Welcome to 2009!
Image by ilmungo via Flickr
One of the profound ironies about writing a site about being a productive, efficient writer is that the better I am at what I write about, the less time I have to write about it. The last couple of months I’ve been getting more work than ever, even while I struggled to deal with a difficult semester (my day job is teaching anthropology and gender studies to college students) and an even more difficult break-up and move.
My guest writers helped a lot – Aaron Peters, Kelly Kilpatrick, and Stephanie Stiavetti stepped in to take some of the load off as I got moved and then buried under end-of-the-semester grading, and I’m immensely grateful to them all. It’s been fun having guest writers on the site, and I’m definitely up for more.
The Writer’s Technology Companion has changed quite a bit since I started it. When I launched the site last March, I thought I would be primarily reviewing software and writing how-tos. Those kind of posts have been common on the site, of course, but I find that the ones I enjoy writing the most are the ones about being a more productive writer, and so that will be a bigger focus in the year to come. These posts take quite a bit longer to write, especially since – as anyone who follows my work at Lifehack will have seen – I’m struggling mightily with the notion of “productivity” and how to integrate efficiency, meaning, and passion in our lives. But I think it’s a worthwhile pursuit, even if it means slightly longer gaps between posts here.
To help fill some of those gaps, I’m going to try to do regular posts bringing together some of the best posts around the Internet on writing. I come across tons of great stuff out there, and it’s time I start sharing with my readers. Now, as a general rule, I hate link posts, so my promise to you is that I’ll never post just a set of links; I’ll always make an effort to bring some kind of value to the material I’m linking to, so that even if you never click a link, you’ll walk away with something useful.
Since goals and resolutions are on everyone’s mind as we move into the new year, I thought I’d start by sharing with you some of the great posts I’ve come across on that theme.
Better Resolutions for Writers
No-Fail Freelance Resolutions: How To Succeed in 2009: Jenny Cromie offers some great advice for setting writing goals for the new year. Especially welcome is her emphasis on spending some time to know yourself as a writer – check your commitment level and learn what motivates you now, so you’re ready when the writing flags and just about anything else seems preferable to working towards your goals.
“He shoots…he scores!” (or, writing goals): Jane of Seven angels, four kids, one family offers a crucial piece of advice to writers setting goals for 2009: focus on things you actually have control over. You can write the greatest work ever and the most stunning queries of all time, but in the end you cannot control whether your book gets published. “Get book published” might be setting yourself up to fail; “Submit manuscript/proposal to one publisher or agent every month this year” is something you can make sure happens.
Writing Goals and New Year’s Resolutions Tips for Writers: Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen offers her take on writers’ resolutions for the new year. with a special emphasis on financial goals. Writers often ignore finances (which makes us especially easy to take advantage of, unfortunately) – if you want to make writing your life’s work, though, you’ve got to take the money side seriously.
Stress Relief for Writers: Four Ways to Achieve Your Writing Goals: Angela Booth tells writers to relax – and provides some strategies for doing so. Though many writers seem to thrive on chaos and deadlines, the reality is that our minds think and work best when they’re at peace. Clear your mind and let the ideas flow!
47 Ways Copyblogger Can Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions: Although this is primarily a “sneeze post” for Copyblogger (a “sneeze post” is a post written primarily to direct you to other work in the site’s archive – it’s a good traffic generating tool, but typically not especially exciting content), Sonia Simone provides lots of good advice for writers in between the links to other Copyblogger posts. And, to be honest, you can do a lot worse for yourself than to spend some time with Copyblogger’s usually excellent writing posts.
Top 10 Resolutions for Writers: A simple, to-the-point overview of the ten resolutions that should top a writer’s list of resolutions.
Ten health hazards for writers: Writing seems like a pretty safe work option, compared to say driving the ice roads of the Arctic or doing humanitarian relief work in a warzone, but it’s not without its own particular on-the-job hazards. Tumblemoose Writing Productions offers tips for avoiding 10 health risks that can stop your writing in its tracks. Don’t fall short of your goals because you’re too sick or injured to write!
And don’t forget my own post, How to Set SMART Writing Goals, which isn’t about resolutions per se but which has plenty to say about setting goals that work.