A new year is coming, and with it new resolutions. While most might be personal, let us as writers make some professional resolutions. There are plenty of ways all of us can be better writers, but let’s not be happy with small steps when grand accomplishments are possible.
Let us all decide that in the new year, we will all dedicate ourselves to accomplishing that which is the single most difficult thing for us to do as Creative Writers. And what is that one thing? You tell me.
There are plenty of challenges that always face writers. There is not just one thing that is the hardest thing for us to accomplish. Our obstacles are as individual as our talents. We all know where we fall short, where we can improve, but we also know what for us specifically the most difficult thing for us to do is.
Possibly one of these things is for you the most difficult thing to accomplish.
- Finish your novel – For my first novel it took me three years to finish a first draft. My second took about a year, but I had wicked writer’s block for almost five months. I never gave up, and neither should you.
- Polish you novel – writing is rewriting. Once I learned this, I did not dread the editing process as much. Take advantage of writer’s groups and editors. Family does not count, unless a family member teaches Creative Writing in college. These friends help.
- Start a blog – I never had a desire to blog, often seeing it as necessary evil even after I began. But I learned a couple of things. First, it’s fun. Second, it cannot be about name recognition. Blogging must be about the reader or it is in vain.
- Write every day – There are great writers who still struggle with this one. And to be honest, this is my dragon for me to slay. There are always excuses, but never good reasons. In the end, our excuses are our own.
- Learn how to market and promote your writing – I labored under the Field of Dreams-esque delusion of ‘If I write it, they will buy’. I overtly rejected a personal study of this field, but once I got into it, I loved it. Now I feel as if it is my favorite field of study for the writing life. A couple of my favorites are my excellent friends at Duolit and Firepole Marketing.
- Build an online platform – Before I began blogging, I refused to have a Twitter account. Now I do, and wonder how I could have lived without it. You can follow me at @NealAbbott and I’ll follow you. I have also just started a Google+ account. There are great resources out there, such as the websites of Nick Thacker and Stacey Myers. Maybe the biggest thing I have come to know is that my online presence must be about how I can help other writers, not push my products.
- Enter writing contests – I say this having not entered a contest in years, but it is one of my resolutions. You can’t win them all, but any placement is something to crow about.
- Attend a Writer’s Conference – Like with the last item, my last Writer’s Conference was in 2004, and like the last item, it is on the definite list of things to do next year. There is much to learn and many relationships to explore with other writers, some of the best people to have as friends.
- Be published in 2013 – Okay, this is the big enchilada, isn’t it? It could be a novel or a short story. It could be with one of the Big 6 or a well done Indie piece. Either way, get something published in 2013. I have at least 4 items and up to 7 that I want to publish next year, and I will make sure you are aware of every one of them!
These may be some areas where you need work, and maybe, somewhere in this list, you see the thing you know to be the most difficult thing for you to do as a writer. I’ll bet that upon closer examination it seems harder than it really is. It may be difficult to do, but it will always be impossible if you never begin. Start and see what happens. Maybe it’ll work itself out. Perchance you may find the resources you need, either online or elsewhere. Just do it, and it’ll get done, by God’s goodness in giving you the ability and the desire, and by your hard work and dedication.
What is the most difficult thing for you to do as a Creative Writer? Is it in this post? Let me know of your challenges in the Comment section below, and we may be able to work together.