Writing Commandments

newyear

As with most New Year blog posts this one will be filled with self-reflection, promise to be better, and a gif or two using fireworks. Not to get too self-congratulatory, but I felt like I worked harder this year writing-wise. It’s slightly odd to think that I started off 2014 as an intern blogger and worked my way through several websites and into freelancing. Of course, I realized that blogging was best done (for me anyway) as something I loved, rather than a profession. So I turned back to writing fiction. This resulted in submitting a piece to an online journal, writing a fanfic for a Christmas gift, and even returning to a forgotten story idea. Someone last night asked me what my resolution for this year would be, and I replied (slightly rudely, I think) that I wasn’t going to make any. Possibly because I never keep them.

failed

The guy I was talking to seemed surprised. I guess because I give off the excited vibes of someone who would, but I pointed out that that my self right now wasn’t going to be the same person by the end of year. I didn’t want to put responsibilities or expectations on her, but I was more than willing to see what she would get up to.

My writing professor always told us this in the same way, “You’re never the same writer you were yesterday. You’re usually better.” I nodded along, even saying the phrase to myself when I went to re-write stories. I felt it most strongly when I undertook a hard editing job this year on a story two years in the making. It felt like my younger self and my current self were working to make this story successful.

swift

You’re always going to covet someone’s story or style or a line that they wrote, but reading that or even analyzing a line or a book you love are the building blocks of getting you to be a better writer. Every day you keep at it makes you a better writer, whether you know it or not. So rather than a resolution this year, here’s a commandment: thou shall write whatever.

And if you need more advice, good ol’ Henry Miller’s got your back.

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