5 Lessons I learned from 2016 that can help you in 2017


In many places around the world, the New Year is celebrated by shooting off fireworks. Though I didn’t shoot off fireworks on Jan. 1, 2016, the year has been filled with fireworks.

What do I mean by fireworks? Stepping outside my comfort zone. Here’s what that looked like for me:

  • Taught workshops at 4 writer’s conferences
  • Held my first Facebook live videos
  • Held my first webinar
  • Learned new software for book design
  • Learned and instituted new technology on my website in an effort to better meet my readers needs

Has your year included some fireworks?

I like to spend a certain amount of time looking back on my year. I examine how well I met my goals, and if I didn’t what lessons I can learn from that shortfall. Then I set new goals.

Lessons I Learned

  1. Learning new things isn’t as intimidating as we often fear. That intimidation can often cause us to procrastinate  but that’s certainly not what God wants (see 2 Timothy 1:7).
  2. Learning new things helps us grow not only as individuals, but can also help our business grow. Teaching at conferences around the nation exposed me to new writers and brought new readers to my blog.
  3. Your business won’t grow (or your product won’t sell) if you don’t actively market what you have to offer. That might mean investing in advertising or trying new things like webinars or live videos.
  4. Make time for fun. This may be easier for some than for others. It requires having balance in your life, something that can escape us all. Life isn’t all work, but it isn’t all play either. Make time for the things you enjoy in life.
  5. Rest in God. I’m still studying and learning exactly what that means. As a single woman for some 22 years now (much of that as a single mom), I have carried the burden of earning a living. I’ve worried and worked year after year in an effort to do just that, but I should have been resting in God. He did not intend for me to worry or stress about my circumstances. Jesus discussed all this in Matthew 6:19-34. In verse 33, He promised to provide everything I need.
    To rest in God is to be stress and worry free because I am confident He will fulfill His promises. I will go about the business He has given me to do and trust Him to provide in whatever way He has to meet my needs.

Plans for 2017

I’m excited about the plans I have for 2017. Here’s what is in the works…

  • Ask the Editor Facebook live events. These will occur at least once a month, but more often if I receive lots of questions. To submit your questions, email me at deb [at] DebraLButterfield.com
  • Monthly webinars. I’m currently developing a webinar series to help you tackle the task of landing a publisher. If you have other topics of interest, be sure to fill out this survey.
  • Quarterly, if not monthly, newsletters with exclusive content for my subscribers. Sign up here and receive the free download How to Create Characters that Captivate Readers.
  • Publication of several new booklets of the workshops I teach at writers conferences. Sign up for my book review program and read for free in exchange for your honest review.
  • Improving my website content to better serve you. Teaching is my passion. I hope to bring more teaching content, but maybe that’s not what you want. In order to help you I need your feedback. Please take a minute to fill out this short survey so I can steer my content in the right direction to meet your needs.

May your 2017 be blessed with God’s promises fulfilled as you seek His kingdom and the work He has for you.

What lessons did you learn from 2016 and how will that impact your goals and plans for 2017? Leave your comments below.


Want to get published but don’t know where to start?

Maybe you have a finished manuscript or just an idea stuck in your head. Email me today at Deb [at] DebraLButterfield [dot] com, and let's discuss how I can help you reach your dream of publication.


  1. I found myself wasting hours listening to webinars given by people who are out to make money. They taught just enough to whet my appetite, and I spent money on programs I later found I had no use for. I’ve done a lot of unsubscribing this last month. I plan to spend all my time writing and promoting my books in 2017.

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