Writing Resolutions

I’ve not been traveling Europe recently, so I have no interesting tales to share about my adventures.  As we’ve just turned another year, I have been thinking about resolutions and setting writing goals.

I’ve just read Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, a classic in writing circles.  If you haven’t read it, perhaps you should.  In Bird by Bird, Lamott relates her writing journey and dispenses the lessons learned along the way with wit and humor. She offers plenty of valuable “how to” advice, but I found it particularly inspiring for the “why” of writing.

I admit to being a bit like the exasperating students in her class, who responded to her every nugget of wisdom with a question about getting published.  Isn’t that what this writer’s journey is all about?  Publication is the brass ring in this business.

Unfortunately, getting published via traditional channels is not guaranteed. Writing, like painting, is art and thus is subjective.  Publication also depends on the whims of the market, the tastes of an editor, and a good deal of luck.  Unfortunately, none of these things is within my control.  As I set my goals for the year, I plan to focus on things I can control.

In the final chapters of Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott lists several reasons for writing.  Among them is “finding your voice.”  She’s not just talking about style here.  By this, she means identifying what is important to you.  Your truth.  The “why” behind what you write.  Now that sounds like a worthy aim and one that I’d like to explore further.

So here are my goals for 2010: to hone my craft to the best of my ability, to consistently put my butt in the chair and write, to explore my voice, to express the vision that is mine and mine alone. 

What are your writing resolutions for the New Year?

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4 Responses to Writing Resolutions

  1. David G. says:

    Cheryl, these are excellent resolutions, and I like you especially need more chair time. We all do. I will also to resolve that I’ll read Ann Lamott’s book. sounds like a good and insightful read.

    By the way, last week I received a very passionate and strange comment about one of my earlier posts from a complete stranger. It seems to me that our (your – thank you) Blog is beginning to be read by others. That’s good. David.

  2. David G. says:

    Oh, and by the way again, the last time I checked Greece was part of Europe, so you HAVE been to Europe recently and you DID have interesting experiences that you indeed shared with us. And thanks for that. DG.

  3. Good for you Cheryl. By putting goals that are within your control, you set yourself up for success.

  4. Susan McClurg Berman says:

    Cheryl, “Bird By Bird” is my writing muse. I have a copy handy as I write. You may have noticed that my desk chair is covered in bird fabric, and birds hang from my ceiling. Of all the books I’ve read on writing, that one and Stephen King’s “On Writing” have been the most succinct and helpful to me. Thanks for blogging about Annie’s book – a good reminder to everyone to read, or re-read, it. Susan

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