Thursday, January 5, 2017

Be It Resolved...

by Janis Susan May/Janis Patterson

Sometimes I think if I hear/see/read one more thing about New Year’s Resolutions I will scream. Every January 1 we’re supposed to completely change our lives, remake ourselves and institute completely new thought patterns. Then, being human, when we slip, backslide or otherwise fail, we are depressed and return to our old ways or worse. Small wonder New Year’s Resolutions have in many ways become a bad joke.

This year I’ve beat the system. I’ve made only one resolution, and that one I am sure to keep. I resolved to make no resolutions! Which is an insoluble conundrum, I know, but logic has never been my strong point.

Resolutions have always unnerved me somehow. I am a very stubborn person and once I say something I will move Heaven and earth to keep my word. Two years ago I vowed to put my publishing career into high gear after far too many years of futzing around. I did it, and it bloody near killed me. Since May of 2014 I have been working non-stop, publishing I-don’t-know-how-many-books (including one release every two weeks for five months!) with never any less than three writing projects going on at a time. I traveled to Egypt to research a book, then to Boston, Alabama and Las Vegas to research other projects. I did mountains of publicity (which I loathe) and blogged a lot – pretty much any time anyone would let me in addition to my standing days. I spoke at several prestigious conferences and attended even more conferences, some for me and some for The Husband. I kept our house and made a home for The Husband, did some teaching and dealt with several family crises. And that’s just what I can remember now.

I’m tired.

So did it work? Was it worth it? I dunno. My sales have been fairly good, but not anywhere near what I want them to be. My name is known in the industry, and I think I have a pretty good reputation. I haven’t had the lightning strike of luck yet, but no resolution, New Year’s or not, is going to change that.

All of which has brought me to a decision. I’m going to slow down. I’m going to enjoy life more. I’m going to pay more attention to my home and my family and my animals. I may even clean out my kitchen cabinets. (On the other hand, I may not – don’t need to get TOO carried away!) I’ll still write, and publish, and speak, and pretty much do everything I’ve been doing, but just not so much of it.

I need to remember to put more emphasis on making a life instead of making a living.

(PS - for those of you who were interested in my newsletter, there is now a sign-up form available on my website!) 


  1. Janis, I'm sure you said what most of us feel. We try so hard to find what's wrong with our lives and then resolve to change. I'm with you. Let's learn to live our lives instead. Happy New Year to you.

  2. Interesting post. I always resolve to do more and try but it sounds like you've hit all the marks when it comes to your writing career. So much, I think, depends on luck and a certain kind of publicity and not all of us have that happen. I will be interested to hear what's next!

  3. Janis, what a poignant, eloquently expressed post that must have been emotionally painful to write. I too am looking both forward and back at this point in my life and especially at this time of year. Weighing the highs and lows of writing against each other only brings us back to the reality that as writers we have little control over the future, despite our best efforts. Thank you for giving us faith to move forward as you remind us that we all face similar challenges and are not alone.

  4. You said it for a lot of us, Susan. I especially like the part about putting more emphasis on making a life rather than making a living. May the New Year be a wonderful one for all of us.

  5. I've been in this mindset since late fall. I've resolved not to push myself to write as much and to spend more time giving back through volunteer work. When I saw the yearly article in the paper about how to make resolutions you could keep, I laughed and tossed it aside.

  6. Janis, It's been the same with me. I've tired of working constantly and not seeing a big bump in sales from it. I'm going to enjoy life and write to make me happy. Happy 2017!