Monday, January 9, 2017

5 Tips for Starting out Fresh

Every year I promise myself that I will write more this year. I am not certain if I do write more, but I know that one way or another I will be starting new projects and finishing old ones before the year is out. I will not stop and that is half the battle.

So how do we get started with fresh material and fresh ideas to start out the new year?   Well, here are some easy ideas that can help with your writing. Take a class, try a new hobby, take a trip. Look for something new to start on. Let’s examine some of those tips for getting that fresh start for 2017:

  1. Look for something new to do. One thing that has caught my interest as the year closed on 2016 was writing science fiction. Oh, I’ve had the idea in the past, but this year I am going to try it. Why not? Look around at the genre you are working in. Is it growing a little stale? Have you been considering another one? Why not try it now in the new year? Play with a short story if you can’t commit to something long. Or if you haven’t written a short story in a while, do that instead of a longer tale.
  2. Take a class.  I always recommend classes when people are stuck with their writing. A different perspective on your work and a different way to look at an old topic can get the creative juices flowing again. I am always on the look out for new classes to take or something new to learn. Keeping my mind active is a good way to keep young. I am not taking a class this month, but I am teaching one on plotting and I’ve already come up with some new ideas from the students who will be in my class.  
  3. Take a trip.  I spent more time travelling last year than I had in the past. I never go far (well, I did go to Canada) but even short trips can be fun and exciting. In several weeks I’ll be boarding the train for a trip through the mountains in winter. I haven’t done that before and I’m really looking forward to it. The trip will not only give me beautiful views of the Colorado’s snow covered peaks in winter, but I bet I’ll meet some fun people to talk to. I always seem to find some great story ideas on the train.
  4. Try a new method of researching.  One story I began working on last year required historical research and I found myself so involved in it that this past weekend I started off the new year at the library with an in depth look at the research department. I already came away with some new leads (and some new research books) that will help me get that story finished.
  5. Try a new approach.  I usually write down my accomplishments from last year and set goals for the new year. This time around I am going to look at different methods of getting my writing output increased.
    So look around you. What do you need to do to get more done in the new year? A new schedule, a new way of editing--what didn’t you do last year? Are there things you wanted to do that you put off?  I’ve declared 2017 as the year of finishing things. And that’ just what I hope I’ll be applauding at the end of the year.

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