I’m reading (well, listening to the audiobook of) Neil Gaiman’s collection of non-fiction The View From The Cheap Seats and it’s packed with excellent writerly thoughts.
I love this (from his Newbery Award Acceptance speech in 2009):
‘Sometimes fiction is a way of coping with the poison of the world in a way that lets us survive it. ‘
That sums up the power of reading fiction so well (there’s a reason he earns the big bucks!).
Also, I found this quote super-inspiring and I wanted to share it:
So, if you’re struggling with your story or feeling as if the hard work isn’t worth it or feeling silly for ‘wasting your time’ making stuff up, remember this: Someone out there needs the story you are writing.
As I may have mentioned before, I adore setting goals. I also love reading about other people’s goals and find them inspiring and motivating. It really helps me to know that I’m not the only person who plans and strives in this way.
Although I feel a bit silly writing this post (who on earth cares about my plans for this year?!) I am going to do it anyway as it will make me more accountable (to you lovely folk!) and, hopefully, help me to stay on track during 2016.
Please feel free to join in and share your own goals in the comments. I’d love to hear them!
For as long as I can remember I have made some version of this goal in January, but this year I wish to improve on good writing habits developed over the last couple of years and to push my own personal boundaries.
For example, I’ve been saying that a good writing day (for me) is 1000 words. Well, that may be true, but I have never really tested it. Not really. And I do know that I’ve written far more than that when heading towards a deadline… So, this year I’m challenging myself to write more on a regular basis. I would like to make 1500 words the new ‘normal day’ and to reach 2000 words on a regular basis. Since this is my full time job, that really should be possible!
Last year, I wrote a novella and did rewrites of In The Light of What We See (out this April from Lake Union), started a follow-up novel and wrote a messy first draft of an urban fantasy/supernatural thing.
This year I want to finish the supernatural book and get it ready for submission.
Finish my WIP (working title: Beneath The Water).
Write the first draft of a completely new novel.
In other words, by December 2016, I want two completed novels and one brand new first draft.
Keep on learning:
I am as obsessed as ever with books about productivity, writing and creative business and I plan to continue reading and learning.
I am also going to take an online course or two. I am booked on an ‘introduction to screenwriting’ course in February and I’m looking at other options/subjects.
However, I do want to make sure that I take time to refill the creative well this year with lots of reading, watching great TV and films, and with travel/new experiences/visiting art galleries and museums. Basically the stuff that feels like bunking off but is essential to keeping the ideas coming (as well as maintaining sanity).
I’ve made an excellent start by binge-watching all of Jessica Jones on Netflix and reading several novels over the Christmas holiday – hurrah!
Celebrate the successes (every day wins as well as ‘big news’ items) and, as Miranda Dickinson so brilliantly put it in this episode of the podcast, keep on finding the fun in my writing.
I will continue to release a new podcast at the start of every month. I’ve got some great guests lined up and I’m super-excited about speaking to them!
I want to further develop the Worried Writer site and add lots of new (hopefully helpful) content. My goal is to add a new article every week (at least) and maybe add some video, too.
Write The Worried Writer book and publish it. A guide to overcoming fear, self-doubt and procrastination which will include my (extensive!) personal experience as well as the best tips and advice gleaned from the podcast interviews.
Go to a ‘real life’ conference, workshop, blogger meet-up or writing festival. I would love to meet some more of the lovely writing community in person and I think 2016 is the year!
Send regular newsletters from both my author site (www.sarah-painter.com) and The Worried Writer, create more subscriber-only freebies and run some giveaways.