A question for all you writers out there: Where are you in the writing plans you made for the New Year?
Have you started writing that novel? Have you made notes or done an outline for that children’s book you always wanted to write? How is that poetry book progressing … written any new pieces for it?
If your plans are still just plans, why not get serious and really make some time for writing. No looking at Facebook, no answering email, no playing computer games — just writing. Getting started is sometimes hard, but in order to have a finished book, starting is your first move.
Here is one plan that may work for you: Get a working title. What will you call this story? Now decide who will be in this story. Yes, you can add characters as the story unfolds. Just make a list of the people in your story you will start with, and write a one-sentence description. Now you have a start.
I have a friend that has a readership of more than 100,000, and she has a unique outline system. She writes a short description of each chapter. Chapter 1: Harry and Sally meet accidentally in the lobby of the office building. Chapter 2: Harry likes her and decides to try to see her again, so he makes sure he is in that office building every day at the same time of their chance meeting. And so on.
This works for my friend and maybe it will for you too. However, nothing will happen if you don’t get a plan into action and start writing. So, how about now? Ready? Set? Go!
I found this list of good advice on the websites WritersCircle.com and WritersRelief.com:
- Ignore your inner critic.
- Write first, edit later.
- Keep learning. Join a writers’ group, take classes, attend a conference.
- Make time to write every day.
- Get published by sending out submissions, or decide to self-publish.
- Be you! No one writes quite like you do.
- Try something new: Experiment with a different genre.
- Have fun! Enjoy being a writer.
- Develop an author platform about and for your published book through social media, a website, book trailers, a blog.
- Set goals: “A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline,” says Harvey Mackay, author of “Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive” and several other books.
* * *
No matter how long you’ve lived on the Kitsap Peninsula, there is always something new to learn about it. “People of the North Kitsap Peninsula” is a book that the Hansville Historical Society published and it’s full of pictures and stories from every neighborhood and from longtime residents.
Just inside the front cover is a wonderful map of the area and the contents of the book are broken into sections like the one about Port Gamble S’Klallam with a map showing locations of the Tribes. Other sections feature the Point No Point Lighthouse, Eglon, Hansville, and their many neighborhoods like Driftwood Key, Cliffside, Shore Woods, Skunk Bay, Foulweather Bluff and Twin Spits. Several local and long-time residents like Red Denson, the Erickson family, and Hans Zachariasen have sections with tales and the history of exploring the area.
Members of the historical society interviewed and copied pictures from the people they talked to and, most important, collected stories about the region and the very interesting people here. An index in the back of this book will allow readers to look up places (like Easter Egg Lane and Norwegian Point), and people they want to know more about (like the Forbes family)
If you would like a copy of this book, contact the Hansville Community Center at www.hansville.org, and they will put you in touch with the right person.
— Donna Lee Anderson teaches writing and is the author of two novels and a reference book for writers. Contact her at email@example.com.