Your Writing Year in Review –
Find the Positives
© Cheryl Malandrinos
Maya Angelou once said, “No man can know where he is going unless he knows
exactly where he has been and exactly how he has arrived at this present
This is excellent advice, but often when considering where we’ve been on
our writing journey we focus on what we didn’t get done rather than on what we did. This can be detrimental
to our self-esteem, kills our productivity, and erodes any motivation to keep working toward accomplishing
our goals and fulfilling our writing dreams.
This year I put a challenge to my online writing group: only discuss your
year in a positive light. This meant that no matter what they decided to share about their writing, they had
to focus on what they did accomplish and how it is helping them
mold the future.
Not only did our members enjoy looking back on their year in a positive
way, they realized exactly just how much they actually accomplished.
But what is positive thinking? How does it work? And how can you use it to
make a difference in your writing career?
Positive thinking is more than just uttering a few happy words and then
allowing your fears and self-doubt to take hold again.
Positive thinking is a mental attitude that, with practice, allows you to
have positive thoughts and uses daily affirmations to help you to see a positive outcome to almost every
Judi Moreo, life coach and author of You Are More Than Enough: Every Woman’s Guide to
Purpose, Passion & Power encourages her readers to make
conscious choices to think about themselves in a more positive light. Moreo says we must stop criticizing
ourselves and demanding perfection in what we do, and we need to change the mental pictures we have of
Through the use of daily affirmations and by visualizing our success, we
can achieve desired results.
So how do we apply this concept to our writing
Positive about our Year End Review
Since we know positive thinking must start somewhere, why not start it with
your Year End Review? This way you can better position yourself for
the year to come.
At the beginning of each year you write down a list of goals that is then
broken down into smaller more manageable chunks. And finally into weekly or daily to-do
Look at your goals and all you’ve accomplished this year. What do you
My goals for 2009 included:
Secure a publisher for The Little Shepherd
Increase the number of monthly virtual book tour
Complete my short story, “Amelia’s Mission” and submit it to a girl’s
Participate in National Novel Writing Month
As I sit down to review my year, The Little Shepherd
Boy is under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing for a 2010
release, and I now average 7 to 8 virtual book tour clients a month, versus the 3 to 5 at the beginning of
the year. Check!
Give some thought to how you accomplished your goals. Attending writer’s
conferences, participating in a variety of online writers groups, and reviewing books all played a role in my
ability to achieve the first two goals on my list.
But what about the other two?
How Positive Thinking Molds Your
I finished “Amelia’s Mission” and received several critiques on it, but I
kept feeling like something was missing, so I sat on it. As the start of NaNoWriMo came closer, I realized
the problem with “Amelia’s Mission” was that there was too much story for me to try and tell it in a few thousand words; so
this became my NaNoWriMo project.
Did I win NaNoWriMo? No, but I am that much closer to a finished middle
grade novel because I participated, and I have set a goal to complete the first draft of this manuscript by
This is where thinking positive helps mold your future. If all you get out
of not accomplishing your goals is a feeling of despair and defeat, then you don’t have the desire to move
forward. Instead of focusing on what you didn’t accomplish this year, focus on what came out of your efforts
and the changes you can make to help you achieve your goals next year.
Affirmations and Creative Visualization
Daily affirmations are positive thoughts that you can affirm throughout the
day to uplift you and make you feel better about yourself. Judi Moreo uses them
throughout You Are More Than
Enough because as she says, “Changing your life is a process.”
Positive thinking isn’t something you can use randomly. If you want it to work, you have to practice it every
day and stay committed to it.
There are websites that offer daily affirmations but you can also write
your own. Here is one that our writing group used during NaNoWriMo, though I don’t know who the author
“I am steadfast and persistent in the
pursuit of my goals and I will not give up.”
Moreo dedicates an entire chapter in her book to creative
visualization. She says that you can use your imagination to create pictures of those things that you want “to be,
do, and have.” The reverse side of this is that you can also imagine that you aren’t able to accomplish what you
want because you aren’t smart enough or good enough.
Which person do you want to be?
A new year is the perfect time to begin practicing positive thinking.
Consider all you have accomplished this year and the goals you plan to set for next year. Use daily affirmations to
keep you focused on the positive and visualize your success.
You have the power to make 2010 your most productive year
C. Malandrinos is a freelancer who specializes in helping writers increase productivity through time management and
organization. She has also written articles on everyday life in the 1800’s, gardening, parenting, and women’s
health issues. Cheryl is also a virtual book tour coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion and the editor of
Musing Our Children’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens. Her first children’s book will be released in 2010.
You can find out more about Cheryl by visiting her website