By Tiffany Matthews
One of the things that resonated with me as a writer during the new year is a wish that one of my favorite authors shared:
It’s a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world.
So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave â let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them.
And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it’s joy we’re looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.
So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.
If you are familiar with this, then you know Iâm talking about Neil Gaimanâs New Yearâs wish. This is a wish that I feel resonates with every writer who is shaped by his or her experiences.
Bravery is a mantra that I think everyone should embrace this year, especially when we’ve been given a reprieve on doomsday last December. This is the year to make things happen and here are some resolutions that will help you achieve your writing goals.
Cruise, Drive, Fly
No matter how busy you are with writing, always set aside time for travel, to de-stress and unwind. Most writers, myself included, tend to be perfectionists and workaholics, which when combined can lead to being overworked and burned out. This is why taking a break every now and then is vital to keep your creative juices flowing.
Still not convinced? Perhaps this checklist can help shed light on why writers need to travel. Before you go on your adventure, keep in mind that travel is very unpredictable; therefore, itâs better to be prepared for the worst that could happen. Always take travel insurance with you as your backup plan.
Make a Booklist
You might wonder how a must-read list of books will help you achieve your writing goals. Author Stephen King in his book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, shares this valuable piece of advice to writers:
âIf you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.â
The importance of reading is reiterated throughout his book, which is woven with his often humorous insights on writing as a craft. He further states, âGood description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot.”
One Word at a Time
Getting published is one of writersâ dearest dreams, a dream that is riddled with hurdles like trying to survive daily life. Dreams donât come true overnight and the reality is you have to work to survive. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can just abandon your dream of becoming an author. It can still happen, if you make it happen.
Set aside time to write for yourself and not just for work. You might feel overwhelmed at the sheer volume of words needed to create your book, but itâs never really about the words. Itâs the story that youâre telling. Like what a friend of mine said when he paraphrased Lao Tzu’s famous quote, âThe journey of a thousand words begins with one word.â
Swallow your fear and try to be brave as you take it one word at a time. Take comfort in what Stephen King said:
âThe scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.â