Being a Better Writer: Forward!

Today’s post is going to be a little different. Aside from being late (I was asleep for a good chunk of the day). It’s also going to be a bit less about the act of writing and the gritty details of writing and character development (we’ve got plenty of posts on those already, and plenty more to come) and more on the mentality of it.

Naturally, of course, it also involves this New Year. 2018 here at last. And I have good hopes for it. As should you.

Which is really what this short post is all about: 2018, high hopes, and looking forward.

You know, it’s funny. As often as we may write characters that “have hope,” or write stories where hope is a foundation of what keeps the main characters going, sometimes it’s truly easy to slip a little away from that hope ourselves. When we’re working on a story with a truly staggering narrative weight, it sometimes feel like every bit of that weight is bearing down around our shoulders.

Which is fair. From one perspective, it really is. The whole story is on us. At least, until the editors get it. And the readers.

Which—and again, this is short and sweet—is something we shouldn’t forget. Yes, that story we’re working on now may seem like it is an all-consuming beast in our lives.

But sometimes, rather than looking at the path under our feet and thinking about the weight on our back bearing us down toward it, we need to turn our eyes to the peak we want to reach and keep our gaze there. Away from each plodding step our feet make. Away from the dust and grime. We need to focus on the destination and the scenery around us … not the steady, relentless tread of our feet on the dusty path.

As metaphors go, I don’t think that was too bad. We need to keep our eyes forward. When a book flounders (in sales or in writing), don’t forget the end-goal. Whatever that goal is. Just keep your eyes on it, work your way forward.

After all, it’s a new year. Whatever goal you had in mind? As long as you keep working towards it, it’ll be that much closer tomorrow. Keep your eyes on the goal. Keep stepping forward.

It’s a new year. Let’s all leave a lot of footprints behind us.

Happy New Year!

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