Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Writing Resolutions for 2013


So, 2102 is over, 2013 is here – what are your resolutions for the coming year? In some ways, 2012 was a bumper year for me in terms of writing. I published my new novel, Dark Dates, and followed it up with a couple of digital short stories to keep the readers’ interest up, and I spent a lot of time building my fledgling consulting business. So the bulk of my resolutions would be – more of the same, but better.

But since it’s always good to have a list of goals – and some of these might help you spur on your own writing this year – here are my Writing Resolutions for 2013.
 

Remember there is never the perfect time to write: one of the biggest mistakes people make, I think, when it comes to writing is they put it off until they have ‘the time’ to do it, which is always in some mythical future. If you can’t spend the whole day writing, what’s the point? But the fact is, you’ll never have the time to do it – life will always encroach on your writing time. So snatch moments when you can. Writing half a page a day will soon add up. I found last year that if I forced myself to do ‘just one page’ or ‘just 15 minutes’, that was often the push I needed to get lots done, and it turned out to be remarkably easy to fit in around the demands of my other jobs (which are pretty bloody demanding at times). Try it in 2013 – you might be shocked by how much you can do!
The Avengers think you should be writing
 

Don’t wait for inspiration to strike: while I do believe that sometimes it’s worth thinking about something before you write it (depending how your thought processes work – I often ‘carry round’ stories in my head for a while, then write them all in a rush) there is nothing more ruinous to productivity than waiting for the ‘right moment’. Your muse is more likely to come visit if you’re already writing – and remember, if it’s rubbish, you can always rewrite it later!

Don’t get hung up on reviews: the thing that shocked me this year was how much I was bothered by reviews. I might have expected the bad ones to sting (and they did – there were occasions when I was sorely tempted to point out just how much someone had misread my books), but I was surprised to find that while I loved the good reviews, obviously, I also felt like they were putting some kind of pressure on me, and would spiral into a panic about people hating the sequel. This year I resolve to recognise my irrationality, and avoid temptation by not reading reviews. Or most of them, anyway. OK, look, that’s a work in progress… [Post script: I just went to get the link for my book from Amazon ot add to this article and found I'd got another 5 star review. So I read it. Like I said, a work in progress...!]

Reach out to bloggers and readers: one of the delightful things about this year was connecting with a whole bunch of lovely book bloggers. I was intimidated at first about approaching them – why the hell should they be interested in my little book? But most have turned out to be really nice, and I’ve made some great connections with some fantastically fun women. I’d like to do more of this in 2013.

Listen to feedback: I just sent my new book to beta readers, and while I feel ridiculously precious about it, like all writers, I do know I have to take on board feedback. I have already had a couple of things pointed out to me that I know I need to fix…

Keep going: the most important thing of all. It’s really easy to get discouraged when you’re operating in a saturated market and feel like what you’re doing is insignificant or pointless, or will never make you any money, or will always take a lot of time while yielding very little reward.  But the last year has made me realise that, above all, writing makes me happy in a way that nothing else does – and I’m thrilled to have found readers who enjoy my work and like my characters. Whatever the challenges of 2013, I don’t want to give that up.  
Buy more notebooks: because you should always set at least one resolution you know you'll keep...
A girl can never have too many notebooks...
 

3 comments:

Kate said...

Yikes! I always fail at resolutions! But I guess it'll have to be 'meet all my deadlines' :-)

Derek said...

It sounds like a plan! My two penn'orth (which I hope to follow myself) is to regularly review the resolutions to ensure you're still on track.

A great post to get us in the right frame of mind for the writing year.

broken biro said...

Thanks for your timely writing resolutions. I am guilty as charged of waiting for a whole bunch of time / inspiration, but have resolved to just get on with the business of actual writing... which reminds me... What am I doing here? 8-)