I’ve been thinking, and thinking a lot about the New Year as a writer, and reading lots of great advice on how to approach and achieve my goals. I found this through the #writing chat on twitter, and thought I would share! Hopefully it will help someone else, it’s definitely given me some things to think about.
Source: Beneath The Cover
Get Re-Excited about Being a Writer!
By Susan Goodsell – Dec 28 , 2009
New Year’s Resolutions—Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you simply cannot escape them!
Personally, January 1st has always given me a thrill. I get a sort of “back-to-school” feeling and enjoy the whole mentality that, “The holidays are over, so let’s crack open a new notebook, sharpen a new #2 pencil, and get to work!”
That said, after many years of disappointment over unrealized and unrealistic resolutions (you know the ones: This year I will go to the gym every day/never raise my voice/take a trip around the world/double my salary/touch nary a chocolate chip cookie/etc.) I’ve grown a bit older and wiser and have tempered my resolution enthusiasm with a bit of reality.
For 2010, my writer friends, I am NOT encouraging you to resolve to:
1. Write three novels (as yet unstarted).
2. Write six hours every single day (in addition to your full-time job).
3. Be a syndicated columnist by March (with a column that has not yet been printed anywhere).
Nor am I encouraging you to follow the path of several of my more cynical friends to, “Resolve not to make any resolutions.”
Rather, I’d like to suggest you get re-excited about being a writer!
Sit quietly for a moment and let that concept settle around you. Do you feel a little tingle inside?
“Getting re-excited” is my theme for 2010 in my BNI business, my writing career, and my personal life. What a great concept!
With the doom and gloom in the economy, real estate market, and in the small business community, I sometimes spend so much time putting out fires that I lose sight of why I do what I do. (And I do love what I do!)
So negative headlines be damned!
Let’s get re-excited and throw ourselves into work and life with a passion that may have been missing in 2009! To do so, let’s go back to Journalism 101 and ask the five Ws:
1. WHO – Who can you connect with to rekindle that spark that initially made you want to be a writer? A former teacher, perhaps, or a new mentor who can keep you accountable and excited.
2. WHAT – Go wild with this one – No boundaries! What do you want to learn more about or experience for yourself? Go after what excites you: fly-fishing, making stained-glass windows, Northern Italian cooking—all are the seeds of passionate writing, and there is a market for them all. Do more writing about what you want to do rather than what you feel you have to do!
3. WHEN – When do you feel the most excited about your writing? Re-create the circumstances and you re-create the excitement. I know I work best with a dedicated weekly writing day—no emails, web surfing, or even phone call interruptions. Comfy chair in the sunny corner of my bedroom and several cups of coffee (medium strong, mocha flavoring, and truvia sweetened, thank you). Maybe you don’t have Virginia Woolf’s “room of one’s own,” but you can dedicate a consistent time and comfortable space for you and your writing, and you’ll get excited just settling into it.
4. WHERE – Where do you wish to be with your writing career at the end of 2010? Break that goal into mini-goals. Write very specific steps you need to take to stay on track. For example, if you wish to complete your novel this year, plan how many pages you need to complete each week and put that on your calendar. You can’t get to a new destination without a map.
5. WHY – Think about what was it that made you wiggly with excitement about being a writer. Why did you first even consider being a writer? Tap into what motivated you then. Reasons writers have given me include, “to become a local expert in my field,” “to earn a little extra money,” and “just to see my name in print.”
It’s easy to fall into a rut or become accustomed to inertia.
Conversely, a body in motion stays in motion.
Positivity breeds positivity.
Don’t work on autopilot. Get excited!
Try, fail, laugh, stand up, brush yourself off, and try again – it’s all good.
Now that’s a resolution all writers should make!