Happy New Year to you all! It's a good year for writing and I have a few resolutions for you to consider as you start a new year of writing. In no particular order...
...keep a word-count diary. Each day, write down somewhere the total number of words you write on either a manuscript, a blog...something creative. Grocery lists and emails don't count! :) You can either use a spreadsheet program like Excel to keep track or simply write the number on the calendar next to your desk. I have a friend who does the former and I do the latter - both work. Set a yearly goal for yourself and keep the big picture in mind. Most of us can't write every day, or choose not to. My goal this year (based on a non-calendar yearly count) is 250,000 words. In that number I include not only what I write and publish, but what I write and set aside, what I write for this blog and what I write for the Scribes' blog.
...publish something. Short story, novella, that full-length novel you've been working on for the past year? Whatever it is, get it out to the public. Whether you choose a traditional publisher, a small press or self-publishing...publish! Make this the year!
...take time to "sharpen the saw". Learn something new, go somewhere you've never been, take time to walk through the park. Do SOMETHING to get away from whatever you're working on and keep your mind fresh.
...read. Read lots. Read everything. Newspapers, political cartoons, other books in your genre, books NOT in your genre. By reading other's work we learn more about language and how it works (or doesn't work - the bad books sometimes teach us better than the best ones). Even if you only have a few minutes to read a quick article from a magazine in a doctor's office - read!
...above all else, hug your family and friends and tell them how much you enjoy their company. This holiday season has reinforced that in a very gruesome way. They put up with you going off into your own little world as you write, be sure to thank them for understanding that you often listen with only half an ear and you love them for loving you anyway. :)
Have a great year this year!
PS. And thanks for the tips... :)