw a person off their goals, no matter what they are. But, the good news is, there are 365 do-over days in a year.

Sit down and recalculate how many words you will need to hit in a day to keep your deadline, or where your deadline must move to, to keep at your current planned pace. Reassess if you do need to publish one more book this year or if you could move it out to the first book of next year.

If you work with a traditional publisher, you have more demands on you to reach your goals, and I understand that. However, reaching out sooner rather than later to let your editor know you are struggling will allow you both to work out a new schedule.

I suggest that at least every couple of months, you sit down and look at where you thought you would be and where you are. That gives you the freedom to then look ahead and decide what shifts or changes you need to make. You can’t change the five days you didn’t write at all, but you can create a path forward to make up for that.

If there is one thing I have learned in my 51 years on this planet, it is that few things are set in stone, and there is definitely more than one way to get things done, even in math class! (Never thought I would see the day.)

So, to wrap up: do not throw in the towel and give up if you have fallen off your path. Stop, reassess, and make a plan moving forward. Progress over perfection is a thing we all need to embrace more in our lives.