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The Secret of Change

Socrates said it right: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Every New Year brings with it a good deal of change. I'm struggling with some changes I need to make in my life, primarily in my approach to my writing. 2014 was a pretty epic year for me, and 2015 looks like it's going to be even more awesome--if only I can make those necessary changes. I hate people who post vague statements (in a sort of attention-seeking manner), so I'm going to let you in on some of the changes I need to make in 2015: I need to focus on my marketing/outreach efforts, not just writing. I love to write, but I HATE marketing. It's so challenging for me to dedicate my one hour of writing time to promoting myself and my books, when all I want to do is write. But if I want to have any sort of success as a writer, I have to focus on marketing as well. I need to get out of my "bubble of creation". It's hard to sit and write when there is noise or activity going on around me, when things need to get done, or when the kids are acting up. I tend to retreat into my little "bubble", which makes it hard for the missus. I need to change that a bit, and not be so focused on my own wants (writing, in this case) that I fail to be a good parental/marital unit. I need to work on my writing skills. I'm trying to change the way I write, improving both my writing skills and my approach to story-telling. I've written a few posts in the past about what I'm learning, but it's darn hard to change the way I write. But it's necessary to change in order to be a better writer. These are some of the changes I NEED to make in 2015, but boy are they hard! Yet that Socrates quote helped me realize what I need to do to change. It's not about eliminating old bad habits completely, but it's about building new good habits. If I was to eradicate all of my bad habits BEFORE I started building the new ones, I doubt I'd ever get around to those new habits. This is a huge weight off my back, as now I realize I just need to work on forming new habits and they will automatically replace my old bad habits. That doesn't make it any less of a challenge or any less work, but it does make it easier for me to swallow. Instead of being overwhelmed by the thought of all the changes I'll need to make in 2015, I can build those good habits one day at a time without worrying about my old habit. Phew, 2015 may not be such a tough year after all!