In this New Year, 2012, I would like to write. Obviously this proposition occurred to me in 2011, but I will fully realize it this year. What does this involve?
The first order of business is this blog. Its mere existence is credible, but I would like to take some direction now. To instill a sense of order on it. For this, I am using the writing aid, The 4 A.M. Breakthrough: Unconventional Writing Exercises that Transform Your Fiction which I received as a Christmas gift. A creative writing class I once took used the prequel, The 4 A.M. Epiphany, and I loved the exercises. They are numbered and categorized by the form of writing help they give (patterns, concepts, people, places, and things) and further divided into topics. I will not be giving the form or topic as I go because I want to try more fluidity than the exercises give leeway for. Every Sunday from here forward, I will write in the style of an exercise in the book. I will probably start in order and later begin to jump around. I am hoping that by providing a structure, a direction will reveal itself.
Part of writing is not always fiction. Therefore, I am going to focus on my grammar and editing skills. In 2011, I accepted a job at the English Language Center at Vanderbilt University as a writing consultant. I will meet with students and their writing samples, providing them with rules and corrections they can make themselves in the future. Although it does not involve me editing for them, it does give me a chance to teach something (and so I need to know the material). Teaching others is the best way to learn (thank you EdPsych). I have not made a decision about my feelings regarding this job, as it has some qualities of assimilation, a topic I'm not familiar enough with to judge one way or the other. I will decide based on my individual successes and failures within the consultations.
Lastly, as a form of assessment and reflection on the success of my resolution, I hope to participate in National Novel Writing Month (November) by writing a set of short stories (total of 50,000 words). The topics and organization will hopefully be prepared in advance through my writings on my blog. I have attempted NaNoWriMo once before and was not successful, so perhaps with a clear direction the second attempt will prosper.
People make New Years Resolutions about all types of things from exercising to being a better human being. I realize that for me, this is a huge undertaking, and it will help me in numerous ways as a result. I hope to be happier doing what I love, to increase my skills, to form a good body of work, to maintain my audience (if any), and to have a "break" from my daily grind once a week. Something for me, and hopefully, for all of you.
Happy New Year!