Every year someone asks me about my New Year’s resolutions. I remember making halfhearted resolutions back in high school; I will study more, I will not compete with my sister, and I will not waste my money on frivolous things. I will be honest, I never kept them. In fact, I started making a resolution to not make a resolution; which I instantly failed at keeping. The last time I considered making a resolution was when I wanted to lose weight. I could not have asked for a more colossal failure. My weight has fluctuated over the years, but I have permanently shed the urge for a New Year’s resolution.
I read an article on Chris Brogan’s website about a similar topic, “My 3 Words”. I decided to finally take his advice. He created the “My 3 Words” exercise because most resolutions aren’t especially helpful and are usually not kept. The 3 words are more poignant, never negative and are much easier to remember.
I sat down this morning to work on my illustrating and considered my word options, while I painted a bunny sleeping under a tree. My first selection included more sleep, but I knew that I was not really putting my whole heart into the effort. So, I slugged down the rest of my coffee, stared at a blank piece of paper and pondered.
“Success,” I shouted after I scribbled down the last of three seemingly meaningless words. I finally have a plan for 2015, and it all comes down to some chicken scratch on a post-it-note. On a regular day, if you were to sit at my desk, you would soon realize that you have entered the Louvre of Post-It-Notes. I constantly jot down story ideas, character names, dates, numbers, and coordinates of my Minecraft spawn points and stick them to the desktop, wall and monitor of my workspace. In this case, I took it to the next level and typed them into a document.
Marketing, Dig, Believe. I know they don’t seem like much to the average person, but to me, they are hopes for a more productive year.
Marketing: I have written several books but have not taken enough time to market them well. As a fiction writer, writing comes more easily then marketing. I was never good at convincing others to buy things. Oh, I have the website and accounts with Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. But I need to get out of the “office” and sell my wares. So this year, I hope to go that next step further and push at least one of my books. In fact, I have already started. There is a book fair in April that I intend on selling A Tale of Two Squirrels. Stop by the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair, April 18-19, and look for my display.
Dig: Definition: 1. To break up, turn over, or remove. 2. To learn or discover by careful research or investigation. 3. To force down and into something; thrust. 4. To poke or prod.
This year I intend to focus mainly on the first two definitions. I really want to start a formal vegetable garden in my yard. This is a task that has been put off previous years due to renovations, weather, and time. I also want to continue learning. This is something we can all do, every day. Maybe I should research effective ways to market myself.
Believe: This is something I hold dear to my heart. Without getting to preachy, I will tell you that I believe in Jesus Christ and find comfort in that knowledge. I believe that with a little hard work, I can accomplish great things. That self-confidence has given me the ability to write what I dream and create my own brand.
I am hoping that this is the start of a fantastic new year and that My 3 Words will continue for years to come.