I have a day left to join the link-up for Beautiful People, hosted by Paper Fury and Further Up and Further In. Last month they had questions for writers on their resolutions for the new year! Considering I’m taking a very different approach to my writing this year than I did last year, I thought I’d join in and attempt to pin down my thoughts for 2016 and my fictional writing!
What were your writing achievements last year?
They were nothing that I originally wanted, at least in terms of “finishing first drafts and publishing”, but I still broke a wall last year that I’m happy a bout
I wrote completely for myself last summer. I was hit by a strange form of inspiration, for the continuation for an old saga that’d I’d been stuck on for years. After being scared of following that character route due its nontraditional elements, I decided to challenge myself to break the walls in my head and write completely for myself. I didn’t tell anyone but my sister about it, for the entire summer, and wrote completely for me.
Honestly, it was the best thing to happen to me as a writer last year…learning to write for myself. I wrote like I was mad (I felt mad too,) and I got to know my longtime favorite characters like I never had been able to, just by being experimental and brave! So, I consider that the best achievement of 2015 when it comes to my writing.
Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?
I have decided to do something different this year and not make any one book a top priority project. I did that last year and when I realized I needed to do something different, I almost felt guilty for changing my goal. I want to avoid that feeling this year. I’d like to give myself a more open path. I want to follow my heart and the words in my head without feeling the need to “reach a goal.” For one year, we’ll see how that works.
List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.
I have actually only 1 area I want to work on this year, and its to stop stopping at the “boundaries” in my mind. Basically, to grow on what I learned last year. I learned last year that experimenting for myself leads to amazing breakthroughs, so this year I want to stop holding back on things I want to write. Especially when it’s completely personal anyway. I want to give myself permission to freely express what I need and thinkig in my fictional writing. I hope to bring that into what I blog as well!
Are you participating in any writing challenges?
Noooooo, sadly. I’d love to think I could start writing every single day, but I won’t even pretend that I could give that an honest go right now. 😄 But since I took this past NaNoWriMo off, I would love to do it this year for sure! Every other year seems to work best for me when it comes to NaNoWriMo. 😄
What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?
While I let my best friend and my sister read things when they can before I publish them, I currently don’t have anything else set up at the moment. I don’t have anything in particular that I need beta readers for, since I’m focusing on a lot of short stories at the moment. 😄 But…then again. I always need help with those too. I over think my wording too much. 😄
Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?
Last year I bought several writing books cheap and I’d love to put a dent in them! I would like to read the book “Writer with a Day Job” and really use my copies of “The Pocket Muse” and it’s sequel (excellent books for inspiration!) “The Little Red Writing Book” is slim, looks extremely promising and should be easy to read as well!
Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?
If I had to get to know a character better this year, it would be my villain-turned-anti-hero, Kyle. I created Kyle when I was fourteen and for years he’s remained the bland, two-dimensional baddie whom I didn’t understand personally or know how to use properly. But last year when I got to know my lead hero better, I also realized that as Kyle’s role expanded, I began to understand why he felt the way he did. After seven years, we finally began to click.
So, if I had to get to know one character better this year, it would be him. He’s the angry, grieving, screaming sound in my head that’s slowly mellowing and releasing and changing when I reflect on him. I want to get to know him even better!
Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?
Oh no, I can’t make any serious promises for that this year, like I did last year. I’m going to just write and follow my gut this year. 😄
Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?
I desperately wish there were more books that followed a guy and girl friendship that didn’t have any real romantic tension or didn’t develop into romance. I’m determined to write stories like this myself. It just would be refreshing! Also you then completely bypass all those annoying love triangles. 😄
What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?
I hope to have achieved a stronger sense of freedom in my writing, to be less terrified of exploring my own consciousness and writing inspirations. Right now, I think the most I want to ask of myself is to become a better writer than the writer that I am in this moment. Continuing self-improvement, at my pace and in my way, will be all that I’ll demand of myself this year.
And quite honestly, that's a tall order all on its own anyway.
Are you a writer? What are your goals for the year? Did you accomplish something you’re proud of in 2015, whether in blogging or novel-writing?