starting the year off right (for real)

We humans are certainly suckers for ritual. Even if we don’t want to admit it to ourselves, the plump promise of the new year has the internet (and most internet participants) in a tizzy. Ten Secrets to Setting Resolutions That Stick! Lose Forty Pounds in Thirty Days! This Year YOU Can Be a Best Selling Author!

While I am no stranger to the New Year’s Resolution (and Happy 2013, by the way), I think this practice of lumping all the personal change one can imagine on a singular event at the beginning of the year causes more harm than good. Beyond all of the research about habituation taking time to establish (as in: overnight changes are never going to work) and the well-covered New Year’s phenomenon in gyms and fitness centers across America, what I think it ultimately boils down to is this: resolutions can actually inhibit personal growth.

Why? Several reasons.

Continue Reading

the eclectic editor around the web

The holidays are in full swing, and I am spending the last few days before Christmas in Michigan to celebrate the wedding of one of my very dear friends. The Midwest FINALLY got some snow, and it’s finally beginning to look a bit like December.

Regular posting will resume in the new year, but I thought I would share some of my recent guest posts around the web, if you’re looking for some light reading to while away some time.

As I mentioned before, the lovely ladies at Duolit shared my guest post about developmental editing earlier this month–along with a discount opportunity for anyone interested in getting some editing services underway before the end of the year.

I’ve also had the opportunity to write a bit for Ryan Casey, one of the authors I’ve had the pleasure of working with. (He just released his debut novel, What We Saw, if you’re looking for some light reading after the holidays.) If you’d like to read my thoughts about selecting an editor or what to expect from the editorial process, be sure to check out those guest posts as well.

And, as 2012 draws to a close, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday. And, of course, here’s to a productive and inspired 2013!

 

dealing with year-end burnout

After a lovely and productive visit with Kate, I’m back in Chicago. We’ll resume the series on effective narration next week, so don’t despair. Here’s the post that I intended to run on Monday.

As the year draws to a close, I find myself being more and more overwhelmed by all of the things I’ve told myself I was going to finish by the end of the year. I’ve also gotten increasingly more frantic emails hoping that I’ll still have time to work on their project even though it’s later than promised–everyone is buckling down and trying to get things done before the calendar year flips.

But, if you’re anything like me, instead of becoming super-productive as the year wraps, I become more and more paralyzed by my mounting to do list. It’s more than just managing my time (and resources and energy, of course). I also throw on pressure to finish those projects I had intended to complete this year and beat myself up about New Year’s resolutions left unresolved, a lack of thoughtful holiday planning…the works.

Continue Reading

brief holiday hiatus

With Thanksgiving approaching, I’m going to delay our series on effective narration a week, delve into holiday preparations (we’re cooking two ducks, eek/quack), and resume posting on Monday.

I wish you a warm, full, and happy Thanksgiving, celebrated in whatever way makes you happiest. I’ll be running 3.1 miles on Thursday morning to make room for dinner–wish me luck if you happen to be up at that hour!

dealing with a fear of success

We have this idea that a fear of failure is the thing that stands between us and our wildest hopes. For every castle in the sky, there are a million shattered corpses. For every publishing advance, dashed dreams. For every success, failure.

There are seminars and books. Conquer Your Fear of Failure! Five Steps to a Successful You! There are programs and school initiatives and trophies and ribbons. And yet, after being well-decorated and well-educated, we’re still paralyzed with fear. And I’ll tell you why: We are not afraid of failure. We’re afraid of success.

Continue Reading