by Scott Rhoades
I thought I'd be totally original and write a New Year's Day post about some goals for 2010. Honestly, I'm not big on resolutions because they often just set us up for failure, but I thought I'd list a few ideas that might help writers in the new year. I hope most of these are new ideas you might not have thought of. Feel free to pick and choose from this list and take any ideas you like, and modify them if you want.
* Act like a child for a little while every day. Be silly. Play with play dough (and I don't mean making fancy adult-like creations--enjoy the pure joy of making simple snakes and other shapes you loved as a kid). Sing a nonsense song. Color outside the lines. Play with toys. Read a picture book, not as a writer but as a child, soaking in the words and the pictures. Take some advice from Woody Guthrie, who said, "I don't want the kids to be grownup. I want to see the grown folks be kids."
* Make more time for writing.
* Keep track of all of the books you read this year. I've done it two of the last three years, and it's really fun to look back and see how I fed my mind.
* Create or improve your writing space. It doesn't have to be a room. It can be a corner, a desk, or a personalized desktop on your computer. Make it fun and comfortable so it helps you feel creative and makes it easier to get your work done
* Read the biography, autobiography, or journal of a favorite author, one that talks about the challenges the writer faced so you realize that even famous authors struggle to get their words down. Some of my favorites include Twain's autobiography, Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath journal, and a biography of Douglas Adams.
* Commit to reading a certain number of local authors and other writers from your extended writing circles. While you're at it, extend your writing community.
* Join a critique group, either a face-to-face group or an online group.
* Read this blog regularly.
* Make every day an adventure. Go somewhere you've never been. It doesn't have to be far away. It can be in your town. Do something you've never done. Listen to a different kind of music. Eat something weird or scary. Every new experience is an adventure, and every adventure can lead to a story.
* Pick an author and make a plan to read everything he or she ever wrote, then do it
* Most importantly, be healthy and happy.
And have a great year!