Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top Ten New Year Resolutions for Writers

Photo by Stuart Miles

Happy New Year!

I'm sure if you are like me, you have been thinking about the new year and how you will better yourself in 2013. What can you do to be a better wife? Mom? Writer? So for all you writers out there, here is a list of resolutions that you might want to grab hold of for the new year.

10 Exercise more! What???? I know, but hear me out. Writers tend to sit on their backsides...a lot...and that backside begins to grow. Plus, exercises gets blood flowing to your brain, which could produce some AWESOME ideas for your novel. Give it a try!

9 Watch movies/TV! I know you think this might be a waste of your precious time, but watching movies in the genre you are writing is an excellent way to learn how to craft your novel. Analyze the movie as you watch. Does the dialogue move the story? What about the setting? How could you incorporate the sights you are seeing on the screen into words? Movies can teach us about pacing and blocking. Pick a movie this week and watch with a critical eye.

8 Read more! Writers are readers, but oftentimes we put aside reading for pleasure because we value our time so much. But reading can open our eyes to the beauty of prose. Find an author you love to read and read their book, noting what it is you love about their writing. Is the dialogue fabulous? Is the writing lyrical? Is the plot riveting? Take notes while you enjoy the love of reading.

7 Time management. Ugh, you say? I agree, but for most of us, this can be a problem. It is hard to balance work, housework, kids, cooking, cleaning, carpools, extra curricular activities, church, play, and writing. You have to be organized and make sure you schedule time to write. If you don't make it a priority, it won't happen.

6 Quite playing on the internet. Okay, so this one is for me. I love to play games online. I don't know why! Give me an Angry Bird and I will shoot that bird until I've hit all the green pigs! Give me some Bejeweled gems and I will match them until the cows come home. And don't get me started with Pinterest! Aak...the time stealer of creative persons everywhere!!!! Seriously, I could sit for hours, browsing for things to make. Hours, I tell you! So set a time limit on your internet "play". Don't call it research!! Call it for what it is...a time stealer!

5 Organize! I don't know about you, but sometimes I need to organize my writing. Sometimes I just get to writing and there is no rhyme or reason to the words on the page. And people, novels need some structure! Sure, you can write by the seat of your pants, but you definitely need to make sure you have a spine of a story to flesh out. Try some tools like The Book Buddy by My Book Therapy. It is great, even for seat of the pants writers.

4 Be more confident. Now this is a bit scary, but every writer needs to be confident in their writing. You need to believe in your story. You need to believe you have what it takes. God has given you a gift for a reason, and you must rest in that knowledge and have the courage to take new steps. Polish that novel and send it to agents! Press that send button as often as you can. Be brave! You can do it!

3 Read books on writing. Yes, I said read...some more. But this time read books on the craft of writing. Learn from the masters on how to shape a story. Soak in the knowledge that the experts share.

2 Write! Just write. Every day. Make this your habit, even if it is only one page a day. Your writing only gets better when you exercise your writing mind, so keep writing. All the time. Whenever. Wherever. Just do it.

1 Pray. Yes, this should be your number one resolution. Not just for your writing, but for your life. Developing your relationship with God and giving your writing up to Him is such a beautiful thing. When you bathe your writing in praying, you are releasing your abilities to Him. This takes the pressure off of you! Your writing will take on a life of its own as you release yourself to write for Him. So pray. Everyday. And see what God will do.

What are your New Year's Resolutions? Either for your writing or for your life in general?

This post is brought to you by
 Sherrinda Ketchersid

Sherrinda is a minister's wife and mother to three giant sons and one gorgeous daughter. A born and bred Texan, she writes historical romance filled with fun, faith, and forever love.


Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Awesome, Sherrinda!! What a convicting post. I particularly like number 6, which made me laugh out loud. Thanks for keeping it real. :-)

Ryoma Sakamoto.Japan said...

I wish you a ☆ :: * Happy-New-Year * :: ☆
From Japan.
Ryoma Sakamoto.

Ruth Douthitt said...

Excellent list! PRAY, read more, and organize are my top three.

I know it will be a challenging year, but that's what makes it so exciting!


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

KAREN... I like #6 too, because it is something I really have to limit! (and don't always do well...it depends on how tired I am after work!!!) :)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Happy New Year, Japan Samurai!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

RUTH...seems like some years are more challenging than others, but I pray your year is a fabulous one, full of joy, organization, and lovely times with the Lord!

Lacie Nezbeth said...

Oh, how scary! I think I could safely add all those to my list of resolutions. :) Although, time management is at the top of mine this year.

tstarmom said...

Exercise! Ha ... when I started my manuscript 2 years ago, I started running less and when I started my blog last December I officially lost my love for exercise. Glad to hear it goes with the territory and that I'm not alone on that one. Great resolutions ...

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Lacie...time management is something I am definitely going to try to tackle this year. I waste so much time!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

LOL...tstarmom, exercise is ALWAYS on the bottom of my list. My husband got me a yoga tape for older people and I think it is something that I can manage. Still need to do some cardio, but I have a recumbent bike I need to dust off and use! Sigh... :)

Joanne Sher said...

SUCH a great list, Sherrinda. I need ALL of them. EVERY SINGLE ONE. I think I'm going to pick a few craft books to read this year - I have several - some on the kindle and some in paperback. I spent ALL last year reading and taking craft classes, so I'm gonna go a bit lighter this year. Maybe one a quarter?

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Joanne, I think reading craft books is such a good idea. Everyone needs to better themselves and keep learning. Just make sure to keep writing!!!! (I know you will!)