At the beginning of the year, Lit Agent X put up a post of writing resolutions.
These were the resolutions she suggested and listed (I thought of excerpting her post, but then realized ALL her suggestions were so worthy and inspirational, I couldn’t excise any of them):
- No matter how many times you’ve revised your current novel, promise yourself you’ll at least write a short story or begin something new this year to keep your creativity sharp. Even if you don’t end up writing the full book, write yourself a synopsis. Or ten of them. Creativity thrives when you feed it.
- Promise yourself you’ll get some feedback. Join a writers group, send out ten queries, and get yourself a writing accountability partner. (You know, someone who will ask you, “How many pages did you write this week?”)
- Resolve to set aside time to read. For pleasure.
- Explore things that catch your fancy. Ever wondered about the history of the grandfather clock? Research it. Curious about a play opening in your town? Go see it. Read the script. Read it out loud. It will help you develop an ear for dialog. Is there an exhibit opening up in your local museum? Go take a look. Does a painting of a creepy old house inspire you to write a short story about the owner? Write it. Is there a concert downtown you’ve heard about? Attend and pay attention to every detail. Ever thought of taking a dance lesson? Go for it. While you’re walking your dog, take time to chat with other dog owners. Talk to strangers. Listen in on the confersation next to you in the coffee shop.
- Start a list this year of everything that delights you: Someone thanks you for changing their life and you didn’t realize you did. A compliment from a stranger. A delicious dinner. Your child bragging about you to her friends. Success at something you’ve worked on for a long time. Falling in love. Coming home. Taking a hot shower after being cold. Don’t forget to give your characters these moments. Keep this list in a file you can read at any time. If you’re having a bad day, and you read it, I guarantee you’ll feel better.
- People watch. Imagine lives for them. Imagine their dreams and their biggest obstacles. Give them fictitious names. Don’t use photos in magazines, use real people and take in their clothes, the way they move, the way they talk. Malls are good for this. So are parks. And really, any busy street corner in NYC. Take time to observe places and people. Watchers are better writers.
- Try to figure out what makes people tick, especially if this person happens to annoy you to pieces. Try to imagine what’s going on inside their heads and how they justify and rationalize their actions. The more you can empathize with people you disagree with, the better you’ll be at developing antagonists in your own writing.
- Finally, add a resolution yourself. Give us a writing goal or a writing tip, how getting out there and living fully gave you inspiration for your work. Did you find inspiration for setting while on a vacation? Share and enjoy.
She concludes by saying:
One of the best things about being a writer is that you can find inspiration everywhere, in good or bad times, in misfortune or happiness. Resolve to see every event in your life as a possibility for growth, not just as a human being, but as the better writer you are constantly becoming.
I hope this helps you as much as it’s helping me right now.