Apparently today, 5th January, is the day most people abandon their New Year's resolutions. So how are we doing?

I once knew a little boy who even at eleven had the good sense to realise that many resolutions are vain hopes and the only way to make one achievable was to be realistic so his was 'Eat more chocolate'.

We know all about SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Acheivable, Realistic Timely. There are few SCBWI groups who've adopted goal setting on a monthly basis. However making a resolution for the whole year often isn't very realistic nor timely.

Unless you make the right resolution. 

There those that we want to do or be and those that we should. I should not leave things to the last minute, I want to make up stories. The first is from my head but the second is my heart and soul. My resolve stops me giving up in the face of disappointment. There's a Bible verse I always think of here, Philippians 3:14. I like it best in the New International Version for the  'press on'; it's so physical and determined.

Here's me all set and determined for 2014

Often, of course, the things we should do we really should.  Those head decisions to change, for instance - I should write/draw regularly,  can take a while to to become resolve. Unless you're an especially disciplined person, this only happens with the support from other people. If your ambitions are the same as mine - to make better stories - SCBWI is a great place to find that support.   So I'm delighted that later in the month, probably when even the best of us have started flagging, Bekki Hill, as well as moderating the Yahoo SCBWI members group will be giving Words & Pictures readers some of her motivational magic. 

Do you have any flagging resolutions?                          Are any still going strong? 

It's lovely to start this year with such a hopeful banner from Shana Neiberg-Suschitzky. My hope is that with the talented Margaret Carey Scholarship winners and UV longlisters, we celebrated yesterday, we all soar in 2014. I especially hope that when the UV winners are announced this month, those that haven't 'won' hold on to that image, you're still up there just on a different flight path.

Next week we're back to normal: Tuesday Blog Break, Saturday Celebrations and Thursday Network News

  • Inspiration KM Lockwood style on Monday 
  • World Building from Rosemary Bird-Hawkins on Wednesday
  • Part 4 of John Shelley's excellent Picture Book Basics series - Drama, Action, Mood on Friday

A hope-held and Happy New Year,

Jan Carr

Jan Carr is the editor of Words & Pictures. Her fiction is older middle grade, she blogs occasionally and loves to write in magenta. You can contact her at


  1. Thanks for reminding me about the SMART system for setting goals!

    1. You're welcome, Colleen! I need frequent reminding of this too:)

  2. I made no New Year's Resolutions this year, and so far I'm keeping to all of them ;-)

    Seriously, though, why wait until New Year to do new stuff? Oliver Burkeman had an interesting idea for shortening the yearly cycle in The Guardian this week:

    1. Nick, I started to reply on SUnday but got distracted midway doh..
      Not sure about the 12 week year but no resolutions is a good way to go:)


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