As the New Year approaches I become a little more anxious for the year to come. Not necessarily because I think that something miraculous will happen (one can still hope though) but because I am going into the year more focused on what needs to be done, and more importantly on what I have to do to get those things done. One thing is for sure, I could stand to become a much better writer because as a writer, your learning is never done. Below I listed several things that I will plan on doing in the year 2013 to become a better writer and maybe some of these things can be things that help some of you as well.
1.) Write Every Day— I know that there are some that would argue that you should never force yourself to write if you are not feeling “the muse” to write. However, I believe that writing everyday is important in becoming a more effective and insightful writer. It’s just like a regular job. You can’t wake up and just say I don’t feel like going so I’m not going to go. This is my job and I will make a stronger effort in the New Year to treat it as such.
2.) Read Every Day— Okay lately I have not been the avid reader that I once was and that I still would like to be. There’s been this reason, or that reason, why I haven’t been able to plant my but in a chair and read, but really there’s no valid excuse. I know that reading more makes an even stronger writer. So in this year I am going to not only make a promise to just read more, but rather to read everyday. Whether it’s just a couple of pages, or even just a page, so long as I read.
3.) Share My Writing More— I’ve always been apprehensive about joining a writing critique group or any type of writing community. It’s not that I haven’t but I just haven’t embraced the concept as much as I should have been. So in my effort to make my writing better and stronger, I will share my work with others more this year.
4.) Take Better Care of Myself— I am already learning that taking care of myself will make it even more possible for me to do those things that I strive to do in a successful way. I feel myself becoming stronger as a person as I begin to place more priority in taking care of me, and that is making me an even stronger writer. It also makes me a more confident writer. I have to keep reminding myself to take better care of me so that in the long run I become stronger and more successful in everything else I want to do.
5.) Don’t Let Writer’s Block Get In My Way— I have had my struggles with writer’s block in the past and I have allowed this to be the reason why things were not able to get done. Because of that excuse, I have many novels started and not finished and many missed opportunities that I have let slip through my fingers. I am not going to use this excuse anymore because it is just that, an excuse. If I have to balance multiple projects so that if I get blocked on one project, I can simply move to the other project, then that’s what I am going to do.
6.) Take a Writing Course— As a writer it is also important to keep the knowledge of the craft sharp. This requires honing your craft more, not only by reading on the craft of writing, but also in taking a course on writing. I would like to say that I can take several courses in the next year to be able to sharpen my writing skills, but realistically, I may not have the money for that. But I think I can manage one course at the very least.
7.) Research More— I have always loved research. From historical events and historical figures, to the places in the world that I dream of traveling to. I have to admit I haven’t done much of it in this past year but that’s what I want to get back to.
8.) Become a Better Marketer of Myself— Okay I know that it doesn’t sound like this has anything to do with actually writing but if I’ve learned nothing else over the past year it is that if no one sees all of your hard work then you don’t get your writing noticed. In order to get more of your writing out there for all to see I have to become better at marketing my writing myself, and my brand. I admit I have A LOT of work to do in the area of marketing myself but it is definitely a focus for me in the year to come.
9.) Attend Writer’s Conferences and Events— This goal may present some challenges because a lot of writer’s conferences and events these days are just not as affordable as they once were. They actually used to have writing conferences that were free (go figure!) for those who, like me, just couldn’t afford it. However, I am going to make an extra effort to at least make it possible to attend one at some point this coming year.
10.) Do Things That Scare Me— Fear is something that I struggle with so much. There’s so many things that I haven’t done, simply out of fear. So if I can do something that scares me, not just one thing, maybe something every month or every week, then perhaps I can learn to stop being so scared of things that I just can’t control. Perhaps then I will actually achieve all that I want.
You won’t find too many writers who will say that they are at a point where they don’t need to learn more, do more, or be better than what they already are. If you do they are either the greatest writer that has ever lived or they are fooling themselves. We all get comfortable sometimes in the accomplishments that we have made and in how far we have already come. Often times we forget that there is still so much more left to learn, and more left to do, and even further to go. We grow as writers, when we acknowledge that we have a lot of growing left to do!
The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)
Writing as “Jaycee Durant”