All writers have a process that allows them to create. However, the art of "Writing" is often mistaken for that "Process." Hopefully this blog explains the difference, and inspires people to develop their crafts, become writers, or just keep on writing.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Will This Be THE Year?

Welcome back and a happy 2022 to all those who chose to return. To kick off this year, I thought it would be best to get into some of the things we need to do as writers (and as people) to make this THE year. I am not talking about making this a really good year - ever since 2019, we all have reconsidered just what qualifies as good. No, this could be the year where we get something done. Something big. Some thing that, as a writer, we can really hang our hat on.

Now, this is not a resolution thing. I am not a fan of resolutions, as it seems arbitrary to change one's life because the calendar flipped over. No, this is thinking about what we really want to accomplish as writers, and how we can take steps toward that goal. We don't even need to reach that goal by the end of the year, we just need to make progress toward it. Whether it's a big goal like writing the Great American Novel or just getting our butt into gear and writing more, this is a good time to think about what steps we need to take toward that end.

As long as our goal is writing-related, one of the things we should aim for is engaging with other writers, preferably on a regular basis. I am a strong advocate of attending local writing workshops, as it places us into a network of like-minded people who probably have their own goals as well. Some of the larger, two- and three-day workshops held in Iowa and so forth are good as well, but they provide a different type of energy. Local groups ideally provide steady, constant reinforcement that you are a writer and you are progressing toward your next milestone. This will keep you going through the tough times when writing feels like a job rather than a joy.

And while we are on the subject of "local," might I suggest local book stores? Yes, they still exist if you look for them, and they provide an excellent source of engagement with people who appreciate the written word. For me, there is something very moving about being surrounded by the written word, a wealth of stories wherever I look. To be a part of the grand legacy of the written story is sometimes enough to get me rushing to my keyboard. And, of course, buying a book helps too.

If the written word inspires you that way, you should get to know the people and events at your local library. In these days of online living, the library is a lost treasure. Other than a variety of social programs for public consumption, a trip to the library is a way to see the written word in action. Children's reading programs, people going through the available periodicals, and of course, all those books. How could this not inspire a person to move toward their goal? (Incidentally, my best library experience was seeing an absolute stranger pull my book off the shelf, skim the cover and the back, then go to the desk and check it out.)

Whatever your goal is to make 2022 THE year for you as a writer, make sure you give yourself every advantage possible. A big part of that will be doing whatever it takes to remind yourself that you are a writer, your journey is one worth taking, and the goal is achievable if you truly want it.

Happy New Year!        

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