[Making the Leap] Fear Not!
Written by
Julie Luek
January 2014
Written by
Julie Luek
January 2014

I have had great fun this week reading multiple blog posts about making resolutions, avoiding resolutions, or setting themes for the coming year. I've also read a lot of articles about the benefits or harm of setting goals-- how they can lead the way, provide inspiration or, alternately, become a painful source of failure. Experts have all kinds of opinions to offer. There is no shortage of charts, calendars, advice, and opinions on the subject. 

I even had one friend on Facebook write: I don't get people who say they love New Years because they get a clean slate. What does that even mean? I'm pretty sure I'm going to get up tomorrow morning with the same husband, the same kids, the same house, the same bills, the same problems. NOT, as they say, "a clean slate".

She's obviously one who has a strong thought about the subject. 

Personally, I love the new year. Yes, it's a man-made measurement of time. No, really there is no difference waking up to another sunrise, fresh with opportunities, than was available last week. But, for me, there is something symbolic and clean feeling about a the start of a new year. It does feel like a blank canvas. Just as the end of the year is a good time for reflection and contemplation, the start of a new one just bubbles with possibility. 

This year, I didn't make specific goals. I did let myself play around with a bucket list of things I'd like to experience, but I didn't rest on any particular to-dos I want to accomplish. Not that I think there's anything wrong with a list, but after a year of checking off doctor appointments, medications and living in the stifled fear of cancer with my son, my soul was screaming to be released from a check-list. Instead, it yearned for freedom. So this year, I chose a theme: FEAR NOT! Or rather, I firmly believe, the words chose me. 

Rather than focus on specific writing goals...

I will seek and embrace authenticity in my writing even when it scares me.

I will go for submissions, contests, or ideas even if they feel out of my reach.

I will allow the opportunities to unfold and doors to open, and evaluate each one by how it makes me feel.

I will switch the paradigm of success from numbers (followers, comments, publications) to soul satisfaction. 

I will, as Brooke Warner in her last She Writes post suggests, shut out the doomsday publishing predictions and write anyway.

I will--against all my intellectual teachings--trust passion. 

In this light, Making The Leap takes on a whole new exhilaration. I choose to act beyond fear and leap, once again.

Did you make resolutions? Goals? Choose a theme? Or do you just keep sure and steady on your same path? What will guide you this year? How will you make new leaps in your writing? 

Let's be friends

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  • Julie Luek

    Hi Jenny, Thanks for stopping by. I'm learning. Slowly. OK, very slowly. :) Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Julie Luek

    Patricia- Oh sending you all kinds of good thoughts towards this goal. It's so great there are so many options available for writers!

  • Julie Luek

    Hi Shannon-- Deadlines were an interesting debate among those who set resolutions. I know when I have assignments, I do better working within a deadline as well. 

    Karen- Ohhh I love the idea of adding visual art medium to writing. I wish I had that talent! I come from a family of artists. I'm pretty sure those genetics completely skipped me. I'm so glad She Writes has helped you breathe new life into your book!

  • Patricia Robertson

    For writer's group I'm part of, I had to come up with writing goals for 2014. Have way too many of them, but number one goal is to have one of my novels published, whether that be by traditional publisher, self-publishing or "hybrid" publishing.

    Here's to 2014!!! Fear not!

  • Karen A Szklany Writing

    This year, I will use another medium to access the deeper words that make my writing authentic ~ painting. Because of SheWrites, I am giving my gardening book, published in 2010 another chance at success through my marketing efforts in tandem with polishing my other works-in-progress.  ~:0)

  • Shannon Lawrence Revising

    I thrive on goals/deadlines. I'm a procrastinator at heart, and one can only procrastinate if there's an end date to achieve. Otherwise, it's less procrastination and more never doing. :p

  • Julie Luek

    Oh Kelly, I may have to borrow that for next year or maybe even later this year. There is such courage in completion too! Your book sounds great. I'll get it a look!

  • I did pick a word for this year!  It's COMPLETION....and not just of my book (a journalistic memoir about my recovery from a mid-life loss by working in the Middle East with Iraqi refugees), but of this cycle in my life.  I've finally lived the end of my book and am ready to jump into whatever comes next. 

    Enjoy your fearless year, Julie!

    Kelly Hayes-Raitt


    Mosey on over to my web site and download a free mp3 of me reading my first chapter -- about a beggar girl in Baghdad with whom I shared an ice cream

  • Julie Luek

    Kathy, you did my heart good to read your response. It's good to know I have friends along the path. In fact, I'm staring at my project list (in fear) and trying to decide which one to tackle next. Your comment was the boost I needed!

    Amy, actually what you said totally resonates with a book a writer friend gave me called, The Desire Map. The whole emphasis of the book is choosing our life direction by the reward of how it makes you feel-- as opposed to, as you said, ticking off a list of to-dos that may be more about massaging the ego than a happier life. Well said. 

  • Julie Luek

    Olga, be braver with me. I may not attain my lofty courage, but I hope to make a few strides in that direction, anyway. 

    Joan-- I love that (he always has great quotes). Yes, greet the fear as a friend, not a foe. Perfect. 

  • Amy Lloyd

    For me making resolutions on an assigned day is a trap and a sure way to feel defeated. I think there is a statistic that by January 8 of each new year most people have broken their resolutions, largely because either the goals were too large or one's personal will wasn't aligned. I think much of our new habit making and conversely old habit breaking starts with the question- what would feel really good to do now? Small manageable goals that begin with a sense of pleasure work for me. Maybe "being more organized" doesn't click on the happy scale because it feels punishing or too large a goal. Start with how one would small change would make you feel. What is the goal was instead - "Every Friday I  spend one calm hour dealing with the pile on my desk.Take care of the small things and the large things take care of themselves.  I run the risk of sounding like a flower child, but one of my goals this year is to find more enchantment in my life because when I say that out loud I am excited. Let the journey begin!

  • Kathy A. Johnson

    Great post--I especially like (and identify with...and plan to post where I can see them) your series of "I will" statements. My theme for the year is much like yours: Brave. I feel like it chose me, and I hear it whispering in my ear. I plan to set some goals for my writing this year, and I want to go for the projects that feel out of reach. Even though I'm really terrified and not feeling brave at all.

  • Joan Dempsey

    Good plan, Julie!

    Thich Nhat Hahn says "Hello, Fear, how are you today?" I always loved that.

    My theme for 2014 is RESILIENCE.

  • Olga Godim

    Love your resolution: FEAR NOT! I'm going to adopt it. Maybe not 100%. Maybe a little. I need to become braver in my life, like my heroes are in my fiction.

  • Julie Luek

    I agree, Lisa-- big hopes for our year!

  • Lisa Hamer

    I love the idea of switching the paradigm to soul satisfaction.  Therein lies the happiness of what we try to accomplish.  Fear Not and Be Brave!