It's that time of year again, time to reflect on our accomplishments and failures, deeds done and undone, as 2014 draws to a close. It's been the best of times, it's been the worst of times, but it's definitely time to take stock, dust ourselves off, and set some sensible resolutions and goals for the coming year.
A new year, a fresh start, another chance to try and get it right, get organized, be more productive. Well, a girl can dream, can't she?
Since writer's are near and dear to my heart, and because I spend great chunks of my life working with them, I offer up these possibilities for starting 2015 with a clear head, determination, and a goal (or two)!
1. For years my advice to writers has been "Butt in chair. Write!" and 2015 is no different. WRITE. Write every day. Make time to write. Set a timer and write for thirty minutes. Don't have thirty to spare, make it twenty, make it ten. You work full-time, have a house and family, and responsibilities, and can't possibly find even ten minutes a day? Everyone can find two minutes a day—take two minutes and write a sentence every day. One sentence a day is better than zero sentences a day! So, sit down, turn off your social media alerts, set that timer, and write. No excuses, just SHUT UP, AND WRITE.
2. Indulge in some INSPIRATION. Try something new. Try a new genre. Only write romance? Try your hand at a mystery. Try a new style. Always been a pantser? Try being a plotter. Go someplace new, see a movie, read a book you wouldn't normally chose. Take a class. Go to the gym (NOTE: I didn't say join a gym. I said go to the gym.) Enter a writing competition or contest. Volunteer. Walk the neighbor's dog. Take your morning coffee to the park. Just get out, and soak up some new experiences. Your writing will improve, and your readers will thank you for it.
3. Read. Read. Read some more. READ everything you can get your hands on. Enough said.
4. BACK UP YOUR WORK. Trust me, you don't want to be the whining writer on Facebook, crying about how you lost ten years worth of work when your hard drive crashed. Get some cloud space. Purchase an external hard drive. Heck, just go buy some thumb drives, they're cheap, portable, and better than crossing your fingers when that blue screen of death appears.
5. FINISH. Edit it, test it on your beta readers, get a pro to edit it, then stop. Set a deadline, and stick to it. If you never finish, you can't submit, and if you can't submit, you'll forever be a writer and never be an author.
Happy New Year! May 2015 be your most fabulous, most productive,
most successful year ever!
~ The Black Cat
© 2014 MaryChris Bradley