New Year’s Resolution
The coming year of 2020 is being hailed by many as a year to “Catch the Vision” As writers, the coming year can be one of clarity and direction when it comes to writing goals—where you want to be as a writer a year from now Over the past five years, my goal has been to publish something each year—be it a poem, a short story, a blog, or an article I’ve worked hard to meet that goal, with the exception of 2018 when my toilet exploded (that’s another blog!) Still, 2020 could prove to be the most challenging year yet—I plan to launch my debut historical romantic suspense novel, Ellington Hall!
In the decades leading up to 2020, did I make any huge mistakes? Did I try to publish something that wasn’t ready? Did I get rejections from magazines and literary agents? Did I have to swallow my pride and start all over again? Did I learn anything from the experience?
Definitely to all of the above! Whether you’re a beginner, an oldie, a plotter or pantser, how do you plan to grow yourself as a legitimate author unless you put yourself out there And what can you do to accomplish that goal?
Read, Listen, and Learn (from podcasts, online blogs, youtube posts, and books on plot structure, conflict and suspense, plot and structure, characterization and dialogue — and at least five novels or short stories in your genre)
Write (put a character in a threatening situation and see how he/she reacts, put a person in a village square defending something you’re passionate about and have another character try to shout him/her down by arguing the opposite viewpoint and/or threatening bodily harm, get inside a character’s mind with internal dialogue contemplating murder or a spouse, parent, sibling, or take something from your past and put it down in black and white, in true colors with honest emotion) Don’t be shy! Believe me, most of my first drafts were nothing to brag about!
Edit, Revise, and Polish (find a critique group you’re comfortable with and learn to edit your own work and others correctly, honestly, objectively—I can’t stress this enough! In a group, you learn to take criticism and to accept others’ suggestions to make your writing the best it can be, you exchange ideas with fellow writers who’ve gone through writer’s block, six drafts, query letters, pitches, rejections, and/or publication and are willing to share their secrets, you are line-edited for grammar and other issues that may have slipped past you!)
So pick a goal Say, one short story, from beginning to end Written, revised, and polished to perfection Visualize it in your mind, and make it happen! Pick a person and select a situation
Let 2020 by the year your goals are in sight!
Thanks for walking through the corridor with me.