To a happy new year of writing

By Midge Raymond,

  Filed under: On Writing, The Writing Life, Writing prompts

It’s not a secret that many of us writers have had a hard time being creative during the troubling times of the past few years.

And, as I was preparing this post, I realized I have not even glanced at my List of Works since 2019. Granted, 2019 was the last “normal” year before the pandemic changed the world, so I could use this as a handy excuse — but not forever. Even though the world remains changed and the pandemic remains with us, we writers have to get back to our writing, if we haven’t already.

And the good news? Many of us have. In looking at my List of Works, I realized that while I haven’t been tracking my projects, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. Updating my list of works has reminded me that though I haven’t felt very creative, I’ve actually been making some creative progress: I’ve been working on three separate book projects (which now, finally, appear in my List of Works), and I’ve somehow managed to publish three short stories during the pandemic.

And this is why I highly recommend keeping a List of Works (learn the how and why in this post), which I began doing a dozen years ago. Having a list like this reminds us writers of the ways in which we are moving forward (even when we think we aren’t).

So, while the past two years have apparently been too distracting to attend to my List of Works, I’m finally getting back on track. (Maybe this means 2022 will be different, and better!) But at the very least, it will remind me that even if I can’t control what goes on in the world, I can control my own tiny piece of it — and being creative is the best way to move forward with optimism during such crazy times.

I cannot recommend a List of Works — or whatever your organizational strategy may be — enough. Even if you’re not an organizer or a list-maker, give it a try. And even if you ignore your list for years at a time, that’s okay — it’s always fun to pick up where you left off, whether you learn you’ve been writing more than you think you have, or whether it helps you realize it’s time to get back to it already.

However you may decide to track your work, don’t neglect to set writing goals and to check in with yourself (or a writing buddy) to keep track of how you’re going.

And for a few inspirational writing tips, check out this wonderful advice from a few successful and prolific Ashland Creek Press authors.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, hopeful new year of writing!

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