As I write this . . .

January 1, 2012

Writing Resolutions for 2012

Filed under: General Info — aawriter @ 3:53 pm

Today is the first day of the new year. Like everyone else I know, during this past holiday season, I ate a little too much, partied a little too long and still somehow managed to send up prayers and wishes for everyone to have a better year in 2012.  2011 taught me a lot, but I covered that in my last post.

What kind of resolutions do writers make for themselves in the new year?  Are they like many others who resolve to lose weight, treat others better or just simply don’t make them for fear of not being able to keep them?

This writer has just a few, but hopes they’ll be inspiring to those who are holding the pen in their hands in preparation of writing their first creative words in 2012.  Here we go:

Remember that writer’s adage about applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair? Well, I’m going to live by it in 2012.  I did this in 2011, but here’s the difference: The words that come out of my head, across my fingertips and down on paper will be for my inspiration.  While I don’t intend to be selfish, the fact of the matter is that we all have only so much writing time and energy. I can guarantee you that at least 60 per cent of mine for this past year was for the benefit of others.  That will change in 2012.

In a 2011 edition of Time Magazine, best-selling author Nicholas Sparks said that “the experience of writing a failed novel is painful. It’s a terrible period of time I never wish to revisit.” When he was initially asked what his favorite writing mistake was, this is what he said: “I thought I had most of the story in my mind, and I got two thirds of the way through. It was only then that I realized I shouldn’t have started it at all.” As writers, we’ve all been there at one time or another. Personally, my work on two separate manuscripts this past year taught me the true meaning of Nicholas Sparks’ words. I resolve to have every manuscript worked out to the very end before typing the first letter of the first word.

My second resolution is to keep a daily journal.  For those of you who know me personally, you know that I already journal – twice a week. My personal experiences in my new surroundings this past year, have taught me the value of writing down these events, incidents, or whatever you want to call them on a daily basis.  They make for excellent satiric humor – especially if one takes the “high road,” but is surrounded by such ignorance that no-one even understands what “high road” means.   To those that contributed to these experiences during the past year, I want to thank you. My tongue and writing quill have become razor sharp, and the “evil twin” characters in my manuscripts have never been more believable.

Thirdly, walk away.  That’s right, it’s just that simple. We were all taught this by our parents, but as a writer when someone or something begins to tap your writing or creative energies too much or too often, walk away.  Because, here’s the deal: most of these people aren’t going to use what you’ve given them anyway.  If they are other writers, artists, etc., they are going to interpret it on their terms, let it percolate for a little while, and then probably discard it because they’ve over-analyzed it. As a writer, you’re better off not spending your energies on other creative souls who will do the very thing that comes naturally to any observer – subjective interpretation.  Many good ideas have gone down the drain simply out of being beaten to death.  In short, give them a little, but not a lot.  And in the vein of furthering good ideas, I submit my next resolution.

Number four: Keep a notebook of all story ideas. We all do this to some degree. But how many times do we actually access this “file?”  Here’s my solution:  I keep the back panel and three rings of a huge binder hanging on a pegboard wall in my writing area.  I have deliberately removed the front panel for easier access and to visually remind me, every time I glance that way, that I have many story ideas … just waiting.  This works.  Not only does it affirm your creativity, but it can also serve to summon your muse if you find yourself in a writing drought.

Finally, put all of your 2012 writing goals on a vision board that actually has a chance to catch your eye as you write. Notice I used the word “put,” not “list.” A list becomes robotic, but “placing,” “putting,” or “picturing” your writing goals on a vision board has the effect of being anything but robotic.  Mine includes my passport as a special reminder of how I’m going to celebrate “the end of the story.”

I’m sending all of you my very best wishes for a truly successful year of writing in 2012.  And, in the meantime, as you’re subjectively interpreting my Writing Resolutions for 2012, I’ll be applying the seat of my pants to the seat of the chair and . . .

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