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A new page

The year (and decade) has changed and it’s time to start anew. I am sure lots of people have personal resolutions about self-improvement, health, work, and more. I wish you well with yours and hope to keep 50% or more of mine!

As the year begins, consider what to do with existing projects. If you are staring at a blank page or a new idea, then go in peace and good luck. Many of us, however, have research or writing projects in progress. This is a good time to take stock of their status and determine how to move forward. Of course, finishing them or getting them published seems like the obvious answer. But take a moment.

Sometimes reflection on your work in progress can be valuable. Consider the following questions:

  • Is this my best work? Can I do better? My career is best served by quality work.
  • Should I take a different approach to improve the project? Will a new look or reworking take this (perhaps) stalled project and make it better?
  • It this project my top priority? Is there an idea or project that is closer to completion that my time might be better spent on?
  • Might renewed energy in the new year invigorate the work? If it is only passable, should I take the ideas and findings and simply start the writing process for all or part if it again?

Time is a valuable commodity. Thinking these questions through is as much about your work and production as it is about your time.

I am not advocating you shelf your hard work or become discouraged. I know you put in “all that time.” If it is good work and making progress, then keep at it.

I am advocating periodic assessment of any project you are involved with and making sure it is the best use of your time. Quality counts more than checking something off your To Do list.

As a result, do not get too attached to any project. Be open to revising or reworking. Or, gasp, starting fresh. Periodic check-ins are a good practice and the first month of a new decade is a perfect time to do so. Consider turning over a new page in your writing and research life. Good luck in 2020!

John BondJohn Bond is a publishing consultant at Riverwinds Consulting. He works with individuals on publishing and writing projects. Schedule an initial complimentary phone call at Publishing Fundamentals. In his career, he has directed the publishing of over 500 book titles and 20,000 journal articles. He is the host of the YouTube channel “Publishing Defined.”Contact him at