Your writing resources for 2008: a reader question and offer

by Joanna on December 13, 2007

Photo by racatumba

At this time of year our thoughts naturally turn to goals and resolutions for the year ahead. And that might well include some writing goals and resolutions too - if you write as part of your work, are looking for more and better ways to write about your business, want to be more confident in the words that you use, have got a book in you (somewhere), or just know that 2008 is the year that you’re going to become a writer.

But just as important as the goals we set and resolutions we make are the resources at our disposal to make them happen. And although there might be some practical resources thrown in here - like a new laptop, a fountain pen or a moleskin to record your scribbles and thoughts - I’m thinking more about our inner resources that will get us writing.

You might think of it as a frame of mind, or a different way of looking at things. Perhaps you are used to thinking about the state you’re in, and ways you can manage your state to live life more deliberately. It’s the qualities that we know will help us to write, to live, the way that we want to. It’s some of the things that I describe as the ingredients of confident writing - not just the art and craft of writing but the essence of what goes into it: passion, spirit, intention.

I wrote a wish list of my own for a piece of writing at Joyful Jubilant Learning. Oddly enough, all I wanted for Christmas started with a “p”, including:

Persuasiveness: Maybe this sounds funny coming from a writing coach but I know I can take my writing further - for greater impact, power and persuasion.

Power: I talk about people realising the power of their own words. I need to realise mine too. To learn how to toot, sweetly - and not to be afraid of where that takes me.

Passion: It goes hand in hand with impact, power and persuasion. I see the fire-power in others, but I’m sometimes too hesitant or cautious to breathe it fully myself.

And then I thought it might be interesting to compile a list of the resources that help us to write. That will help you to write, and to achieve your writing goals. The good thing about this exercise is that we can’t do it without tapping into our inner knowledge of how we function best, of remembering the resources that will help us get where we want to be, and of starting to feel more resourceful. (In a nutshell - this is how coaching works.)

Which makes it a win-win. I learn more about the resources that help us to write. You start to tap into your own natural resources. We learn from each other’s perspectives. Oh and seeing as how it’s the holiday season I’m going to throw in a lucky dip draw* for readers who respond to this question:

What inner resources will help you achieve your writing goals in 2008?

How to take part:

  • Leave a comment in the box below, or blog about it and share the link
  • UPDATE: Or leave me a message on Twitter (Thanks Emma)
  • Short answers are fine - but let me not stop you if you want to compose a list, blog post, poem…
  • And yes I mean short, one word if you want (but please be nice!)
  • Names of contributors will be put into a hat
  • Lucky winner gets a choice of book from my Confident Writing Amazon store *
  • I’ll leave this open until midnight next Thursday (20th) December

If you’ve already started thinking about your writing goals and know that you want to work with a writing coach to help you achieve them - why not get in touch so we’re ready to roll come the start of January?

And if you know a regular supply of writing tips will help to keep you motivated, don’t forget to subscribe to the confident writing feed.

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count

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Resources for writers: your writing wish-list | Confident Writing
08.05.08 at 2:04 pm

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanne Dininni 12.13.07 at 10:23 pm

Joanna,

Would have nominated you for the Nice Matters Award, but you’ve already received it! Read about my wish to nominate you in this post: http://www.writersnotes.net/nice-matters-award-a-bloggers-gift/ .

Sincerely,
Jeanne

Brad Shorr 12.13.07 at 10:59 pm

Simplicity. Honesty. Clarity. Compassion.

Joanna Young 12.14.07 at 9:19 am

Jeanne, thank you. I read and enjoyed your post. Your award was well deserved. And thanks for seconding mine :-)

“Nice” and “niceness” are words that I guess most writers avoid because “nice” is overused and doesn’t tend to be specific enough. But there are times when that’s the only word to describe how someone is being, the value that we’re noticing.

And niceness can certainly help to power our writing - to write with humanity, kindness, rapport.

Joanna

Joanna Young 12.14.07 at 9:21 am

Brad, those are great words and most powerful qualities. I can hear them all in your writing.

Joanna

Mervi 12.14.07 at 12:07 pm

I do need to set some writing goals for the next year, both as a translator of others’ works and a writer.

Passion is something I also would like to work on more. Sometimes it’s just very hard to be passionate about somebody else’s writing.

Creativity. I can’t force myself to be more creative but I can try to give more time to my own writing.

Joanna Young 12.14.07 at 6:53 pm

Mervi, I know what you mean, it’s harder to get passionate about words and writing when it’s work we’re doing for other people.

