“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Oh, to be like Mary Pickford sitting serenely at her writing desk with nary an internet to distract her.
“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”– Helen Keller
I haven’t had the best of luck with New Year’s resolutions. For example, that year I decided to give up chocolate and fat, or at the very least, cut way back on them? By 8:15 AM on New Year’s Day, I’d already failed, thanks to a lone chocolate cruller.
As for writing, I came up with at least a dozen resolutions, but then realized I was heading for failure again. I’ve narrowed them down to my top five.
1. Writing for 20 minutes a day might be a good start. This may not seem like a very long time, but believe me I’ve had trouble accomplishing this task many times. Set goals that are easy to achieve.
2. Read more often. Not just the genre you write, but reach outside the box. Maybe choose a book everyone’s talking about (they must have done something right!). Reread the classics that remain popular a century later. Perhaps a book that had special meaning to you before you decided to become an author.
3. Take more risks in your writing. Step outside your comfort zone with either characters, dialogue, or plot. For example, your characters are happily going along through their story, but what would happen if you suddenly threw them a curve ball? Or, say if you always write third person female historical fiction. Try first person contemporary male and see how your story turns out.
4. Stay focussed on what’s important. If improving your craft is near the top of your list, try not to waste valuable time scanning book sales and reviews. Things which depend on others can’t be controlled, so why waste time worrying about them? Less stressful multi-tasking equals more creative downtime. And, hard to believe, but the social media world will carry on without us even if we don’t check it constantly.
5. Give back to the writing community. Have you read a book you loved? Don’t keep it to yourself. Request it at your local library, review it on Goodreads, Amazon, and any other sites you find. Tell the world! One thing I plan to do is to start interviewing my fellow authors on this blog—stay tuned—there’ll be some great ones coming up!
Whatever happens with your New Year’s resolutions, don’t be hard on yourself. Just take a deep breath, learn from your mistakes and try again the next day.
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Here are a few other posts to inspire your writing:
Good luck and best wishes for a productive peaceful 2015!
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”–Neil Gaiman