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Friday Favorites – Resolutions, Writing, and Inspiration

Resolutions–

Since this is the first week of the new year, most bloggers have talked about resolutions. I’ve said lots of times that I’m not a resolution kind of person. I’m a goal setter, which is something I do throughout the year. So, in looking at the posts out there this week, I chose the ones that are the most realistic (I think):

Kristen Lamb writes about planning for success in the new year. These are resolutions I can get behind. I agree with the entire list, but of the items, #3 is the most difficult for me. I am a member of an RWA chapter and I attend meetings regularly. We are a critique chapter, so there is so much to learn, even when it’s not my stuff being critiqued. The hard part is finding critique partners who fit with you: you write at about the same pace and are at about the same place in the journey toward publication. I know people who are already published and are dealing with issues related to that and people who are somewhere behind me, like just finishing their first manuscript. Finding the right fit is hard.

Ginger Calem, who is a fitness trainer in addition to being a writer, is issuing a challenge to writers to become more fit. WritersButt will appear on her blog weekly with a plan to increase your exercise. I found this post late because I was behind (no pun intended) in reading this week, so I haven’t started, but plan to. For the first week, Ginger wants us to drink 100 oz of water a day and do 10 squats every time we go to the bathroom. That sounds easy enough. It’s not taking lots of time away from other stuff, so I might actually follow through.

Writing Advice–

E.J. Wesley talks about the 5 things we can do to become better writers in 2012. Not really resolutions, but things we should be doing anyway (like reading). For me, I think I’ve got these covered. I read a book per week on average, I’ve finished writing 5 1/2 books in the last 4 1/2 years (not all revised, but they’re written), I take at least 1-2 craft classes a year, and I haven’t given up despite the rejections I’ve received. The one I skipped over was to quit being hard on myself. I don’t walk around thinking that I suck as a writer (or I probably would’ve given up long ago), but I am hard on myself. It’s how I push myself to do all the other things on the list.

Jenny Crusie and her friend Krissie (Anne Stuart) have started a new blog called Re-inventing Fabulous. They both have some major life changes they’d like to make and are journaling on the blog for both accountability and support. Now, if you read Jenny Crusie’s books or her author blog, you know that she is a phenomenal writer. She could write her grocery list and I’d pay money to read it (she’s that good). Not only is she funny and great with words, but she’s so damn smart and educated that I always learn from her. This particular post is about not being able to write, as in being stuck, and how pushing harder isn’t necessarily the answer. She ends with:

image taken from Re-inventingfabulous.com

Something that a lot of writers do before they begin the first draft of a manuscript is create a playlist of songs that go with the book. I did it for the first time for my current WIP and I love it. Whenever I’ve been away from my book, I can play the songs and get right back into my characters. The problem for me is finding appropriate music. Although I love music and listen to it all the time, I don’t seek out new stuff. I’m the kind of person that can put on one radio station and never change it — like for years. When creating a playlist for a book, you don’t want to choose songs that have a personal connection for you (or you’ll be bringing up your own memories instead of focusing on the book) and you don’t want something that’s going to be overplayed when you’re not focusing on your book. Angela Peart did a great post on music that inspires her. I had a lot of fun listening to the different bands and songs. It gives me a place to start looking for new music when I need another playlist.

As writers, words are everything. We all have what is known as our “echo” words. Words that we overuse because they’re just part of our everyday vocabulary. (one of mine is just). Julie Glover did a fun post on words that should be banished because of overuse or misuse. Most of these are words or phrases that become popular and then become embedded in everything we read and see. It’s an interesting list. I don’t think I’m too guilty of those.

Just for Fun–

I wanted to include this link because the artwork is amazing (one of Julie’s overused words). I’m not an artist and I love seeing what some people can do with something that seems so simple – chalk. Myndi Shafer posted this on her blog and the art will take your breath away because it looks so real. It reminded me of the scene in Mary Poppins when Mary, Burt, and the children jump into the sidewalk painting.

How is the first week of the new year treating you? Are you following your goals/resolutions?

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