I wouldn’t call it passion as such but I try and find the positive intention behind what I’m doing and focus on that instead - it might be learning new ideas, connecting with a different market, earning money to keep a roof over my head, or the freedom to work for myself - or maybe it’s just enjoyment at the art of your writing skill?

On creativity, nope, forcing yourself to be creative ain’t likely to work! But there are things you can do to allow your creativity to flow - as you say, making time for your own writing, or giving yourself the space for other kinds of creative pursuits.

I wish you all the best with your writing in 2008 anyway. Keep us posted as to how you get on :-)

Joanna

Jim Murdoch 12.14.07 at 10:59 pm

One of the big problems with resolutions is that people aim too high. There is a lot to be said for Five Year Plans. (I’ve just been listening to Prokofiev so I guess that’s where that came from). Every author wants success but overnight success is a pipe dream. What we want to achieve and what we expect to achieve are two different things. And when we look at what we actually manage to achieve … well.

Short-term goals are the way to go. They boost confidence for starters. If you have a history of small successes bigger ones don’t look so unattainable. You have to look at what you can control. You can control the present and it’s not unreasonable to think you’ll be able to control tomorrow and next week shouldn’t be that hard, should it? My plans pan out over the next six months. In three months I’ll start to think about the following six. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a pencil sketch of the next couple of years but a lot can happen in two years. The goal is still the same, success but these quarterly reassessments are course corrections, a degree this way, a couple of degrees that.

BTW Terry Heath has tagged me to do a meme so, if you don’t mind, I’m spreading some of the load your way. You can read the rules in my latest entry: http://jim-murdoch.blogspot.com/2007/12/random-facts-in-context.html

Oh, and my inner resource is: realisticness which may not be a real word but that didn’t stop 9,580 people using it on their websites.

Joanna Young 12.15.07 at 12:21 pm

Hi Jim, thanks for sharing your perspectives on long and short term goals. I’m not sure about soviet-style 5 year plans, but I like the idea of a big picture pencil sketch that we keep in view… alongside the smaller more attainable goals.

To be honest, I’m not much of a goal person myself, I’ve always found it more useful to focus on ways that I want to be rather than things that I want to make happen (often struggle to visualise them) - which is partly why I thought this might be an interesting question to ask. In case there were readers out there who thought like me at all :-)

Realisticness is a good addition to the mix - especially if it helps to stop the tendency so many of us have to beat ourselves up when things don’t work out the way we planned. And like you I feel that realisticness should be a word even though it isn’t.

Joanna

PS And thanks for the tag. I’m a bit backlogged with tags just now, but I quite like the random facts variations, so will try and write it next week

Blogtommy 12.16.07 at 6:07 pm

Thanks for the inspiration Joanna and for stopping by Onequartlow. I appreciate both and will be returning here lots. Probably because I require lots of “coaching”…LOL

T

Joanna Young 12.17.07 at 9:23 am

Hi Tommy, my pleasure. I’m not sure you need coaching, but I’m more than happy to bring new readers into the fold!

Joanna

Terry Heath 12.17.07 at 5:52 pm

Hi Joanna,

I’m glad you stopped by my blog, that visit led me to yours. If I could have any writer’s gift for Christmas, it would be honesty. Honesty in voice, style, and content. Honesty in the uniqueness of ideas.

But, I don’t believe in Santa Claus. I know if I really want that gift I’m going to have to go out and get it for myself; wishful thinking won’t deliver the goods, and I’m ready to do the work.

I know that is part of the message behind your wish list. Once we realize what we need, we can set out to get it. We just have to remember all the wishful thinking and letters to Santa aren’t going to get us what we really want for Christmas. And I don’t even think these gifts would fit under the Christmas tree.

Terry

Emma Bird 12.18.07 at 10:32 am

Joanna

I didn’t even realise you’d written this post when you asked about inner resources on Twitter.

If you want a better answer rather than an off-the-cuff one, let me know!

Emma

Joanna Young 12.18.07 at 11:02 am

Emma, your answer was great and will be included in my grand list of inner resources. I thought your Twitter reply was you being uber-modern!

Joanna

Joanna Young 12.18.07 at 11:05 am

Terry, I’m so glad you made it here - it made me rethink the value of tags as it was through the conduit of Jim’s piece that we made the connection:-)

I appreciate the thoughtfulness and honesty of your reply. And yes that is just what I meant - that once we realise what we need we can set out to get it. Or perhaps to remember that it was within us all along?

Joanna

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