Every year in January would be writers, beginning writers and even published writers tell themselves this is the year they hit it big and get all the writing done that they set out to publish. Year after year things don’t happen for the majority of writers. They stare at the blank pages and then
Some do many to stick with their idea and keep writing and writing, and editing and eventually get the project done. Will they turn it into a best seller? Well, that is another question altogether. But that elusive golden ring cannot be the automatic end result we expect or we would never get started. We can keep it up there dangling above us and keep reaching for it and that can make the journey all the more fun. Think of how fulfilled you will be when you finally latch onto that golden ring and get a good firm grip on it.
But for the rest of us, we must keep battling away and reaching ever upward with our writing, whether we are working on the first short story, the third book we’ve written or the 8th novel in a series. There is no looking back so we must keep moving forward in our writing journey. (well, there could be looking back. It just won’t get you published any faster)
How do we get started off every new year with a reach toward that golden ring? We can either say we want it or we can do something about it and that means we must start writing. What could make this year different? Well, let’s look at some possibilities to get us started:
1, Commit to writing or working on something writing related every day. Even if it isn’t new words on your novel, make certain you are working in some way in that direction of getting published. That can mean editing yesterday’s pages, researching for tomorrow’s writing or going through old projects to find the one you want work on next. The biggest problem with this step and the reason I put it first is because this is just a first step. You have to move beyond it. If you don’t, you won’t ever get anything done.
2. Write something new – new words, new thoughts, new ideas! That means moving beyond that first step of research or digging out old things and then writing something fresh. You need to write new material at every opportunity so why not start every morning with some fresh writing, whether it’s on an old manuscript or a new blog. Write something new everyday and engage your brain. Let it know it’s going to have to find something new to write EVERY SINGLE DAY.
3. Pick up yesteday’s pages and edit or re-write them if you can’t think of what you want to write today. You may find something in there that will further the direction you want your story to go. Or you might find something totally different you want to try. If you want to try it, do that! Why not write the pages and see if the plot idea or character idea will work.
4. Pick up the story in a new place. Don’t just write the next scene. If you have made plotting notes, go ahead and write something in a future chapter that you know you want to use. Try the big fight scene or something that will be totally fun to write. You know you’re going to use the scene, write it now and have fun with it. You can always edit later.
5. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Again, this might entail writing not the next scene, but something further ahead or rewrite a scene you’ve already done but in a different way and with a different outcome. Does it change the course of your book? Perhaps, but it may make it better.
The main take away here is to keep writing. Start out the new year with a fresh outlook on your writing whether it’s just picking where you left off last year or you are starting something new. Use the new year as a time to commit to finishing this book and your other work.