New Year inspiration for writers

pathAs we look down the open road of this new year we’re called upon to remember the good in our lives and to celebrate what we’ve done. How did your writing go in 2016? Did you make progress on your book, write a new short story, get published, take a writing class? Did you read an inspiring new book? Good memoir and fiction can stimulate new creative directions.

I am not a fan of new year’s resolutions—they’re too easy to make and too hard to keep. Instead, in the first week of every year I prefer to pull out my journal (which I keep on my computer) and write a list of my accomplishments in the year past and my goals for the coming year. I write down what I want to do to expand or improve, and then I begin to take steps in the right direction every day. There’s no heavy weight of RESOLUTION hanging over me, just an open door inviting me to step through it and walk down the path.

For all of us a new year presents possibilities. The new year is a marker that draws a line between then and now and lets us re-vision what has worked well for us and what could work better. We bid certain hardships good-bye and say hello to new ones as we continue to grow. We take stock of our achievements and set goals for more.

I recommend keeping a writing journal, a small notebook or computer file that is a focused place to stay in touch with your goals and accomplishments. Daily (or weekly, whichever works best for you), write down what you have accomplished in your writing. Maybe you revised an important scene in your memoir or wrote the first draft of a short memoir or short story. Be sure to include any relevant musings. When you least expect it your unconscious mind may give you an idea or a new insight to use in your writing. In the first week of the new year, read your journal entries for the last year. In your entries about your writing life you may find some new story ideas or be reminded of something you want to be sure to do this year.