It’s resolution time, isn’t it?
So, as 2015 officially kicks off and everyone starts blogging about their writing/non-writing resolutions, I have (naturally) decided to chime in. I mean, why not? Right?
Except, this time, my resolutions are going to come in pieces because that’s how they hit me. I’m not a lister when it comes to things like this. Ideas of things to adapt or change in my life hit me in spurts (a lot like my writing) so, to sit and try to draft a list is not only a waste of my time, but not going to end well.
Instead, and as part of my resolution to blog almost daily (I’ll stick to being realistic and aim for 2-3 times a week and be ecstatic for more), I’m going to lay my resolutions out to the world — my fans, my supporters, my writing buddies, my critics, my neighbors, and random stumblers on the web — to hold me accountable.
Big Brother a la writing, ya know?
It’s going to be a bit weird, as I’ve always had this mindset of blogging something polished, never something raw. I’ve always wanted to put something out there in the blogosphere that was well hashed and thorough. By enacting my first resolution…
#1 – Blog naked about something writing related at least twice a week
Keeping it PG here, the naked refers to a state of writing, not undress. This blog is, and will remain, a smut-free zone (while my bookshelf/kindle shall not). What I mean by blog naked is that I’ll be forced to put more stream-of-conscience blog posts up because of this deadline/requirement. You know… raw, naked thoughts? Thoughts like…
What am I writing today?
What am I not writing because I’m stuck?
What am I doing for marketing? PR? Editing?
Why is mint tea my go-to at night for fantasy, but green tea my go-to for romance? (Okay, I probably won’t go that random, but I’m throwing that out there just in case.)
For a perfectionist like me, and for someone who prides myself on always wanting to do what I can to help guide others, it’s going to be hard. I like to package up my mistakes in a tidy bow and go, “Look what I learned!” But, starting from now on, you’re going to get tangled in the bow with me. Who knows… maybe it will lead to better explorations and growths for all parties involved.
And, because this blog doesn’t follow resolution #1 if I don’t throw something writing related in here, here’s my second resolution of 2015…
#2 – I will walk away and stay away
So, yes, this can not be writing related, but since I tend to already do this quite well in day-to-day life (took a lot of practice, let me tell you!) for me, this applies strictly to my writing.
I’m a bit OCD.
I’m a bit neurotic.
I’m a bit all-or-nothing.
Truthfully, I think most writers are, too. That’s what makes us awesome and what not.
Anyhow… compulsive perfectionism aside, I have to force myself to walk away and stay away from my completed works for at least than 48 hours. I know that most writers, even when new to the game, get down to the details of “Holy crap, what do I do now that I’m done?” They’re told to let the draft sit.
No one specifies time, of course, because we all work differently. But, I know from my experiences, at least 48 hours is the bare minimum. Ideally, it’s a week… or two.
Yes, that’s long and it’s freaking hard!
You’ve spent hours, days, weeks slaving away and now to just shut it in a drawer? It’s painful! And yes, I actually shove the printed manuscript in a drawer.
But, it’s necessary. The revisions I make at least 48 hours later versus hot off the printer shelf are remarkable. Complete “Daayyyyum!” remarkable level.
I’m no scientist, but if I turn on my logical non-crazy writer brain for a minute, it just makes sense. When you stare at something for so long, day in and day out, it all blurs. Things muddle. The end goal isn’t as clear.
It’s sort of like why humans have to sleep. We need energy to move on with the next day. We need to reset. Same with the writer part of your brain — it (most definitely) needs to reset after completing a manuscript.
So? Put it the #$@! away and keep it away.
Come back later, it will still be there — and you’ll have a fresh set of eyes and fully charged editing mindset to tackle it, too. And, so… that’s my second 2015 resolution: to walk away and stay away.
At least, until the purple editing pen needs to come out and play…
As for my other resolutions?
Stay tuned. They’re coming… as they come to me, I’ll be sure to share them with you. Who knows, maybe they’ll inspire/help you (even if it’s just to incite a giggle)!
And then, what about you?
What are your writing resolutions?