2015 is coming to a close, and fast. We hope you are celebrating your writing successes: every word written, every story submitted, every poem revised, every novel outlined, every workshop taken, every connection made. And we're sure your New Year's resolutions include some writing goals, whether it be to spend more time on your writing, to finally send your work to literary journals, to finish NaNoWriMo next November, to attend a writers workshop or conference, or anything else. Remember that we here at Writespace are always there to help you achieve your goals and help you grow as a writer. And no matter how experienced you are, that growth never stops.
As motivation and inspiration, we've collected some writerly New Year's resolutions from writers right here in the Houston/Writespace community. Writespace is a diverse collection of seasoned pros with multiple published novels, aspiring writers who are just starting to share their work with peers and who are working on improving their craft, and everything in between. We hope that these resolutions will be a catalyst for your own, and that they'll show you that even experienced writers feel that they have room for improvement and goals to strive toward.
We hope all of you have a wonderful, productive, successful 2016!
"In 2015, I want to draft two novels and fully revise at least one of them so that it's ready for submission. I also want to write more short fiction--I'm setting a goal of six written, revised, and submitted stories by the end of the year. And finally, I want to get my act together and set up a Patreon."
Cassandra Rose Clarke, author, Writespace instructor
"- Use adverbs only when I positively, absolutely have to (whoops! I can see that one's gonna be hard to keep).
- Write at least one story with a happy ending. Unless, you know, I think of a better one that's heartbreaking.
- Write two, yes, TWO novels during 2016.
- Quit my day job and write full-time (although this may fit better in the 'wishful thinking' category).
- Learn and keep an open mind and continue to have fun and enjoy this wonderful community of writers."
D.L. Young, author, Writespace instructor
"I am adopting a toddler, so my New Year's resolution is to capture story ideas in my notebook when he naps. Hopefully he naps. If I can stay up past his bedtime, and think in complete sentences peppered with interesting verbs, my goal is to write, revise and submit five good flash fiction piece in 2016. If I can stay up."
Patricia Flaherty Pagan, author, Writespace instructor
"My 2016 writing resolution is to finish my novel that’s three years in the making. I spent NaNoWriMo pounding out the last 30k, but I know I’ve got my editing work cut out for me. I have a confession: I’m horrible at editing my own writing, despite working as a freelance editor. I despise my bad writing habits: Errant commas, useless adverbs, passive voice, overuse of the word “which”, and the inability to edit a piece until months later. I’d like to commit to banishing these in 2016, but the best I can hope for is to keep writing."
Holly Walrath, writer, Associate Director of Writespace
"2015 was the year I finally started submitting to literary journals and getting my work published. My resolution for 2016 is to hold on to the high of my successes, learn as much as I can from rejections, and use both to fuel the fire to keep me submitting and carving out more time to write.
I also want to challenge myself to leave my comfort zone: much of what I write and submit is flash fiction--there's just something about crafting tiny packets of prose that appeals to me. But for 2016, I want to branch out: on the one hand, I want to write longer stories, giving myself a bit more room to play with characters and plot; on the other, I've only recently understood that some of my very short fiction is actually much closer to prose poetry, and I want to embrace that and put some intentionality behind it."
Layla Al-Bedawi, writer, Events Coordinator at Writespace
"My 2016 writing resolutions can be summarized in one sentence: To commit stubbornly to my writing. That includes, and is not limited to, signing up for more workshops and conferences, and even dragging myself to them when I don’t feel like going. Also, to stop using the language barrier as an excuse to avoid writing in English and just face this new transition. I am determined to embark on more writing projects, to share my work with a broader audience (something I absolutely dread!) and at last, fully embrace my passion."
Patricia Ayala, writer, Writespace volunteer
"My resolution is to identify myself as a writer, and believe it. All too often I feel like a poser because I don’t work on pieces I intend to publish or submit regularly. I think because I don’t write in this style every day, I feel like a fake; when actually, I make it a point to journal daily. This is still writing. This makes me a writer. Aside from the obvious goals to submit more, write more work that I can submit, and get paid for my writing, my writing resolution is to believe that I am a writer."
Morgan Cronin, writer, Writespace volunteer
"Before I founded Writespace I wrote an average of one hundred hours per month. Now I average 5 hours per month. This plummet in my writing time has hurt. While I am honored to get to create an organization that assists others in fulfilling their writing dreams, my mind, my heart, and my hands miss my stories. And sometimes after my editing appointments, I feel like a hypocrite: how can I advise writers when I am not writing? At other times, I’m proud of my sacrifice: after reading Writespace’s workshop evaluations, I think, look at how much good I’m doing, look at how much joy I’m bringing others. Only one who has founded a non-profit can imagine the immensity of the financial and organizational challenges involved, and while I am proud of what we have created—more proud than I am of anything I have accomplished, I still ache to write. Thus, my New Year’s Resolution is to cut away at least five hours per week from the daily insanity—5 hours per week is far from my old average of twenty-five hours per week, but it’s good start to reclaiming my writerly self, while leaving plenty of room for the noble endeavor of Writespace to consume my time and attention, as it should."
Elizabeth White-Olsen, writer, Founder and Director of Writespace
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS SPECIAL: Until Midnight, CT, on December 31st, 2015, take 10% off all registration fees with code NEWYEAR2016. Happy writing!