My New Year’s Non-Resolutions

It’s a new year and the time when many make pledges to themselves to improve their lives in some way. I’ve made many resolutions over the years. And failed to keep them nearly 100% of the time. So this year, I didn’t bother. I did make a list of things I’d like to have achieved by the end of the year. Some are personal involving improving or strengthening relationships with a few folks in my life. Some are health-related. A few are professional. And a couple goals are just for fun. But I didn’t resolve to do much more than write down what I’d like to be writing about in the 2017 annual Christmas Letter.

One of the things I’d like to be able to report is that I sold out the first round of the novel Asunder I published last May. In case I don’t, I’d like to adopt the attitude of Henry David Thoreau adopted when one of his books didn’t sell well. This was reported to me via a blog by Pastor Jim Jackson, past pastor of Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston and a prolific writer himself ( So, with thanks to Jim Jackson and admiration for Henry David Thoreau, I lift up a great example of how to reframe events and situations that may not turn out exactly as hoped we they would.


When one of Thoreau’s books sold only 294 copies of the 1,000 copies in the first edition the publisher asked Thoreau how to dispose of the remaining copies. Thoreau requested that all 706 copies be sent to him. Then he wrote in his journal, “I now have a library of nearly 900 volumes, over 700 of which I wrote myself.”

History is full of famous and successful people who got where they landed because of one or more truly disappointing failures and disappointments. If something we set out to do was so easy anyone could achieve it on the first try, it would hardly be an achievement worth commemorating in the history books.

I’d like to find my niche in the increasingly complex world of writing, publishing, promoting, and actually selling some of what I write. Truly I would. However, if that isn’t what happens in 2017, I too can brag that I have many (too many to take time to count!) volumes in my personal library. And quite a few of them I wrote myself.

I hope you have a most productive and resolve-keeping sort of a year this year.

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