Clearing out the old to make room for the new (Brenda Hiatt)

 January 2022 feels like a particularly good time for me to start fresh, since I just released a book last week—a year after I started writing it. Now that that’s done, I’m more than ready to get rid of whatever old ideas and habits are no longer serving me, to make room for new ones that will. First, though, I need to figure out exactly which is which, so a bit of preliminary analysis is in order. 
Every year I like to choose a byword for the year. For 2022, that word is CHOOSE. Why? Time is a finite resource. Every one of us gets the same 24 hours each day, the same 7 days each week, the same 52 weeks and 12 months each year. And it’s one of the very few things we can’t buy more of, no matter how financially successful we might be. My goal for 2022 is to CHOOSE, wisely, how to spend that precious resource—as well as other, more material ones.

 The time-intensive areas I plan to “audit” first are promotion, social media and reader engagement, which all tie into each other. I strongly suspect I’ve been spending a disproportionate amount of time on the first two (promo and social media) and not enough on the third, real reader engagement. At the very least, I’d like to figure out WHICH promo and social media efforts of mine have led to positive results, so I can jettison everything else, since both tend to be time sucks. For reader engagement, I’d like to do a better (and more efficient) job with my monthly newsletters, both to attract new readers and to create a real sense of community with the ones I have. 
Then, of course, there’s the actual writing! Once I publish a book, I generally take a little breather before starting the next one. This is partly to refill my creative well and mull ideas, and partly (mostly?) to catch up on all the Life and Biz stuff I’ve let slide during my push to get a book out the door. (Note to Self: Do NOT schedule another January release if I want to truly enjoy the holiday season, without a ton of extra stress. Sheesh. Lesson learned.)
When I finally do jump into the next book, I (again) hope to be a bit more disciplined with both my process and my schedule. I’d love to hammer out the first draft quickly, then take my time revising and editing. Of course, I say this every time, so…we’ll see.
On the non-writing side of things, I plan to take a careful look at all my monthly recurring bills, particularly streaming services, to see where judicious trimming is in order. What am I paying for that I never actually use? Probably quite a bit.

Assuming all of the above efforts free up more time and money, in this new year I hope to do a better job of stepping outside of myself—and my house—so I can remember how to just have FUN. That’s become a bit of a lost art for me over the past two years, and it’s something we all need a bit more of, right? Anyone want to join me in that goal?

Brenda Hiatt is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the award-winning Starstruck series. She’s currently celebrating the recent release of 
Unraveling the Stars, now available at all ebook vendors and soon in paperback! 


Post a Comment