Wednesday, January 9, 2013

YA Highway RTW: 2013 Goals

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic: What are your goals for the new year---for reading, writing, or other?

I touched on my some of goals for the year in my last post, but I wanted to talk about a personal goal for me as a writer.

I'm taking a creative writing course for the first time in about two years. Yeah I know I'm a junior and it's my minor, what's wrong with me? Anyway, when I got there on the first day I was really excited to be in a class with other writers my own age. And I was right, it was actually a lot of fun. But at the end of class my professor gave us a prompt and we had about seven minutes to write. I froze up. I had no idea what I was going to write. Everyone else was writing furiously while I was crossing out every few sentences and changing the story all together. By the end of the seven minutes I had two paragraphs of complete crap. I closed my notebook and didn't volunteer to read it to the class. When my classmates read their stories they were actually good for the seven minutes we had. I hate to say this but I felt a little inferior because I couldn't crank out a semi decent story in seven minutes. 

For 2013 my goal is not let this stuff bother me. I know my strengths and weaknesses as a writer. I can't write a story in seven minutes even if it's semi decent. I've always hated writing prompts in school and apparently that hasn't changed since college. When I get an idea it has to fester in my head for a while before  I finally write it down. That's just the way I've always been. My writing may not have as much imagery and detail in the first or second draft. It may have way too much dialogue and not enough action, but that's just the way I work. All of that stuff comes later once I have a clear idea of what I'm writing. Maybe by the end of the semester I will be able to write something semi decent in seven minutes. I know for sure that if this ever happens again I will not let my insecurities get in the way. Sure my stories won't be descriptive and with some deep emotional undertone and hidden meaning. I just need to stay true to myself and my style and I will be fine.

This translates to my personal writing. I can't let all of my fears and insecurities stop me from doing what I love to do. I keep seeing announcements for 2015 debuts already and I keep thinking to myself "That could be me. If only I'd finished blah blah." Well, 2013 is a year of change for me as a writer. I want to have two decent manuscripts by the end of the year. I want to at least begin to query in the later months as well. It will take be a lot of work on top of school, theatre and jobs. If I have the drive and determination I'm sure I can do it.

2013 is going to be an excellent year. I can just feel it. What are your goals for the year?

Happy Reading!


  1. And all the best to you, Leslie! May I make a suggestion? Try your professor's prompt on your own, for fun. Find a writing prompt (Google "writing prompts" and I'm sure you'll find a list), and give yourself seven minutes to write the first thing that comes into your head based on the prompt. This isn't to say you have to work this way all the time, but to give yourself a creative challenge, to stretch yourself, and maybe make yourself a little uncomfortable. It's just for you, so if you end up with a bunch of meaningless words, that's fine. Throw it away. But try it again another time. I honestly think things like this help us stay creatively sharp.

    Have a great 2013!

    1. I might try that to see if it helps me. Thanks.

  2. 2013 WILL be excellent! *high five*
    I agree with Colin. If you keep at it, on your own, you'll write amazing stories in 7 minutes, I'm sure!
    And think of this challenge as a motivator ;)
    Good luck!