Happy New Year writers, readers, etc.!
The change in the year always holds a lot of significance to many people. Resolutions are made, goals are set, and habits are broken (or attempted to be broken). For me, the new year means a bunch of writing goals that may or may not be met.
Now, some tips and tricks from me to you, on how to start the new year off right - writer's edition! (I'll cover a lot of these in my next youtube video - so check it out for more details and information!)
1: How to get your writing started
One of the hardest things to writing, is getting started. I've spent countless hours staring at a blank page, whether it be the start of a story, or chapter. Personally, my novel ideas originally flow quite smoothly, but it's short stories that I have trouble with. Sometimes I just want to write, but I have no idea where to start.
My first go to is to take a walk, or sit outside. Pay attention to the world around you. It's often filled with things that will inspire you.
And remember, you don't have to have a crazy, unique, original idea. It can be anything. It can be mundane, insane, scary, boring, anything, as long as it's an idea.
My second go to is to look up writing prompts. First sentence writing prompts or prompt ideas are a great place to start! Sometimes all it takes is the right idea to kick start your writing!
My third go to is to pick up a book and READ. Reading is so important, especially for writers. There are a lot of times when I'm too busy to read because of school, or fall into a slump and simply don't feel like it. My biggest mistake - thinking writing was more important than reading. When I had free time I would write - and reading fell to a secondary hobby. Reading is one of the best ways to grow as a writer, I mean you get to learn from the best! People who have already been published and have successful writing careers!
2. Setting goals (realistic and unrealistic)
It's important to have goals! Now, I'm not one to talk because I don't always have a ton of writing goals, but usually I'm most productive when I do.
It's important to have realistic goals. Sitting down to write a novel in a day, for example, is not a realistic goal (unless you have crazy typing powers). Setting a goal to write a chapter a day, 10 pages a day, 5 pages a day, even three chapters a day (depending on the length of the chapter and how crazy you're feeling) is a realistic goal.
It's also important to have unrealistic goals. Set goals that you may not be able to achieve, but ones that will push you and give you something to work toward! The goal to finish a novel in a year, while somewhat realistic, is an unrealistic goal for many (including me). However, it's something that's important to keep my writing going. Go a little crazy, set some unrealistic goals, but understand that it's ok if you don't meet them. After all, they are unrealistic!
3. Challenging your inner writer
Writing what you know is fun, typically less stressful, and generally easier. I tend to write YA fiction, especially coming of age. That's what most of my writing is made up of, with the exception of my short stories, which come in all shapes and sizes. This year, I started writing a YA fantasy novel. This was a very big jump for me, and required going out of my comfort zone and navigating a whole new type of writing.
Exploring new types of writing and going out of your comfort zone is important to growth, and who knows, maybe you'll find something that clicks!
4. Reading books!
And... finally. Reading. Do not forget to read. I'll repeat.
Do. Not. Forget. To. Read.
Reading is everything. Not only is reading something special and inspirational, but it's also a great way to branch out and explore different writing styles. When I started writing fantasy, I started reading more fantasy books, which I'd shied away from for a while. I started paying more attention to the language, the descriptions, the dialogue, and it helped translate into my own writing.
Warning: Be careful not to steal ideas. It's easy to do if you're not paying attention!
I'll make a list of my favorite reads from 2021 if you need book ideas, but there are plenty of book accounts where teen readers give their recommendations and reviews! Go read!
That's all my tips and tricks for today! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2022. Go write!