The bells have rung, the holidays have whizzed by, and we're all back at work (well, most of us anyway). We're fired up, feeling motivated, some of us wrote for Nanowrimo, some of us have made promises to get that novel finished, or get that novel written. New beginnings abound, and positivity fills the air. This will be our Writing Year.
We all know that New Year's resolutions can be hard to keep though. Some of us are great at it; some of us not so much. So how, exactly, do we keep ourselves chugging (or charging forward)? What will inspire, motivate, and push us to keep writing throughout the coming year? For me, there are many things.
1) Keeping a note of why you love what you do. Not just your story or your book right now. Remind yourself, write it on the wall if you need to, but remember...why do you love writing? Why does it burn a fire in your soul?
2) Remember why you love the novel you're writing. What did you fall in love with first? Was it your characters? Your plot? Your setting? Your concept? It can be any element. It isn't about what you think you should like. It's about what you do like. Use this to keep your current story growing.
3) Accountability. If you want to write a book, you have to finish it. If you want a good book, you have to edit it. If you want an agent, you need to submit to them. And so the list goes on. Your goals can be big or small; it doesn't matter. What matters is that you hold yourself accountable. Some people do this publically in a YouTube video, others on a word counter on their blog, some tell their writing friends, and others use their pride. Whatever works for you, that's what you should do.
4) Give yourself a break now and again. Writing is joy and passion. It's also a lot of hard work. Sometimes you need a little bit of a holiday. And why not? Refresh your muse. Focus your mind. Let new ideas enter it. Stop obsessing. I know, that last one is hard, but you need more in your life than just writing a book. It's a passion, but it's not an obsession, it's not a definition of who you are. Do other things in your life, too, and it will fill your writing with zing and zest.
5) Have fun. Experiment. Go wild,. Do something new. Try something old. Keep yourself guessing. Try a competition. Try freehand writing. Try painting your characters. Just try something.
6) Don't do everything you're told to do if you don't want to. This includes this list. Do what feels right for you. Always.
I wish you all a happy, successful, and prosperous New Year, and I can't wait to see what happens with each and every member of my blog. I'm inspired by you following and reading, and I hope for your great success in 2017!
Friday, 6 January 2017
2017 - The Writing Year
Fiona McLaren is a displaced Scot living on the sunny island of Cyprus. She's an author, scriptwriter, and editor. She works alongside Cornerstones Literary Consultancy U.S., and also takes on freelance editorial work. The most important things in her life are her boys, her family, and her partner...and lots and lots of books! She's represented by the wonderful literary agent Maura Kye-Casella at Don Congdon Associates.