Happy New Year!
I spent considerable time crafting general writing resolutions (in no particular order) that I feel able to keep, but will also push me a bit. I invite you to shamelessly steal any or all that appeal to you.
Some of my underlying thoughts:
PRIMARY INTENTION: I want the concept of lighting a candle in the darkness to underlie everything I write. This is the first year I’ve stated a primary intention. It feels
Write what I want when I am ready. The emphasis here is on when. 2015 promises to be a challenging year of transition, and more than ever, I shall follow whatever schedule works, for writing in general and for writing blog posts. You may see large gaps this year, but no problem. I don’t flatter myself that you can’t face a week without reading a post from me.
Take as long as it takes to write it right. I’ve seen too many people make themselves crazy and produce less than their best work because they set an unrealistic deadline to publish, whether for the public or private distribution. I have that t-shirt in my drawer. Honor your writing and don’t do this to yourself.
Write something every day. No, grocery lists do not count, but a carefully crafted email with more than a paragraph does. Speaking of which, email is a good chance to practice being articulate and organized in presenting your thoughts. While it’s true that urgency may rule at times, take care that you’ve made yourself clear and fix egregious errors, especially those introduced by autocorrect.
Play with words. I’ve written so much about this. Write yourself out of your rut. Constantly think of new and fun ways to express yourself. This resolution links to Write it colorful and considering every angle.
Gorge on rich reading. Let everything you read serve as a self-directed writing workshop. Read once for the story and review to explore structure behind the magic. Make notes to nail those insights, then review the book, for your benefit as well as the author’s.
Share lots of stories informally. Gather a group of people who appreciate your writing and send stories around. Encourage their comments, good, bad and indifferent. You’ll learn a lot and they’ll enjoy the reads. Don’t limit yourself to just writers. All readers count.
Write it real. This thought goes beyond sticking to the facts. I’m reminding myself to include sensory detail, character quirks, self-talk, and those other elements that breathe life into scenes, real or imagined.
Check everything five times. This advice goes beyond checking spelling and grammar. My inbox overflows with emails describing sign bloopers, i.e. “Persons are prevented from picking flowers from any but their own graves.”
Consider every angle. This advice is especially helpful for lifestory writers. You may be amazed when you consider how others may have viewed a situation or why they may have done what they did. These insights can be life changers.
Sign your name! to cement ownership and intention.
I wish for you a year filled with gratifying results from your writing, whenever, however you do it, with whomever you share.
Write now: make your own list of writing resolutions if you haven’t yet done so. I strongly urge you to do this on paper – pixels are okay if you use a stylus as I did. I’m partial to the Papyrus android app for such projects, partly because my markers have dried up and I like to use lots of color. The idea is to involve brain centers and muscles that add personal value to the writing process.