Is This the Year of the Writer?


New Year’s Day is the time most of us reflect on the past year, while thinking about the goals and hopes for the new year ahead.

I had a fabulous 2017.

My books are still getting great reviews and winning awards.

I reconnected with some dear, old friends, had several successful book-signings and attended two writing conferences. I visited my grandkids in south Florida, and vacationed on the island birthplace of Alexander Hamilton (Nevis).

I ended the year with friends watching my beloved Detroit Red Wings pull off a shoot-out win in their new downtown facility … which we followed with a much-coveted locker room tour.

I’m making my usual resolutions: Lose weight, exercise more and eat more sensibly. As I get older, these become more important to getting healthier, which will, hopefully, let me get a LOT older (although, sadly, I often forget them by February).

But what does it mean as a writer?

For me, that part of my resolution is the same as it’s been for many years now … I’m hoping 2018 is the year I finish another novel.

For you, your resolution may be to make this the year you commit to a sustainable writing habit … or, maybe, make this the year you finally get published.

Here are four resolutions you can make to improve your writing to start the New Year. Pick one to start, or dive in with all of them. The result may be the best writing you’ve done yet.

Make Time for Writing
If you seriously want results as an author, you have to put your butt in the chair and write.

Wanna-be writers hear this all the time but, if you’re like most of them, you’ll come back with the fact you have jobs, kids, chores and other outside interests that take away from your writing time.

Most of you will add there are only 24 hours in the day to attend to these many responsibilities … and you also need to sleep.

But I say excuses are easy to make. There’s always time to write.

Think about it this way: If you’re only able to write for one hour a day, accomplishing only 500 words in that hour, you’ll have written about 15,000 words in a month. Even if only half of those words are usable, if you keep it up for a year, you’ll have written 90,000 words.

And that, my friend, is a novel.

Most, if not all of us, have at least one hour of quiet time a day to devote to our writing. And don’t think that writing time means just typing words into a blank Word document. Reading, research and writing exercises are also great ways to spend your time, because they move you toward your writing goals.

Embrace Your Personal Writing Style
I’ve talked about this before, too. You either outline everything first, or you fly by the seat of your pants.

Outliners are often much more organized, but their rigid structures sometimes get in the way of lightning-rod flashes of creativity.

Pantsers are much freer in their writing methodology, preferring to “make it up as they go” rather than adhere to a strict outline they write ahead of time. They often find surprises as they write, and they also tend to feel less inclined to “stick to a plan” … because they don’t necessarily have one.

But I’ll say it again: There’s nothing wrong with being either a Pantser or an Outliner. Both will get the job done if you work at it.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Some of us are fiction writers and aspiring novelists. Some of us are memoirists. Some of us are a combination of all of these, in varying degrees. But all of us have a comfort zone, and if we stay within it too long, we risk stagnation.

So, resolve to step outside of your comfort zone. Experiment with styles and voices you’re not used to. Emulate authors you don’t normally read. Read books you wouldn’t normally pick up off the shelf.

If you’re strictly a fiction writer, branch out into the world of freelance articles, where science and special interest articles provide great fodder for new stories.

If you write nonfiction, study plot, structure, voice and pacing, all of which will help you write tightly wound, concise pieces with distinct tones.

My point is, we all get stuck in a rut from time-to-time. Actively finding ways to get unstuck is the mark of a great writer.

Call Yourself a Writer
This may be the most important resolution you make for 2018. It is for me every year.

You may think you can just dabble in this stuff and it might work out in the end. But being a writer isn’t a short journey. It’s a lifetime of work that takes a tremendous amount of effort to reap rewards.

Acknowledging your writerly status is one thing; living it is another.

2018 can be what you’re waiting for … your year for writing. Start calling yourself a writer.

Then make the most of it.

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My books have all garnered some terrific reviews, and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. Look for them. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now;

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You’re invited to visit my website, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

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Visit my web site to hear the remarkable radio interview about my novel “Blood Lake” by The Authors Show.

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Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

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6 Responses to “Is This the Year of the Writer?”

  1. barbarajoburtonhibdon Says:

    Thanks, Ron. My New Year’s goal is simple–to keep writing. I will also take your advice and seriously call myself a writer. I like that. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. hellojenbug Says:

    Great advice Ron! My two goals are eating Whole30 to get healthier and finishing my book. And…spending more time outside my comfort zone. Happy New Year Friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ron Herron Says:

    Thanks, Carrie. Happy New Year.

    Like

  4. Carrie Rubin Says:

    These are great writing resolutions. As you mention, even small bits of writing each day add up quickly. Five hundred words one day is five hundred words we didn’t have the day before. Happy 2018 to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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