Advent for Writers

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Advent is more than the season before Christmas. It is a time of preparation. This post is my challenge to the Muffin community to shape December into your own Writing Advent. Use December as a time to prepare for writing in 2021.  

Step #1. Acknowledge what you wanted to accomplish in 2020. 

We all had goals for 2020. Mine included: cataloguing my social media accounts; updating them to create a look/brand; approaching an agent/month; finishing a draft of my cozy; finishing a draft of my graphic novel; and working on my memoir. What were yours? 

Step #2. Let go of what you didn’t get done. 

I know I’m not the only writer who found this year challenging. Time and time again in the last month, I’ve heard comments from my fellow writers: I failed to get my site up; I didn’t do the writing I wanted to do this year; and I have been completely unable to write. Me? I took stock of my social media, created a brand look which didn’t work, recreated it, recreated it again, put together a new site, and finished a draft of my cozy. The rest? Pfft. 

Unfortunately it is easy for us to become attached to what we didn’t do. We think of it again and again when what we need to do is let it go! 

Recently a friend taught me a meditation to help with this. Sit quietly. Light a candle if that helps. Breathe in to a count of four. Then breathe out to a count of four. As you breathe out, picture one of these concerns. Let it go and watch it drift away like a falling leaf. Inhale. Let another one go. 

Do this every day for a week if that’s what you need to do. When you’ve quit holding fast to your failures, move on to Step #3. 

Step #3. Write for fun. 

Play with something you don’t intend to sell. This is when I write poetry. Or meditations. Write up a memory. Write something that plays with the sounds of words – picture book writing and poetry are both fun for this. Me? I just drafted a new picture book on Monday. 

Do whatever you need to do to have fun with your writing.  

Step #4. Consider what you really want to write. 

When you’ve let go of the baggage of 2020 and rediscovered the fun, it is time to contemplate what you really want to write. Why did you get into writing? Is it what you’re doing now? If not, do you need to reevaluate what you write? 

Many people feel more than a little used and abused by 2020. Use 2020 as a time to pivot. Come away from this year with a notion of what you really want to be writing. After all, if not now, when? 


Sue Bradford Edwards' is the author of over 27 books for young readers.  To find out more about her writing, visit her site and blog, One Writer's Journey.

Sue is also the instructor for  Research: Prepping to Write Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins December 7, 2020) and Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins December 7, 2020). 


Jeanine DeHoney said...

Sue these are wonderful tips to jumpstart your goals for 2021. Thank-you.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Sue--I left a comment, but I guess I screwed up somehow.

Yes, we need to "let it go" when it comes to what we have not accomplished during the year. It's almost over. There's no use beating ourselves up over what did not happen in 2020. Let it go... and keep moving forward.

Great advice, as usual.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Hi Jeanine,
Thank you!

Hi Sioux,
Hmm. A comment that didn't post as planned? Maybe it is just playing off the 2020 theme. But yes, there does come a time that we have to lighten the load by letting go of negatives.

Can't wait to see what 2021 has in store for all of us!


Cathy C. Hall said...

Sue, I love this so much for so many reasons, but mostly because it's exactly what I needed to read today.

I thought I was going to get my cozy written this year but that didn't happen. I've THOUGHT about it, though, and that counts for something, right? :-)

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

I don't know about you, but things come together more quickly after I've spun the story in my mind. So congratulations on all that thinking! Because it was always the helpful kind, right? ;)

But we all need permission to forgive ourselves IMO.

Renee Roberson said...

I think I definitely got a little overzealous when planning my writing projects for the year so I'm trying not to feel too badly since I also write as my day job. We all need a break every now and then! I like your idea of writing something for fun. I do that with my true crime blog posts that aren't related to the podcast and my gratitude journal practice I started last year. That helps keep me centered on the important things, no matter how small.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

I'm glad journaling serves this purpose for you. With a journal, I'm always at risk to feel obligated and soon it feels like a chore. No clue why but that's how they work for me.

Renee Roberson said...

I've tried different types of journals and the one I have right now has three lines for "things I'm grateful for" and then the rest of the page says, "Currently I'm . . ." so I can jot down some things on my mind. They are meant to fit on one or two lines only. If I have anything that looks more open-ended, I fail miserably!

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top