Dear Fellow Writers…September Message

cmkwritermama.gifWho decides what you do and when?

I bet you were not raised to think that you could change the calendar to suit yourself. Seasons happen when they are supposed to and holidays come and go whether you like it or not, right?

Right! However, no one but you can choose how to respond to what happens and when. Just as the year has unique rhythms, individuals have unique rhythms too. Of course, there are times when we all need to align our efforts with those we work for and with––and participate in the seasonal events happening around us, but I wonder how much we abandon our own personal direction in order to go along with what the rest of the world seems to be doing. Probably a lot.

For example, every January, magazines, newspapers, TV talk shows, and websites inundate us with information about setting goals, making us think that’s the best time to make resolutions. Maybe it is for some people, but not for all. I personally believe that the way we set and execute goals and intentions is unique to each of us.

Last January I was swamped. It was the peak of my work year––not a good time for me to pause and take stock. The publication date of Writer Mama was fast approaching, and the last thing I wanted to think about was planning for the New Year. It quickly became clear to me that what works for many didn’t work for me.

Recently I had a freeing thought: I prefer my New Year to start in September. For me, summer is a much better time to regroup and assess, as some people may choose to do at the end of the calendar year. It makes far more sense to adjust my planning to suit my business needs instead of forcing myself to conform to the norm.

Not long after this realization, my friend Sage Cohen, our managing editor, reminded me that the Jewish New Year begins in the fall, not on January 1st. Of course, I knew this because my husband is Jewish, but I’d never really thought about it.

Growing up, I got used to the new school year starting in September, and this natural sense of starting when the weather grows cooler and easing up when the weather gets hotter is still hardwired into my rhythms. Now that my daughter’s inner clock is getting set to the academic year, my own clock has recently been reignited.

Starting the New Year in the fall just makes sense to me, so that’s what I’m doing this year. I’m wrapping things up in July and August, assessing my past year’s progress, setting goals for one, five and ten years, lining up my calendar, and starting fresh in September. Not coincidentally, my husband, a teacher, is doing the same.

I have editorial calendars to thank for giving me back guilt-free autonomy over my year. As the publisher and editor of this zine, I’d already planned in September 2006 for the 2007 year.

This year I’m going a little bit further and adopting this strategy for all my business endeavors. Dog days are good for resting and playing, but at the same time I can put aside a little bit of time each workday to plan for a great 2008.

And come time for Auld Lang Syne, I will definitely have a New Year worth celebrating.

Happy New Year, rising writers! No matter when you celebrate it.

In the writing for publication spirit,

Christina Katz

Share your two cents! When do you plan for the New Year and how? Comment to this post…

Christina Katz is the author of Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (Writer’s Digest Books 2007). She is a presenter at writers conferences, teaches writing-for-publication e-classes and has appeared on Good Morning America. She blogs daily at http://www.thewritermama.wordpress.com/ and is currently writing her second book for Writer’s Digest. To learn more about Christina visit http://www.thewritermama.com/.

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2 Responses to “Dear Fellow Writers…September Message”


  1. 1 laura September 18, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    Two years ago I wrote my new year’s resolutions on my birthday in July and sealed them in an envelope to be opened the following birthday. I didn’t have much more success with these birthday resolutions (so far). But doing it on my birthday, just gave it more meaning to me. Can’t wait to open that envelope next July. Laura

  2. 2 Beverly Reany September 23, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    I have never been big on New Year Celebrations and resolutions. But I celebrate my New Year Oct. 1. It is
    the most beautiful time of the year and my favorite.
    The crisp air, the bright colors and the beginning of
    new things for me. January 1 is usually dull and dreary.
    What’s to celebrate. So Happy New Year in a couple of
    weeks.
    Bev


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