2013: The Year to Try Something New (Or Not)

As writers, I think we're especially susceptible to a certain kind of, erm, let's call it Resolution Craze.

SO MANY GOALS MUST NOM THEM ALL NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM

Maybe you're just choosing from the usual platter of nommy options: You want to finish your manuscript, or you want to draft that perfect query, or you want to get rep'd by your dream agent, or you want to sell your book, or you want to sell more books, etc. etc. etc.

But maybe you also have a certain goal in the very back of your mind, where it's hanging out in the cobwebs in fear of being wasted on a New Year's Resolution that you're certain you'll probably forget about by February. Maybe you want to try something new.

A drastically new writing style, or a new genre, or an age group outside of YA, or a mixture of the three, whatever. Goals like this are sort of scary, because sometimes they don't mean continuing to climb up the ladder you've already worked so hard to inch up on--sometimes they mean getting on a new ladder entirely.

That's scary shiz. When you've been working toward something for so long, suddenly awakening with a new and very different goal can be pretty jarring. But if it's of any comfort to you, maybe climbing the new ladder won't be so difficult since your muscles are already toned from the other one.

(Does one even need toned muscles to climb a ladder? This metaphor is getting away from me. WHATEVER YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.)

Sometimes, things happen in the writing world that make you feel like you're starting at square one. Either your agent leaves the business, or the topic of the book you've been working on for ages suddenly becomes A Thing and all of the sudden you realize that you'll never finish it in time before the trend passes, or the genre you thought was the one for you suddenly doesn't seem as shiny as that awesome-but-scarily-challenging one over there.

Should you dabble? Are the risks worth it?

As far as writing goes, you'll be pleased to know that there really is no such thing as square one. Well, there absolutely is, but once you've moved on from it, you'll never have to go back, no matter how dire your current writing situation seems.

Every sentence you've ever written is positive progress, whether they were good or bad (in fact, almost especially if they were bad.) Every blog post you've read to agree or disagree with, every eyeroll-worthy Twitter interaction, every orphan chapter that ended up in permanent lock down, every "failed" attempt at making your book what you originally wanted. All of it helps you move forward if you choose to let it, and all of it can and will make you a better writer.

Whatever your writing goals are, all of us at YA Highway are cheering for you. The fireworks and champagne and funny hats will come and go, but let's not kid ourselves: you're still going to be you. And whether you think you can or can't achieve whatever crazy goal you have in mind, you're right.

What are your writerly New Year's resolutions? Are you going to be hopping ladders this year, or continuing the climb up your current one? Maybe you just want to burn the whole freaking ladder down, regardless. Either way....HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!





5 comments:

  1. Same ladder for this girl...just higher. Totally agree about never really back at square one. It reminds me of lectures I've attended regarding second language learners. What are you're foundations and/or skills in the primary language? Those are like the ice berg under the water that helps you master the new skill. If your foundations are not yet well developed, then there is a bigger learning curve.

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  2. I have a post of goals! I'm trying to make sure I write goals of things I can do, rather than expect. It is a challenge!

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  3. Lots of writing challenges to keep me going. ^^ 100k in 100 days and NaNo. Can't wait to get started! And I'm sticking to my horror ideas as well. Not dabbling just yet. These ideas are desperate for attention first.

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  4. My first resolution is to finish revising my current MS and then query it. After that, I have an new idea I've been toying around with that would involve me writing from a male POV, which I've never done before.

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