Sunday, 6 January 2013

New Year Writing Resolutions

Well it's a New Year! And whatever about New Year resolutions, I'm sticking instead this year to new writing resolutions (of which I will stick to.) 

And these include: (drumroll - da-da-da-dah...)

I will:

-Write more.   'Don't just plan to write—write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.' - PD James. Write, actually write, and not dream of it.

- Write every day. Yes, without fail. No matter what I feel like. Even on blocked days. Even on days when all I seem to do is scrawl nonsense. 'Write even when the world is chaotic. You don’t need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair, or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement.' - Cory Doctorow.
'If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.' — Margaret Atwood

-Discipline myself! Set a number of words per day to write and stick to it. 
'Treat writing as a job. Be disciplined. Lots of writers get a bit OCD-ish about this. Graham Greene famously wrote 500 words a day. Jean Plaidy managed 5,000 before lunch, then spent the afternoon answering fan mail. My minimum is 1,000 words a day – which is sometimes easy to achieve, and is sometimes, frankly, like shitting a brick, but I will make myself stay at my desk until I've got there, because I know that by doing that I am inching the book forward. Those 1,000 words might well be rubbish – they often are. But then, it is always easier to return to rubbish words at a later date and make them better.' - Sarah Waters

-Start using my notebook. Yes, recently, I've become lax about the notebook. Phrases will come into my head and I'll not bother writing them down, stupidly thinking they'll still be there in the morning when I go to the page, or they'll come back to me. But alas, they don't, they just melt into the ether until all that remains is their shadow. This year, I will carry my notebook religiously with me, and use it. (even at the peril of strange looks by others... #smalltownclaustrophobia)

-Read more writing guides. Because they are the equivalent of 'shrinks' to a writer. And excellent cures for writer's block. And I will not just go to them in times of need - no, I will read them on a daily basis. Prevention is better than cure.

-Work towards a goal of writing a novel. Yes, this is the year! No more excuses. The ultimate, ULTIMATE ambition of a writer.

-Make a writing routine. I will set aside certain periods of time in the day when I will write and not budge from it or let anything intrude on it. I will put my writing first, and not let anything overwhelm or overshadow it. And I will resolve to treat it as a job, a 9 to 5, (or more likely 9-9, or 9pm - 4am) one. 
'The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.' — Mary Heaton Vorse

-Not sink into fear about failure. This is a crippling block on my behalf. Fear of failure. Fear of jumping over the edge and crashing smack face-down on the ground, all busted up. 'Be without fear. This is impossible, but let the small fears drive your rewriting and set aside the large ones until they behave – then use them, maybe even write them. Too much fear and all you'll get is silence.' - AL Kennedy

-Send out to publishers more. This year, I will take the publishing leap. And carry on after rejections and what's worse - no answers at all - and  will keep on going until I can plaster my room with rejection slips (ha, in the tradition of all the greats). Until this time next year, when I can honestly say, well goddamn it (in a Hemingway drawl) - I tried. 

-I will come out of the writing 'closet' and admit that I am a writer. To the next person that asks what I do, what I want to do, I shall reply in a confident tone (and maybe with a bow), 'I'm a writer.' Yes siree, a writer. I write. And I want to be a successful published author. More than anything else in the world (and that includes material possessions, social status and whatever else may consume the masses.)

-I will commit to my writing more. At present, I do it on a casual basis, now I'm going to really commit full-time. Pursue it relentlessly.  To within an inch of my life. 

-I will read more. I will devour books. And not be intimidated by the great ones!

-I will try not to let doubt cripple me. Every writer, or creative, I'm sure experiences the dark cloud of self-doubt. Slyvia Plath once said, 'the worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt' and it's true. Not other people's doubt, but your own, mine. Because most of the time it is delusional. It blows things out of proportion. It revels in negativity. It blinds and obscures possibility.

-Write regardless. Of what other people think. Of whether I think it's good or bad, of how I feel - just keep on writing. 'I have forced myself to begin writing when I've been utterly exhausted, when I've felt my soul as thin as a playing card, when nothing has seemed worth enduring for another five minutes... and somehow the activity of writing changes everything. Or appears to do so.' - Joyce Carol Oates. Because it does. Writing not only can change your mood, but your whole viewpoint.

-Avoid those people and friends who don't believe or bother about my writing ambitions. Yep.  Might sound a bit harsh but I am super-sensitive to others' encouragement and as the case may be - disencouragement. 'Get rid of friends who don’t believe in you. Do they make fun of your writerly ambitions?' - Ray Bradbury  Then he suggests calling them up to “fire them” without delay!  

-I will honour my writer self. I will not go for days without writing anything, cowering in fear at the blank page. I will write on. I will not criticise or lambast my writing. I will believe in it. And I will express that belief in my devotion and commitment to it. I will not let doubt gnaw at my resolve or disencouragement at my conviction. I am a writer and I will write first and foremost.

How about you? What are your New Year writing resolutions? Best of luck with them! 

~ Siobhán


  1. Go for it. Do not fear failure, fear not trying. If you want it bad enough you'll get it Siobhán ! And YOU ARE MORE than GOOD enough to succeed. Anyone tells youotherwise tell them I told them to go forth and multiply.

    1. Thank you Juliette! It's so great to get lovely encouragement from fellow bloggers :) LOL - I may just tell them that! Haha!

  2. I wish you every peace and writing success for 2012 Siobhan

    Feel the fear ans do it anyway

    Good luck x

    1. Thanks Ruby! You too. And yes, that is good advice - feel the fear and do it anyway, or - feck the fear and do it anyway!

  3. Wonderful goals and I have no doubt that you'll accomplish them. Keep aiming high!!


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