The New Year. The time to make resolutions that we a.) are unable to keep, or b.) have no intentions of keeping. We make such resolutions as “I’m going to lose twenty pounds this year” or—the one I am most guilty of making and never keeping—“I’m going to finish that (novel, screenplay, short story, poem).”
Last week, Rhonda Browning White mentioned the increasing reminders we receive to “Write Every Day!” as the New Year approaches. Most years, I tell myself I’m going to do that—write every day. Technically speaking, it never happens. I mentally write constantly, but I never seem to find the time to get it all down on paper. Life gets in the way.
This year, I’m making a different Writing Resolution. Instead of trying to write every day, I am resolving to learn about writing every day. (Well, maybe every other day.) Learning about writing could be as in-depth as reading a section of a writing-craft book or as simple as reading a book for pleasure and asking myself—in the words of a former classmate—Why does it work? Of course, Wednesdays are covered—all I have to do is read the latest Inspiration for Writers, Inc., blog!
That seems like a reasonable resolution to me. Since I’m always reading, it should be no problem to take a moment at the end of a chapter or a particularly moving scene to ask: What made it so good? Why was I moved? Why do I love or hate a character? What is it about the author’s style that makes her book easier to read or more interesting than another author’s? How can I learn from what this person is doing?
My New Year’s Writing Resolution is not to write every day, but to learn about writing every day. Not too hard, and definitely something I could do on a daily basis. Who wants to join me?