Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Writing Resolutions

Resolution is defined as: a decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner. However this is not the word’s only definition. Resolution also means finding a solution to a problem, to resolve. My problem was writer’s block and instead of making its disappearance a goal for the upcoming year, I searched for a solution immediately. Often we find ourselves penning resolutions that we don’t abide by. If on December 31st you haven’t delved into the mode of your weight loss commitment, what makes you think you’ll be different a few hours later? If you haven’t even attempted that cleaning regimen you planned, what difference does tomorrow make?

Each year I make affirmations to DO or TRY. Change externally and internally takes time, it’s a process. I’m resolving to be evolutionary this year, not confined to a list (beginning Dec. 31st) but open to a metamorphosis that blooms within the new decade. Around the beginning of October 2010, I began a regimen that I hoped would fuel my writing and banish writer’s block:

Writers sometimes forget how much their “spark” and reading go hand-in-hand. Fellow writers call and tweet to say: “The last time I wrote anything was months ago.” Or “I just can’t find the inspiration to write right now.” When I ask them what’s the last thing they read, I usually get a school-assigned response or an “I don’t remember.” Right now, in my bedside table, there are almost ten library books (some overdue ;-/) from different genres.

I’ve got a short attention span, so I like to rotate numerous texts at a time until I’m done with them all. Edwidge, Cornell, hooks, and Walker rise with me in the mornings. We have key-conversations, about politics and love, which unlock worlds of metaphor all before latte-hour. I know so many writers who treat reading like a burden. Wear that “burden” heavy, it might just press your pen to the page.

A friend of mine told me about a 50-book challenge. I read about two books a week and probably way more than fifty a year, but I’m going to give the challenge a twist. I’ll read specific authors and books that will motivate the type/style of writing I’m trying to accomplish this year. You should too.

I find that my mind is most clear in the morning. It’s not until after I’ve had breakfast and started my routine that the worries begin to flood. I now start my writing period when the rays of light first touch my sheets through the window. Perhaps your mind is most uncluttered during your lunch break or at night when you’ve settled down. Choose your pleasure.

I almost lost the art of the pen. I’d become so obsessed with the hustle, bustle and convenience of the keyboard, that my lined pages were neglected. I now grab a journal and Pentel RSVP and pledge to write at least 1000 words in it.

I have a new mantra: “Perfectionists are procrastinators.” It’s plastered on my wall. YES, it’s that serious. I’ve got loads of unedited manuscripts sitting on my shelves. Why? Because, I felt they weren’t “good enough” or by the time I finished them, my writing style was different/better. That may be true, but how will I ever know their power if I don’t allow anyone to read or criticize them? I’ve started sending query letters/manuscripts to publishers/contests and I’m awaiting response. I am more afraid of never knowing than I am of rejection.

I’ve found a few solutions to my “problem.” I’ve brought these 2010 ideals into 2011 to help with my evolutionary metamorphosis. (Wow, that was a mouthful.) I look forward into venturing into the posts and prose of writers who’ve resolved to revolutionize their writing process this year as well. Let’s get to it!

What are YOUR writing resolutions?



dparrish2003 said...

You hit home with this one! Thanks for puttin me on blast! I will do better. PS dope journal(the one with the wave)!

T. ODIS said...

Very good ideas!!!! I'm definitely putting a few into practice (the book one and A.M. writing in particular).

Mine include:
Studying writers/performers i admire
Using seldom-used literary devices more often
Recruiting honest critics
Looking at my previous poems
Staying true to myself yet relevant to those i speak to
Writing about topics that i never have
Stepping outside of my confort zone
Staying around ppl who are working towards similar goals

@SeanTheRobot said...

You're so pretty...

riva. said...

Awwwwww, thank you Sean. ;)

@Daniel I WAS calling you out! Get it done! & thanks. ;)

@Terry Awesome list! I'm gonna steal some of yours too. Especially that last one lol.

EDOKA said...

Your work is amazing.

riva. said...

@EDOKA Thank you love! I look forward to reading yours. ;)