CLIMB THAT MOUNTAIN IN 2020
CLIMB THAT MOUNTAIN IN 2020!
December 30, 2019
People occasionally ask why I have a banner with a photograph of mountains on my website and on my personal Facebook page. Am I a mountain-climber? No. But there’s something about that picture that symbolizes for me the challenge of writing.
After all, we authors know what it’s like to look up at a goal that seems unrealistically far away and wonder if we’re up to the task. We share the doubts and fears climbers have when taking on a major quest. Am I willing to push myself beyond my shortcomings? Suppose I don’t have the talent to succeed? I’m not sure I can make it to the top. What if I fail? With so many things in common, maybe we can learn something from the way our mountaineering friends prepare to start their adventure.
So, what do you think? Ready for a literary workout in 2020? You don’t even have to buy an expensive plane ticket and travel to the other side of the world. Just grab your laptop and join the expedition.
- Decide which mountain you want to climb. Whether It’s a short story, a novel, mystery or romance, choose your goal. Read books in the same genre to get an idea of what’s selling in today’s marketplace.
- Get a guide. There are tons of books and blogs that address the “how to” of writing. I’m running a series on my own blog entitled “The Craft of Writing” to equip and encourage new authors. Make use of all of the expert guidance available.
- Gather your gear. Fortunately, we don’t need backpacks, climbing boots, ropes and picks! A good laptop and word processor are enough. But there are plenty of other tools to help the aspiring writer along the way. Scrivener, Grammarly, and Reedsy are just a few. Research and grab the equipment you feel will help you in your climb.
- Train. Many of the experts I’ve interviewed say the same thing: if you want to write, you have to spend time writing. Give yourself a daily or weekly word quota. If you don’t practice climbing the small hills, you won’t be able to take on a full mountain.
- Join an expedition. Attend a writer’s conference and meet editors, publishers, and other writers who can help you up the mountain. Network through email groups, comment on blogs, and post to social media.
Most of all, let’s accept the challenge in 2020 to go beyond our comfort zones. And let’s support our fellow climbers through the ups and downs of trekking to the mountaintop.
I’m setting up my tent at base camp now with a continuation of my website blog series “The Craft of Writing”, where I plan to alternate monthly blog posts between craft experts and new authors. Be sure to join the discussion on January 13 when H.R. D’Costa will be my guest, and we’ll take a look at her craft book “Story Stakes.” In February, my guest will be L.K. Simonds whose first novel, ALL IN, was released in 2019. Don’t miss the opportunity to interact with these two. They have a lot of good information to share.
2020 is almost here. Come on over, and let’s climb that mountain together.
Do you have a writing goal you’re targeting for 2020?
What new challenge are you taking on in the new year?
What advice do you have for fellow writers?