Happy New Year!

Posted On January 5, 2024

Photo by Michele Venne

Made it to the other side! Welcome 2024! It seems like I’ve been planning for the new year for a while. I ordered two dot journals, which arrived on Jan. 3, to try a different way to organize and keep track of the habits I want to create this year. No overhaul of my life or drastic changes. Just adding in a few things to reap some physical and mental health benefits. Would it surprise you to learn that I’ve yet to mark that I’ve done those habits? I didn’t expect an overnight difference, but instead tried to schedule and complete these habits. It appears the life stuff from last year followed me on the turning of the calendar page. I haven’t lost hope! I have a couple of ideas to make the starting of the habits a success.

Sometimes a thought arrives, and I spend time deciding if it’s worthwhile to keep. In early November, “simplify” echoed loudly in my head. I listened. I made a list of what areas in my life I could simplify things and how I would do it. I’ve begun the process of clearing out items I’ve held onto for some time. Tack I haven’t used will go to a consignment shop. A neighbor swapped money for some of my art supplies. I’m hoping to rehome teaching materials I haven’t used since I left the classroom, and based on what I foresee of the future, I won’t have the opportunity to use them. One of my new habits is to read books on the writing craft. That one I’ve started! Those books will be read and then given to a local indie book store. These items don’t take up a ton of physical space, but it’s time for them to find new owners.

It felt good to take time off over the holidays. No checking work emails. No other people in the house to pay attention to. And since I accepted I wouldn’t meet my end-of-the-year publishing deadlines, no guilt about unfinished projects to carry into the new year. Maybe having that space, that time off, made “simplify” sound like it was time.

I’ll also be simplifying what I do with my writing. I mentioned that the newsletter survey results were surprising in that readers don’t want more places to connect. They, too, want “simple.” Pretty cool to see this alignment! I’ll continue to share project and life updates in this weekly blog, dabble on Instagram, send my monthly newsletter to subscribers, and publish consistently. So far, 2024 is off to a good start! If you aren’t a newsletter subscriber and want to hear more about stories and publishing and my 2024 Reading Challenge, you can sign up here: michelevenne.com How has your 2024 started? What habits do you plan to implement this year?

Written by Michele Venne

Writer of immersive and intriguing stories.

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