Happy New Year writers!!!
So glad 2018 is over and now to focus on the year ahead. Here’s to 2019! If you have been on social media, you may have seen other writers post about their resolutions. Some common writing resolutions that you may have come across are things like getting an agent, getting published, and hitting a certain word count every day. These are all wonderful resolutions, but declaring a resolution is just the first step. As you all most assuredly know, writing and publishing take a lot of work and there are many different avenues to pursue when it comes to writing and publishing. Each writer and each manuscript are all different and may require different approaches to attaining your ultimate goal or resolution. This is why it is vital to break down your resolutions into steps. Now is the time to treat your writing like the main character arc of the three-part hero’s journey in a work of fiction:
- What do you want?
- What is stopping you from getting what you want?
- How do you overcome the obstacle to get what you want?
STEP 1: WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Think of that GIF that has flooded social media pages with Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling in the scene from The Notebook where they are facing each other and Ryan keeps repeating “What do you want?”. Rachel is shaking her head and answers, “It’s not that simple.” This is such a perfect example of our internal struggles as writers because there are so many factors that can get in the way of our ultimate goal of publication. However, this is the first and most important step in order to attain your resolution. You need to break free from doubt, expectations, and thoughts about what you think you can achieve and put your goals out there for what you want to achieve.
STEP 2: WHAT IS STOPPING YOU?
Life happens and when it does, it can cause bumps and delays in your writing and publication plans. There are day or night jobs that must be worked, there are families that need to be taken care of, and for some of us, like myself, we are battling health problems that make adhering to a writing schedule nearly impossible. Sometimes this can cause a cramp in our creativity and it can be hard to find the time to write, which can lead to writer’s block and even more stress. This is completely understandable, but do not let it stop you. Focus on what you have control over and adjust accordingly. Remember that delays do not mean a dead stop. Keep going after your goals!
STEP 3: HOW DO YOU GET WHAT YOU WANT?
As I mentioned in Step 2, focus on what you have control over. Think about how you work best. Do you need to write every day? Do you need to have a weekend to write? Do you have a critique partner or group? Do you want to take a class or webinar? Think about what you (not what you see other writers doing or talking about on social media) need to do to make you feel like you can accomplish your goals then go do it! I believe in you and now you need to believe in yourself. After all, that’s how the hero’s journey works. You got this!
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