By Leslie Lindsay
It’s a new year and that means lots of things–sure you get to flip the calendar to 2012, you can finally drop those 10 lbs, and you can also resolve to write more. (Maybe all of the above?!)
So what does it mean to “write more?” Sure, in theory it sounds good, “Yes, this year I am going to write more.” Well, how are you going to do that? Let’s take a moment to consider these ideas to jump-start your writing resolutions for 2012:
- Start a blog. I’ll be the first to tell you that I was a reluctant blogger. Everyone told me, ” You should start a blog.” Well, quite frankly, I wanted to get paid to write, not write for free on a blog people may or may not read. But finally I did it. I have been going strong with (mostly) daily blogs for the past 2 years. (In fact, I just got my blog stats around the first of the year…10,000+ views of this blog alone in one year. That’s like filling the Sydney Opera House to capacity over 3 times). Cool. But, it hasn’t always been easy.
- Blogging everyday forces me to write, whether I want to or not. Now, I don’t mean this in a bad way. You know how once you start doing something you dread–cleaning the toilets, say–and then it’s really not so bad in the end? Well, that’s how blogging/writing can be. When I don’t blog, I miss it. It keeps the saw sharp.
- Got a manuscript you are dying to write? Pull it out–even if it is longhand on a legal pad. Look it over. What do you like about it? The story? The theme? The catharsis that goes along with telling the story? Start at the beginning. Brainstorm about it. Reframe your ideas. Sketch a little outline about where the story can take you. Draw up a map or a floorplan of the town or home in which you describe on the page. Do some character sketches/profiles.
- Read. Remember, reading creates good writing. You gotta read what you want to write. Want to churn out the next whodunit crime? Well, then you better start reading some John Grisham. Want to delve into the throes of love and throbbing loins? Then get to reading some Harlequin paperbacks. Of course, your story will be different. Your story will have your own backstory, your own voice, but this type of homework “primes the pump,” so to speak.
- Keep a journal. Keep it in your car, your gym bag, your purse…wherever you happen to be you can jot down something that stikes your fancy. The gum smacking teenager on the corner of the street with a skateboard can become a secondary character…you think you’ll remember this later, but you won’t. Write it down.
- When all else fails, go to the library. Browse the shelves where your genre is located. Can you see your book there? Now, hop over the the stacks where your last name would fall. Can you see your title there, wedged into the “L” section, for example? Yep…positive visualization really is the key to success.
Good luck and happy writing!