January 5, 2017

Light Up 2017 and Write Your Way to Success

By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine 

Happy 2017 to one and all. Every year, I pick a few words to think about in the New Year. This year, after seeing my friend's toddler playing in the Christmas tree lights, I picked the words, "light up." I want to have the joy this toddler has in just the simplicity of playing with lights. I want to "Light Up" my writing by finishing my work in progress. 

Have you made a writing plan?  Notice I didn't say resolution. I said plan. I feel resolutions are too easily broken, so instead I'd like you to consider making a writing plan. If you participated in the NaNoWri in November, you know just how effective a writing plan can be. You can go to their website to get insight in creating a writing plan that can work for you.

Perhaps you need to inspect your lights. Author and painter, Henry Miller, in 1932 created a work plan and a list of “Commandments." His list may help you develop your writing plan. The "Commandments" are found published in the book, Henry Miller on Writing (Kindle). 

"Work on one thing at a time until finished.

Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.

Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!

When you can’t create you can work.

Keep human! See people, go places.

Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.

Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.

Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.

Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards."

These are timely "Commandments" for the distractions that today's technology and social media can bring. However, if you develop a writing plan and follow these "Commandments" by Christmas of 2017 you can have the joy of this toddler with your own published book under the Christmas tree. 

Will you join me and "Light Up" your writing in 2017 so you can have joy by the end of the year?

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