With 2015 less than a week away let’s face it, we’ve all been thinking about the much dreaded, revered, loathed, inspiring…New Year’s Resolution.
For us writers that usually consists of a colossal bet we make with ourselves to finish a manuscript in some ridiculous timeframe no sane person would ever or could ever commit to. But we charge ahead-facing the new year with bright-eyed ambition, full of renewed spirit and an honest will to get the manuscript done. It’s commendable, brave even. But let’s be real, by January 28th it’s down to pulled out hair and a first chapter that keeps getting re-written.
Alas, my comrades, my fellow word elves, I have a resolution to the resolution. Why not resolve to take smaller, sure steps toward your writing in the New Year. With the payoff being a completed novel and a writing habit cemented in discipline and achievement.
In July of 2014 I joined a monthly writing twitter challenge, started by the amazing Kristy Acevedo (@kristyace). The challenge: write 500 words a day or edit your work in progress for at least 1 hour. That’s it! Simple, goal-attaining challenge that pushes your work forward every day. It’s not the big bet that we lose to ourselves, then get disappointed and fallback on our writing promises.
Within the six months-each month headed by a different challenge leader-I have seen numerous people achieve their writing goals-some completing entire novels. It’s amazing!
Another writerly resolution that I have found affective is joining an organization geared toward the genre you write in. I joined Romance Writers of America two years ago and have attended two national conferences where I’ve met new friends and learned so much about the craft and the business. It’s worth it and you might find that your work may benefit tremendously for it.
If bigger organizations aren’t your thing, perhaps joining a local writing critique group might rev up the creative juices. A few years ago I joined a writing critique group at my local bookstore. Each of us write in different genres but sometimes having that fresh eye is what we need to catch things we wouldn’t necessarily notice ourselves.
None of this is new information to a lot of my fellow writers, I’m sure, but sometimes we have to remind ourselves that there are ways to keep us inspired well beyond January and that it doesn’t take much to stay in the game, stay focused and stay consistent. Good luck my friends, Happy New Year and as always, Happy Writing!
For more information about the monthly twitter group, please visit writingchallenge.org or visit us on twitter #JanWritingChallenge.