The Best Writer’s Resolution

new-years-catsLike a lot of writers, I’m cringing as I look back on 2016’s resolutions: In addition to getting a big fat book contract with a big fat advance, I wanted to finish a writing book and self-publish it. Did those things happen? The optimist in me says, “Not yet, but you just wait.” In other words, NO.

Writing Tip for Today: For 2017, I’ve made what I think may be the best resolution ever for writers.

In 2017, my goal is going to be to fall in love with writing again. I mean that burning passion, enthusiasm and confidence every newbie writer exudes as we first jump into learning the craft.

Passion

I want to revisit the time when I didn’t care so much for rules and structural flaws and whether I could ever gain purchase of an actual reading audience. You know the feeling: you’re sure you were put on this earth to tell your story, say what only you can say, reach out and connect with readers as if they grabbed onto the live wire that is your novel, story, poem. Like couples who renew their vows, I want to once again feel the heady rush that makes me itch to get to the keyboard. The feeling that everything else in life pales compared to closing the door in the morning for an hour’s worth of writing, then looking up as the fam pounds on the door and asks what’s for dinner. You know that exhilaration? Yeah, that one.

Enthusiasm

Of course, writing is harder than passion allows–especially as you reach the midpoint of your novel draft, or when you are in revision number forty-seven. This year, I want to recapture the enthusiasm I once had for the long haul that is a writer’s life. Way back when, I was so happy to see my keyboard. It always felt like eating stolen chocolate--probably because I was raising four kids and running an in-home daycare. A jillion stories had built up in my poor little head, and I just had to get them down. I thought I really had a chance to be a successful writer–hence my enthusiasm. But craft is never easy and soon I worried about ever writing well enough. I came close enough to my goals (finishing my first novel, seeing a few essays and poems published, snagging a big-time literary agent) that I was enthused. But I learned that success is fleeting. In 2017, I’m going to try to stay optimistic and maintain the enthusiasm summed up by one of my writing mentors: He said, “Writing is a craft. You can learn a craft.”

Confidence

Rejection letters, near-misses and no pub credits erodes writer confidence with lightning speed. When I started seriously writing, traditional publishing was the only route to success. Twenty-five years later, writers can be snubbed by agents and publishers and yet go straight to Createspace or another self-publisher and get that book out there. Whether this is a good strategy depends on the book and the writer’s commitment to marketing. I know lots of writers who are confident about their books until they crash headlong into that Marketing Wall–when they learn the book cannot sell if it is either unknown or so poorly written it is unreadable. In 2017, I’m going down both roads to publication. While I’ll still pursue traditional publishers (a task made easier by the fact that I already have a literary agent) I’m eager to learn the self-publishing side of writing. My confidence will surely grow if I pay attention to Passion and Enthusiasm and treat every writing day as if it were my last. Go Write!

What’s your 2017 writing resolution?

 

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Pin on Pinterest2Email this to someone

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

13 comments on “The Best Writer’s Resolution

  1. Great article. I need to get back to that first love, rather than thinking “Will this sell?” The book proposal I submitted for my 3rd book was soundly rejected by publishers – “Too much like your last one.” Now I’m writing a totally different book, always wondering if I’m wasting my time. Sigh. Thanks for the reminder that we write for an audience of One.

  2. Jane,
    I so agree with that audience of one. It is so frustrating to find out you really are as weird as your sister always said. #Whenyoureditorhatesyourlatestbook. Be passionate and I wish you everything you hope for in your writing this year!
    Keep Writing,
    Linda

  3. This is perfect, Linda. I went to the OCW summer conference a few years back and as I listened in to my coaching class speaker (Alan Arnold), realized that’s what had happened to me. I’d lost my first love. The whole emphasis had been too long to ‘write to the market,’ blog, get a website, find an agent, on and on, and I’d begun seeing my writing as just another task in my already-too-task-filled life. I’m doing something totally different now, hoping it’ll be published one day (traditional or indy), but just enjoying the storytelling. Whew! So much better!
    Dawn

    • Dawn,
      I know you to be an excellent craftsperson in writing, and I so agree that the race to publish easily overtakes our first love of writing. I too am going to worry less about the list of “shoulds and oughts” and focus on what I really love: telling stories in my own unique way. Blessings to you and KEEP WRITING!
      Linda

  4. Hi Linda,
    Thanks for the nudge into the new year. Just came across your Facebook post today & was curious about the furry thing in the pic. Kim and I are both self published thru Create Space this year and know all about that “Marketing Wall” that looms on our journey. Will be back to read more on your blog, as you are informative and good at conveying ideas. Many thanks for your generous tips.
    John

  5. Hi John and Kim,
    Thanks for stopping by! The writer’s life is hard but oh so rewarding–especially if you can get a tip here and there along the way. That’s why this blog is here–to spread these ideas and hope to help a few writers on the journey. Much success to you in all your endeavors this coming year and yes, please do come back!
    Keep Writing,
    Linda

  6. My goal is to stop procrastinating and get back to writing! I need to discipline myself to set aside a few minutes a day and write whatever thoughts God gives me! I spoke to a lady today and she profoundly said that the perfect moment is the moment you start! I was like wow!

    • Kristi,
      She was right! The perfect moment is NOW. Get thy BIC (Buns in Chair) and write! Passionately! Enthusiastically! Confidently!
      Keep Writing,
      Linda

    • Helen,
      We get so bound up in what is publishable or what the hot trend is that it’s easy to lose that passionate innocence we once had. Good to get it back, isn’t it?
      This year WILL be better, because you will be in love with what you are writing.
      Keep Writing,
      Linda

  7. Pingback: Welcoming 2017 with a resolution. What’s yours? | Helen Henderson, Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *