Yes, dear writers everywhere, it’s the time of year when preachiness rules – when we’re told we should resolve to eat/drink less, to exercise more, be kinder and nobler, and to aspire to greater things. And, of course, to finish that novel – or at least get it off to a determined start.
There are at least a thousand New Year Resolutions for Writers listed on various websites and blogs. Take a look, think about how many you have made and failed to keep over the years (for that, sadly, is the nature of resolutions), and consider why it is that all these splendidly aspirational vows seem to exist to be broken.
It is partly, of course, because writers tend to have a strong streak of perversity. When confronted with a list of, say, Twenty Five Resolutions (that include ‘Write from the heart’, ‘Tell the truth’, ‘Try a new genre’, ‘Set deadlines’, and others even more obvious) the reaction – I know it’s mine – is to dig in the heels and refuse to comply. ‘Stop telling me what to do!’ is my knee-jerk if rather childish response.
So, here it is, my boiled-down-to-two-words advice for 2014 and beyond:
- Be tenacious – hang in there, whatever happens. Don’t give up.
- Be curious – wonder, speculate, explore. Never stop asking questions.
And if you’d like to hear/see me telling you the above, check out my new YouTube video: Author Shelley Weiner on Writing, Teaching, Curiosity, Tenacity. And if you’re bent on giving your fiction a New Year kick-off that will defy any inclination to relapse, why not sign up for the five day Faber Academy Fiction Booster from 27-31 January?