Spring Resolutions for Writers

Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Spring officially began last Saturday - somewhere around 2:10 p.m. - but it's possible that winter or the dreary doldrums still interfere with your productivity levels.

In my "neck of the woods" in the Nebraska Sandhills, the sun didn't shine for three months, and snow filled ditches and roadways since December 5. Finally, it's beginning to disappear and we've had two days of sun and warm temperatures.

During that time, though, the gloom and doom of grey skies cut my productivity. Did I meet all the New Year's resolutions I established? Most of them, but it's time to evaluate the goals.

It's not too late to set new goals, especially since spring just sprung a few days ago. Use these ideas to get your writing back on track:
  1. Begin a new project. Use the season as a springboard and kick off a new project. You'll feel an extra dose of satisfaction once you reach your goal. I plan to finish making PDF files of all my clips and have pertinent clips on my new website by June 1. This correlates with my second point.
  2. Devise a list of wants and priorities. Include items from your lists in your daily writing routine. Want to investigate a new subject? Schedule the time and use it wisely. Need to complete the revisions in your memoir? Add revision time to your calendar. I've written my lists and am scheduling my priorities and wishes around the days I'm scheduled to substitute teach. Writing has to be a priority or it will remain an idle notion.
  3. Increase "light" time. Since the weather is warming up, why not spend some of your writing time outside. The change of scenery, coupled with increased light (read that as a boost of Vitamin D), definitely will change your mood and attitude. One rainy days, turn on the lights instead of working in the semi-darkness. Watch productivity soar! I create rough drafts while I work in the yard. Scenes or articles play out in my mind and once inside, I head for the computer. I plan to spend one hour a day outside and outline new material while I'm drinking in the sunshine.
  4. Leave the office. A change in routine not only provides a break from the daily grind, but getting out of the office or your usual writing zone can stir emotions and generate new ideas. I'm schedule to substitute teach two to three days a week until the end of the school year, so the chance of developing new ideas is high. I plan to carry my notebook, camera, and digital voice recorder to capture important snippets. At school, something fascinating is bound to capture my attention!
  5. Rearrange your writing space. Spring cleaning starts with your writing space. Rearrange furniture, if possible. Don't forget to organize your computer files, too. A fresh start will rejuvenate your mind and your commitment to writing. I've already started my spring office cleaning. Once I've organized the clutter and ditched the unnecessaries, I plan to rearrange my writing zone.
  6. Seek inspiration. Read from other writers and remember what attracted you to writing. Hearing about how others struggle with the same frustrations makes the writing process that much easier. I use a writer's calendar and read the quote of the day first thing in the morning. It's my daily affirmation of why I write and why I can't imagine a life without sharing the written word.

Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. It's not too late to recommit to the dusty resolutions you set nearly four months ago. Your writing - and your attitude - will thank you.

by LuAnn Schindler

Follow LuAnn on Twitter - @luannschindler or visit her website http://luannschindler.com.


Kristine Asselin said...

I always feel like the world is full of possibilities this time of year. The fact that it was 70 degrees last weekend helped too (I'm in New England, so it was pretty wonderful). Shrugging off the winter coats, and stepping into capri pants and open toed shoes. How can I not be productive?
I love the idea of writing outside. I'm sure that would help me!

Hannah said...

Thank you for this. I do love a checklist!

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