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 place.” 


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? 


What is Positive Thinking? 


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 situation. 


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 ourselves. 


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 goals? 


Thinking 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 lists. 


Look at your goals and all you’ve accomplished this year. What do you see? 


My goals for 2009 included: 


  • Secure a publisher for The Little Shepherd Boy  
  • Increase the number of monthly virtual book tour clients  
  • Complete my short story, “Amelia’s Mission” and submit it to a girl’s magazine  
  • Participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)  


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 Future


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 March 2010. 


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. 


Daily 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 is: 


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 yet!




About the Author: Cheryl 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 










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