Saturday, December 13, 2014

Back To Basics

In recent posts I've talked a lot about some of my less than encouraging experiences in the writing world, and I've talked about how social media burnout has pretty much killed my ability to write in recent months.

But there are good and savory parts to the writing world too, and I love how blessed I am to be an author. It's humbling to even have readers, and I wouldn't trade that for anything - so in the last few weeks I've been trying to think of ways to downplay the bad points while still keeping the good points good. I've also hinted at some plans I'm making for 2015, plans that will hopefully get my writing back on track and get me moving again in the direction that I (and my readers) want to go. And that's what I'll be talking about in this post.

I wish I could find it again, but a few weeks ago I saw this awesome photo someone had uploaded to Facebook with their goals for 2015 written on it, and I loved it. I was sure I had saved it, but it seems to be gone. Anyway, this whole thought process really began with that photo, because one of the goals mentioned on the graphic was to back up and take more time to just be. Another one said something about getting back to the basics of writing, and that one really got me thinking.

What are the basics, really? Writing, in its simplest form, really is basic. You just sit down, and you have a blank space, and you fill it with words. And then, if you're an author, you'll read them, rearrange them, throw them out, write different words, and repeat three or four hundred times until you like the arrangement of the words you've finally settled on. After that, you swallow your pride and you pretend you aren't afraid, and you show those words to someone you trust, asking them to "check it out" and let you know "if it's good." Once you get some feedback, you read and proofread some more, edit some things, add and remove some other things, and then you think you might be ready to show the world. So you find or design a cover, you read and polish the writing yet another time (or twenty), and then you send your precious words out into the world, hoping that someone else will love them the way you do.

It's a process, one that opens up your heart and soul so that other people can look inside.

For me, that's almost the whole of my "writing goals" for 2015. I want 2015 to be about writing, and I want it to be about the readers who love my writing - and all of my "little" goals add up in some way to that one major focus. I really do want to get back to what I think of as the basics, the things that make writing a way of life for me - the things that make writing a part of my life that I simply can't live without.

And we'll see how that goes.

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