I made three writing resolutions this week which I’d like to share with you: 1/ To put 100% into my work every single day. To hold nothing back for another day or another book. To use it all, straight away.
One of my favourite writing quotations on the topic of putting everything into your writing every day is this gem from the American writer, Annie Dillard:
One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes. Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
She’s so right.
2/ To write scenes that I’m insanely proud of and am itching, yearning to read out loud to anyone who will listen.
While writing The Shoestring Club (out in February) I discovered two things – a/ that making myself cry while writing isn’t such a bad thing, it means I truly care about my characters, and if I care there’s a good chance that my readers might care too. And b/ that I can’t wait to read two particular Shoestring scenes out loud to an audience, really can’t wait. Luckily I’ve been invited to a literary festival in March to read, so I won’t have to wait much longer. I truly feel I’m learning more and more about writing and about connecting with readers with every single book. I’m not afraid of tackling big subjects or creating HUGE characters, in fact, I relish the challenge.
Speaking of which 3/ is to think elephant ENORMOUS for the next two books – a new series for children and a new stand alone novel for adults. I’ve blogged before about creating larger than life characters and it’s so important to make your characters memorable. I have two new books to create and I’m going to put my heart and soul into both of them. I have an Amy Green (age 10+) to finish and two books waiting to be edited and once that’s done, I’ll get cracking on the new ideas. I’ve already started filling two new notebooks with character and plot ideas (yellow paged legal pads naturally – if you’re a regular reader you’ll know I have a thing about them!) and I’ve started doing some research. More about developing a new book from initial idea to final manuscript later in the year.
So there you go, my three resolutions – do you have any writing resolutions?
Yours in writing,