Welcome to a new feature here at “No Credentials Necessary.” I am hoping this becomes a place to share various aspects of the writing, creative and publishing life. My plan is to muse on a specific topic and that all of you will do the same at your respective blogs and then link here in the comments section.
New Year Writing Intention
I like to focus on a specific intention for the new year then create mini goals that move toward that intention. This year my focus word is “Action.” I was already thinking of choosing this word when I came across this two things:
“I will act now. I will act now. I will act now. Henceforth, I will repeat these words each hour, each day, everyday, until the words become as much a habit as my breathing, and the action which follows becomes as instinctive as the blinking of my eyelids. With these words I can condition my mind to perform every action necessary for my success. I will act now. I will repeat these words again and again and again. I will walk where failures fear to walk. I will work when failures seek rest. I will act now for now is all I have. Tomorrow is the day reserved for the labor of the lazy. I am not lazy. Tomorrow is the day when the failure will succeed. I am not a failure. I will act now. Success will not wait. If I delay, success will become wed to another and lost to me forever. This is the time. This is the place. I am the person.” – Og Mandino
I found it (or it found me) at this lovely blog. I created a vision board where this quote is prominent and I can read it daily.
Then I stumbled across this article. I love what she says here: “…whatever a person did with thoughtful consistency for the first 32 days of the year set the course for the entire year.”
To keep myself in action with thoughtful consistency I am using what Sark calls micro-movements. It is based on the Japanese philosophy of kaizen which can be used in creativity coaching. I’ve read about it but never really believed that such miniscule actions could make any kind of difference. Then I tried it. i often start my new year intention in December to get some momentum behind me to propel me into the new year. i told myself that I only needed to work for five minutes on a story. Five minutes. that’s all that was required of me. But it has to be daily. It is kind of like working out. If you tell yourself you only have to do it for say ten minutes, chances are pretty good that you’ll go longer because A. you’re all suited up for it and B. those endorphins kick in. The same has happened for me with writing. Some days I only wrote for five minutes because I had to just squeeze it in but those days were actually incredibly useful. Both times I did a freewrite. One was on “What I don’t know about this story yet” and another was just a stream of consciousness from the POV of the character. Both made it into the story because they revealed something I didn’t know and wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t shown up for even just a mere five minutes. Most days though the five minutes turned into much longer. More time = more writing. But more words on the page isn’t the only benefit. Showing up to a story each day also keeps the story alive in my mind. I am scribbling more notes to myself as things occur to me throughout the day. As Walter Mosley says: “… the rest of the day will be rife with motive moments in your unconsciousness; moments in your mind. which is mulling over the places your words have touched.”
I am interested in what your creative/writing goals/intentions are for the year. Do you make them? If so, how do you plan on keeping them? If not, why not? What kind of year do your envision for your writing life? Please post a link in the comments section.
Wishing you all a creative, productive writing year!