Like many of the writers on this blog, I too am stopping to reflect some on last year. For me, it was a fairly productive year as I wrote many words and accomplished a lot of things. But many of those items weren’t on my ‘To Do’ list as they were thrust upon me because I volunteered or I just wanted to do them.
Now many would say I’m crazy for saying something like this but it is my belief everything happens for a reason and in the exact manner it was supposed to happen. There is order in the mad chaos known as our world and part of our task as writers is to put meaning to that order.
As writers, we create and rewrite our stories until they shine. If we’re lucky, we get to present them to the world in a nice shiny package called a book. We get to tell our friends and family, we advertise about it and blog. Basically, we tell the world our baby has arrived and like a real baby, once it’s there we don’t care one bit about how painful it was to get out into the world. It has arrived and we breathe a sigh of relief.
If we’re really fortunate, we are blessed with the ability to repeat the process as many times during the year that we so desire. If we want a slow year we produce little, a heavy year we work our fingers to the bone. But we produce so you as our readers can enjoy what we have to share.
One of the personal commitments I made to myself last year was to present a series where a new writer could start at the beginning of the year reading this blog and by the end be a published writer. Well, welcome to the first column of the year.
If one truly wants to be a writer, you must commit to writing. You need to set goals, plan books, put together a small business plan and study the publishing world so you can make the most informed decisions possible. All of these things and more will be discussed during the next year but first, you must start with the commitment process.
You need to commit to write daily, no matter what. And that means demanding families, homework, blogs, house cleaning, answering emails, web surfing and a million other things must all be put into a proper perspective in regards to your writing time. If the tasks of the day are too much for you, get up fifteen minutes early to write. If you do better at night when the house is all quite because they are all asleep, stay up an extra fifteen to get what you need done.
Another part is to start small. I have seen many a writer fall by the way side because they wanted to write 5-10K a day when they could barely set aside enough time to do 50-100 words daily. Know your limitations and abide by them. Things can change, so this is always adjustable. The point here is to just put aside the time to write daily, no matter what.
If you are the type who must have a contract for something like this, make the contract with yourself. If can be as simple as ‘I will write 1000 words per day’ and sign and date it. You can make it more specific by adding when you plan to do this, where, when you’re going to re-evaluate the contract to continue your journey.
I would love to hear about your experiences with making the commitment to write. Next week, I’ll talk about goal setting but first, I’d just love to see you all sitting behind your computer to write. Good luck!
See you all next week!