It’s hard to believe, but 2017 is almost behind us. With each fresh year, I get excited. I stop to reflect and set goals (New Year’s resolutions, some call them). I think about how I want this year to be different than the last. I consider myself — my health, my relationships, my business, my writing, everything — a work in progress. As you might expect, some of my goals are quite personal, but there are a few I’m happy to share. (You can hold me accountable.) Here’s what I’ll be focusing on in 2018.
Always pause to be strategic.
Marketing departments and agencies have to move quickly. Priorities change constantly. Deadlines shift. New products roll out. Upper management changes direction. As communicators, we are called on frequently to think fast, be creative and deliver in record time. I am confident in my ability to create strategic content quickly. But this year, I’m promising to pause more often and ask the hard questions. Being strategic takes time and thought — and it’s always worth it. In my own business, with client work and in life in general, I want to make sure I always take that moment to make sure I’m thinking things through. Even when something comes in hot-hot-hot and needs to be done now.
Write often. Write every day.
When people ask how to become better writers, I say: Write more. If you want to be a better writer, you write often. You write every day. If you want to write a book, you work on it every day. This seems like a no-brainer. But a lot of us just wander around not writing and then wonder why we don’t have book credits.
I write every day, of course. I ghostwrite blog posts and CEO letters. I write brochures. I write articles and ebooks. But I have some writing of my own that I’d like to tackle this year too — my personal blog, the Active Voice blog and resources, personal essays, maybe a book. But they won’t happen unless I set aside the time.
Read every day.
When I had my son in 2014, I pretty much stopped reading books. Every so often, I read a book about why my baby won’t sleep or what foods to feed my child. But mostly, I read blogs for work and news articles to be an informed citizen. Nothing else. In 2017, though, I gained some energy back, and I read several books — books that inspired me creatively (like Cheryl Strayed’s Wild), books that were awesome, some that I thought were overrated but were on some top 10 list. It was my best reading year since I had my son. And thanks to some awesome friends and family members, I have a huge stack to start the year with. I’m starting with a volume of fiction (which is rare for me), then will move on to business books and nonfiction. Reading is a way to learn about the world and gain new perspectives. But it’s also a way to expand your understanding of how to write — how words are used and how thoughts are organized.
Find more ways to help writers and marketers.
I find inspiration from so many resources. And with all the work I do and all the words I write, I have a lot of advice and thoughts to share, too. I’m not sure yet what form it will take or what I’ll cover, but this year, I aspire to create something that helps all of you.
What are your resolutions/goals for the year? Share in the comments! Happy New Year and best wishes for 2018!