Sunday, January 8, 2023

2023 - January - Looking back, Looking Forward


I began this Writers Cheat Sheet Blog fifteen years ago. That's a lot of years, a lot of blog posts, and a helluva lot of words committed to the subject of writing well and telling a story well.

Fifteen years ago, writers were keen to learn the craft of telling good stories and writing using proven techniques for engaging the reader. They waited until they masters the techniques and devices of storytelling.

Not so since and the digital age of self-publishing-and-get-rich. The Internet abounds with quickie information on how to write the novel or short story, fiction or nonfiction, and be an author–and do it in thirty days or even ten weeks. Truth is, it takes years to achieve quality writing and quality storytelling because there is so much to learn about story, about characterizations, about plot.

Yes, templates and computer programs abound to make the story writing quick and simple. But writing is not simple. Telling a story that another person can see as a movie in their mind isn't easy— it's downright hard. 

Getting a story seen is ten times more difficult in today's ultra-flooded marketplace. It's still true now as back in 2007— it seems everyone thinks they can write The Great American Novel. And they write one and self-publish. 

I'm not down on the self-publishing, just on the glut of poor quality and draft reads that are out there. Over the holidays, I spent hours looking for a book to read and finding none I could read from beginning to end. Most I stopped after the first chapter. One I was 60% through when the plot went off on a tangent.

Of course, writing successful, marketable stories takes time and know-how. It requires a commitment to learn craft, to strive to write well and to strive to tell a story well. It's climbing the ladder one rung at a time. There are no swift elevators to the top or to success.

So, as the new year gets underway, it's that time of year to set down, in writing, the New Year's Resolutions. After all, as your desire is, so should be your deed. 

Why write down goals? Because writing the down, committing them to paper is a commitment to giving the writing priority. Writing down goals is one big step in making goals concrete. Writing down goals becomes a contract with the subconscious that shouts "I INTEND TO SUCCEED."

As you aspire to become the author you plan to become, what goals will you strive for that are realistic and achievable in 2023? 

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