Twenty-twenty-one stretches out before us. Some of us are excited by all the possibilities. Others … not so much. We get tired just thinking about the next twelve months. It’s possible that the majority of us vacillate between the two. Some days we’re optimistic and energized. Other days we want to pull the covers over our head and go back to sleep.
When we’re too tired to even contemplate the journey, the best thing to do is take the next step, do the next right thing. (You may recognize that as a song title from Frozen 2 or a book title, Emily P. Freeman’s The Next Right Thing.)
How does that apply to writing and writing-related endeavours?
Don’t know what to write in your journal? I refer to journaling as “rambling until I stumble upon truth.” It’s okay just to jabber on in your journal. It can be very cathartic to do so.
Do you want to start (or re-start) a blog? Make a list of topics that interest you. Choose the one that inspires you the most and write a post. You may never make it visible to the public, but it’s a start.
Are you in the midst of writing a book? Focus on the next chapter … or maybe, the next page.
Are you hoping to write a book? If you create outlines before beginning, just start with a single character sketch or list of topics you want to cover in the book. More of a pantser? Sit down at your keyboard or with pen and paper and just start writing. Send your inner editor on a vacation. Give yourself permission to write poorly.
Are you revising a manuscript? Focus on one or two areas of weakness and zero in on them. As Tiffany Yates Martin says in Intuitive Editing, “start with the Bleeders.” Don’t revise from Chapter 1 through the end of the book. Tend to the biggest trouble areas first.
Do you want to shore up areas of weakness in your writing? Grab a skills development book off your shelf that you’ve been wanting to read or listen to a podcast. There are so many great writing-related podcasts available! (I enjoy Write Now with Sarah Rhea Werner, The Creative Penn with Joanna Penn, and Fiction Writing Made Easy with Savannah Gilbo, as well as several others.)
Looking for a traditional publishing deal? Choose just one agent or editor you want to approach. Investigate the process of submitting to him or her. Following the guidelines. Then, pitch to that agent or editor.
Would you like to indie publish your book? Read a book on the subject that has been written in the last few years. List to podcast episodes by authors who are doing well in the indie space. Joanna Penn’s The Creative Penn (mentioned above) and Mark Dawson and James Blatch’s Self-Publishing Show include a plethora of useful information. Of course, there are several others as well. You can do a Google search for “best podcasts for indie authors,” “best Christian podcasts for self-publishing,” etc.
What next step are you going to take on your journey today?