Starting The Newest Yearby Laurie Schnebly Campbell
Every new year means new opportunities, but that doesn’t mean THIS January we’re required to start doing yoga and losing five pounds and overcoming any writing hiccups.
We could do that in April or October just as well. For that matter, we could do it today. So what’s the big deal about a new year?
Ask anyone who’s made some significant life change — getting married, choosing a new job, deciding to publish a novel — if they were inspired by a new page on the calendar, and chances are good they’ll say no.
Even so, most of us like the idea of making SOME kind of change as a new year begins. And for writers, it makes sense that the change is frequently related to what or why or how we write.
What do you write?
Do you still love it? Have you tried other kinds of writing? What would happen if you did? How did you choose what sort of writer you wanted to become?
Why do you write? What got you started? What does it DO for you — aside from making you elated and making you frustrated, depending on how the story’s doing? Why are you writing instead of, say, fly-fishing?
(For anybody who explains that it’s because their favorite fly-fishing stream is covered with ice in the winter, that’s a perfectly good explanation!)
Finally, how do you write?
Aside from being a plotter or pantser, do you have rituals? A love or a fear of deadlines? A preference for plot or character, setting or action, description or dialogue, process or product? A particular place or time you like to think up plot twists, interview characters, get your outline or paragraphs down on the page?
Some of what you’re doing right now, some of what you’ve been doing ever since you began writing, works beautifully for you.
Some of it, maybe not so much.
Which is where we get into the idea of New Year, New You.
If there’s anything you especially love about your writing, or if there’s anything that bothers you about your writing, here’s a good time & place to look at that.
The past seven times I’ve taught this class, last-day messages have ranged from “it’s such a relief to discover I’m not the only one who works that way” to “I never realized how much I needed this change” to “finally, I’ve discovered what I was missing!”
Everyone’s reaction is different. Some writers are inspired to switch genres. Some might decide to take up fly-fishing (although no one’s reported that yet). Others report a breakthrough, like those who’ve mentioned this class in their first-book acknowledgments.
If you have any questions on whether “New Year New You” can help with some issue in your writing life, let me know here or privately at Book Laurie Gmail Com — you can figure out where to email, right? — and I promise I’ll give you a straight answer.
Meanwhile, whether or not you use the upcoming new year to inspire any kind of changes in your life, here’s hoping you love the results!
OCCRWA’s January Online Class, “New Year, New You” begins January 5th. For more information and to sign up, visit the OCCRWA website.