Wednesday, 4 January 2017
IWSG: Are you ready?
Founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer's Support Group's purpose is to share and encourage. A place where writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.
Are you ready for the start of another new year? Did you wake up on January 1st motivated and ready to make this year the best ever? I did.
I've always avoided new year resolutions, because they tend to be negative in nature. I prefer to look back over the previous year and determine what went well, what didn't, and what changes I can make for the year ahead. For personal reasons, 2016 was a year when my writing was put on hold. I ended it knowing that if I didn't make writing a priority from day one of 2017, I might as well give up.We're four days into the year and I've made time every day to write or complete writing-related tasks. I even set the alarm for 6am this morning to write this post. Getting up that early didn't kill me!
To keep myself on track and motivated, I'm using a Self Journal. It's a great tool for planning and reflection, and writing by hand means the process feels more concrete and accountable. I still have doubts. Will I continue to make the commitment to write every day? What happens when real life gets in the way? I have to trust my determination to succeed, but I can also be inspired by the members of this group. If you can do it, so can I.
Now for January's IWSG question:
What writing rule do you wish you'd never heard?
When I first started writing, I had no clear direction. I spent a lot of time reading advice from authors and online writing sites. One thing came up multiple times - write what you know. The problem was I took it literally. What would a retail worker from Devon know about science fiction? About space? I didn't work for NASA or hold a doctorate in astrophysics. How could I even consider science fiction?
It took me awhile, but I learned two things. Firstly, I knew far more than I realised. I'd been reading and watching sci-fi since a young age. I'd read many books and watched countless programmes about space. And if there was something I didn't know, I could easily find the answer. Secondly, write what you know does not have to be taken literally. It can be more about your life experiences and how they influence the stories you craft. I've always been drawn to stories of survival, where characters struggle against seemingly insurmountable odds. No big surprise given I grew up in foster care. Every new home was a survival test. So, in a way, I do write what I know.
Is there a piece of writing advice you wish you'd never heard? Do you feel ready for 2017?