I’m writing. Are you?

January 13, 2014 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

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On January 4th, I accepted Jeff Goins’ challenge to write 500 words a day for each day of January 2014. I thought, Why not? And so I signed on, planning to use the challenge to work on a project left on the back burner (that is, computer file) untouched for too long. I could also use it to write blog posts to keep up with my resolve to write one a week at the least. Starting late, but I could still accomplish something in the days that remained.

I learned after starting, that the facebook page dedicated to that challenge lists a new prompt each day for people to use. I may use it at some point, but for now I’m making hot trackts through my first draft of a novel for children. No more details. It’s got a long way to go. Enough to say I’m finally writing it, with a female protagonist, for a character sketch I wrote what seems like ages ago.

In our Toastmasters club meeting last week, Rebecca, our Table Topics Master (impromptu speaking), asked us to tell what resolutions we’ve made, or if we haven’t done so, to share something we’re working towards in 2014. My response was about writing: first writing the 500 words per day for January, to post consistently on my blog, and also to continue to search out clients for my editing business.

Best thing about this exercise is that Rebecca was recording our answers and will ask us how we’re doing. That’s one of the best forms of accountability, to know that someone will inquire how we’re doing. The thing about resolutions is, if it’s made on New Year’s Eve, perhaps not a lot of planning has gone into the resolution and how to keep it. On the other hand, as one of our guests said, “New Years seems like a natural time for a new beginning.

Truly a new beginning can happen any time. All we need is the motivation and reason to change or update or even try something new as one of my clients did a few years ago—climbing a mountain. Another went on a journey, on foot and buses, through South American countries and then wrote a book about it.

What you decide to do this year depends on you and where you are at this time. If you’re only beginning to write, a book-length project may not be feasible yet. It might be shorter pieces such as reviews, letters to the editor about something that concerns you. If you’re a reader, you might read and review other writers’ books. It might be stories about your family, or a short story or poetry. Just please don’t start with a book if writing is new to you. Work on it on the side if you must, but hone your writing and build your abilities.

For anyone new and still learning about writing—and there’s always room for some other point of view or new take on an old subject—consider a writers’ conference, workshops for writers, a local writer’s group or an online revision group, whichever works best for  you. Just remember, if you’ve planned to write, then write!

Write about what makes you happy, what upsets you. Write about a favourite hobby or a soccer match. Write about gardening, photography, your children or grandchildren, the places you’ve been. Or even the kind of winter we’re having in Canada this year. Write about what interests you, and remember, it’s not about you, but the person who will read your work. But first, write.

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There are so many possibilities! So now your job as a writer is to park yourself in a chair somewhere and pick up the pen and paper, or put fingers to the keyboard. To be a writer is to write. Ready, set, go!

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Entry filed under: artists, authors, blogs, books, community, entertainment, environment, exercise, family, fine arts, lifestyle, Nature, New Year, photography, poetry, Sports, storytelling, travel, winter. Tags: , , , , , , .

Patterns in winter Adam’s Animals–Kimberley Payne

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