Monday, January 4, 2016

5 Tips for Starting off a New Writing Year

Okay, we're a few days into the new year, but this is Monday, and the beginning of a new work week. I have a number of writing classes that actually start today because it is Monday.  One of them is on Power Writing -- offered by Outreach International Romance Writers. In this class we go from ways to come up with stories to actually writing them and then to looking at ways to get them published.

But that got me to thinking about five ways to get started in this new writing year if you've already started something.  How can you re-dedicate yourself to your writing commitment. We're not talking resolutions here, but how to make those resolutions work for you.

So with a toast to the new year, here are five tips for getting going again, now that we're in a new year:

1.  Just do it!  One of my mottos for this year is that Nike slogan.  I've been wanting to start a new project and waiting for the inspiration to strike -- well, sometimes that inspiration is never coming. Either sit down and get started or get started on something else.  Either way, the key is to get busy with writing and don't look back.

2.  Look back to look forward.  Okay, so maybe you can't start on something new until you finish that last project. Then get going on that right from the start of the year. Make a goal to finish that project this year. One of our writing groups typically has an annual contest called "Write to the End." We put money in a pot and if you finish your book your name gets put into a drawing. One year someone won up to $240.  You might consider doing that with one of your writing groups. Or promise yourself a special night on the town or treat if you finish your project this year.

3. Take a class on something you want to try.  I'm talking writing here, but why not take a painting class if that interests you. Last year I began coloring and drawing and even water coloring. I'm horrible at art and my 11-year old niece turns out better water color paintings than I do, but it's a great way to be creative when I not writing. And sometimes I get story ideas or scene ideas while I am working on those water colors. (or maybe that's why they turn out so bad.

4.  Take a writing class. One of my classes that I am teaching this year is on Romantic Suspense and next month I'll be teaching one on Short Stories. One of my students worked with me in a previous class and wants to try her hand at Romantic Suspense, which is why she is taking the class.  She has written fantasy in the past. So why not try something new? You might find a new niche and new writing energy.

5. Be open to new opportunities.  One thing about the new year -- it always brings out people who are also looking for new things to start or new ways to express their creativity. Suddenly everyone wants to form a book club or start a new critique group.  I'm going to be more open to trying some of those things out. I've been considering a book club and the new year is a good time to start because there will be other newbies undoubtedly.

The best thing about a new year is that you get to start fresh. I'm all in favor of new beginnings!

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