Thursday, December 30, 2021

Tips to Help Writers Start the New Year Refreshed & Renewed

by Kathleen Neely @NeelyKneely3628

I sat at my laptop looking at my file of memes. I couldn’t bear to open social media and post one more promo. I was tired. I knew my passion had waned. I loved writing, but I played the ‘if only’ game. If only I could write and not engage in marketing. If only I didn’t have to waste time on the summary. If only I didn’t have to pitch the book. If only I were more tech savvy. I had a bad case of writers’ burnout. 

Thankfully, God’s mercies are new every morning. Isaiah 43:18 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” God created order in the universe. That order includes changing seasons. We can trust that after the passing of four seasons, it starts all over again. A new year. A fresh start. Exactly what I need.

I don’t want to set aside my passion for writing. I want to renew my passion for writing. I’m working on that goal. 

Here are some tips to help the writer in you feel refreshed and renewed. 
  • Reorganize. Look at your writing space. What will make it more efficient? Minimize. For me, less is better. Create a more pleasant place to work. Take some time to add color. Hang pictures. Organize books. You will spend many hours in your writing room. Make it a pleasing place to be. 
  • Set goals. Look at your schedule—both long term and short. Is it realistic and not overwhelming? Does it leave discretionary time for friends and family? Or time for you to sit back with a cup of steaming hot tea and ponder? In my novel In Search of True North, Mallory’s dad tells her, “I goal without a plan is just a daydream.” Make a plan for 2022. 
  • Trust yourself. Writers pour their hearts out on paper and vulnerably share it with the world. There is a tendency to question yourself. Do all you can to grow your skills, and let that be enough. Ephesians tells us that having done all to stand, stand therefore. I know that there are writers far more accomplished than I, and I also know there are some who still struggle. I need to rest on the fact that many people enjoy what I write.
  • Read. What drove you to the writing profession? For me, it was the love of a good book. That which sparked the passion can renew it. I heard a well-known writer say that he doesn’t have time to read. I don’t understand that. Reading not only gives me enjoyment, it also makes me a better writer. 
  • Guard your health. Exercise is crucial to a healthy lifestyle. Find a way to enjoy it. Take a walk. Join a class. Play a sport. Whatever works for you. 
  • Take breaks. I know that when a novel begins to flow, I can get lost in my writing. It’s not healthy to live in isolation. Spend time doing what you enjoy with people you love. Reconnect with nature. Contact old friends. Your writing will be there when you return. 
  • Spend time with God. The only true refreshment comes from God alone. “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 
Wishing you a blessed New Year.


Kathleen Neely is a retired elementary principal, and enjoys time with family, visiting her two grandsons, traveling, and reading. 

She is the author of The Street Singer, Beauty for Ashes, The Least of These, and In Search of True North. Kathleen won second place in a short story contest through ACFW-VA for her short story “The Missing Piece” and an honorable mention for her story “The Dance”. Both were published in a Christmas anthology. Her novel, The Least of These, was awarded first place in the 2015 Fresh Voices contest through ALMOST AN AUTHOR. She has numerous devotions published through CHRISTIAN DEVOTIONS

Kathleen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. 



  1. Kathy

    Thank you for these seasoned tips for the writing journey. Through my decades in publishing, I have used every one of them and appreciated the reminders. It is not easy for any of us but we continue working in publishing because our words change lives. I know firsthand because years ago reading a book changed my life. Happy New Year.

    author of Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success (Revised Edition)

  2. Your post is a breath of fresh air going into 2022.

  3. Kathy, what a great post, and a reminder of how to maintain balance when everything around us begs for our time and attention.

  4. Thank you for these tips, Kathy. I am going to put some into practice right now.

  5. Hi Kathleen,

    Thank you for sharing these useful tips for 2022.

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I admit, I wish I could only write and not worry about marketing or social media or websites... I love your books, so keep on doing what you're doing. Thank you for the advice. I don't need anyone to tell me to read, though - I probably do too much of that!

  7. Wonderful advice, Kathleen!
    Good luck and God's blessings in 2022.