Writing Resolutions

January 15, 2010

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?