New Year’s resolutions: Most are compounded in a surfeit of sparkly-eyed impulsiveness brought on by a combination of alcohol and hubris. What results from unattainable goal-setting is soul-sucking emptiness accompanied by a “why bother?” attitude. And, if you’re a writer, a few ill-chosen goals can completely derail you–heart, soul, and ambition. None of us wants to chase words around the page to end up with an unsellable article or unworkable storyline.
So forget resolutions for 2017. Instead, determine what to write. It’s not even a goal, really. It’s more of a quest–a bit of inner research to help organize the numinous threads of creative genius lurking beneath your surface.
Because it’s there, I promise. If you’ve got a passion for writing, that creative vortex is in there, churning with ideas for stories the rest of us can’t even begin to imagine. You only need to coax it out.
So let 2017 be the year you decide what to write. Do you have the makings of a non-fiction writer? Then choose your niche. Will you write about travel, finance, hearing loss, Komodo dragons, or how to get an automobile loan? What topics fire your passions? What subjects make you want to Google search until your fingertips bleed?
Feeling fictional? What’s your genre? Are you ready for romance or do you fancy a bit of post-apocalyptic drama? Some of you lean toward the cerebral buzz of a technological thriller while others feel more at home in worlds of swords and sorcery. Which are you?
Discovering what to write is as easy as getting a cup of coffee or tea (tot of whiskey optional) or other beverage of choice and spending a nice afternoon with your feet up thinking about it. Don’t stress. Don’t force it. Just daydream and write down the thoughts that float into the periphery of your mind.
You’re not searching for a specific idea, although one may come to you. Instead, you’re searching for the word to place on the blank line: I write ________________.
Books for children under 8?
How-to articles on woodworking?
The crucial part of the formula is to be true to yourself. Don’t force yourself to write a certain type of article or story because you think it makes money. Good writing can make money. Stilted writing, even in a “money-making” genre or topic, makes none. So, if erotica is not your thing, do us all a favor and stick to a subject that is, even if it happens to be “steampunk vampire medical romances.” You’ll find your tribe, your niche, your avid readers, no matter how broad or narrow your genre. Same thing goes for you non-fiction writers. If writing about industrial laser diodes makes you want to poke yourself in the eye with a fork, then leave off and find something that will stimulate you to excel at your craft.
So, what kind of writer will you be in 2017? I can’t wait to find out!