Welcome 2017!

Welcome back TKZers!

Hope you all had a safe and happy holiday season and are ready to tackle all your writing resolutions in the year ahead. As always, I have a few resolutions after all my holiday eating, drinking and writing slackness, but in 2017 I want to focus on what I’m calling ‘deep writing’. For me, 2016 was definitely the year of ‘distracted writing’. It may have been all the politics or just the overwhelming onslaught of news, social media posts etc.,  but whatever the cause, I have now (thanks TKZ’s own James Scott Bell) purchased Cal Newport’s book ‘Deep Work, Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World‘ and intend to fully embrace the concept of ‘writing deeply’ this year.

Rather than calling this a New Year’s resolution, I’ve decided ‘write deeply‘ will be my mantra for 2017. I will be chanting it in my sleep by the end of January and, hopefully, I will notice an improvement in focus, concentration and maybe even the quality of my writing (!) by the end of the year.

So what about you? Do you have a mantra you would like to adopt for 2017?

Also any tips on how I can ensure mine gets through the post-holiday thickness of my skull, will be gratefully received….

19 thoughts on “Welcome 2017!

  1. I don’t make resolutions on New Year. Too much pressure! But I do try to do semi-annual checkups, which involve resolving to do something better.

    1. Be conscious of the need to be kind to and patient with people. The world has become so coarse and weird, I’m trying very hard to find small chances to counteract that.

    2. Work harder on my mantra to write every day. I preach this but don’t practice it with enough fidelity!

    Good health and great writing to all in this year!

  2. I think your deep writing is applicable to me too. Programmed to be a data-geek from the womb, I track things throughout the year–time spent on writing, books read, etc..

    In 2016 I skimmed books much more than ever before. Now I have always been mainly a non-fic reader (probably 90/10 non-fiction/fiction) and some non-fic titles, like business category books, lend themselves more to skimming. But I definitely noticed a focus issue in 2016. In very few instances out of all the books that passed through my e-reader fingers did I read the book start to finish. The exception is history books–I will read a history book cover to cover, because to me, that’s like eating candy. But other non-fic? Not so much. No matter how compelling the subject matter.

    Ditto with writing. Settling myself down to write was very difficult in 2016. It’s perfectly logical, but I saw in the numbers that when I spent too much time on what I euphemistically call “writer development” (ie. consuming books on writing, articles, etc.) that my own actual writing time was way down. My most productive writing month of last year was also the same month when I spent the least amount of time on ‘writer development’.

    So I agree with you. May deep writing be the key for 2017. I’m waiting for my digital library loan of “Deep Work” to come up. It must be a popular book. It has many holds on it already & I’ve been waiting a while….

  3. Bravo, Clare. I can tell you that “deep writing” makes a difference. Starting with just that simple idea of when you write, you write…you don’t surf or divert your attention, even when you take a short break. Good on ya!

  4. For the last few weeks I have been immersing myself in everything Tony Robbins. It has brought to me a new outlook not only for 2017 but for my entire life and how I approach everything including writing.

    For anyone who thinks on Tony Robbins as that “infomercial” guy from years back I urge you to check him out again. Netflix has a show on him, there is a good TED talk and bunch of you tube videos as well as his website.

    Thank you all in advance for more great advice and insights on all things writing.

  5. I also noticed that I was skimming e-books and skipping in and out of all e-content like a jumpy little chicken hawk. So recently, I’ve started ordering hardback books instead of e-books. It actually feels refreshing and “deeper” to read from a printed book, I’ve learned. And I’m much less likely to abandon the Story than one in e-format. I read that studies show that the brain actually processes printed content in a “deeper” way than online content–this makes me leery of the current trend toward moving to online textbooks in the schools.

    • I think I’m the same when it comes to some of the e-content. My kids certainly prefer reading printed material – particularly for school. I think it forces them (and us) to focus more deeply – which is what I need!

  6. I’ve decided to become more informed about Canadian politics. As a Canadian who has lived outside my country for almost 18 years, I’ve neglected the politics of my own country. The trigger for this interest is, of course, what’s been happening in the US.

    I want to finish my WIP to the point where it’s ready for beta readers and my editors.

    Since I’m already perfect in every other area, I think those 2 resolutions are enough (just kidding.)

  7. Writing deeply–I like it.

    As others have said–I among them–I don’t make New Years resolutions. For me, the Apostle Paul said it best: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is week.” So I just do what I think I should do and work to get it done.

    This year is a whole ‘nother thing for me. My son and I want to start a children’s book publishing company. So, that means I must learn about write children’s books, and we must learn about publishing. Our company will publish initially on Amazon as well as other similar places. Then, at some point, we will have to make the decision whether to publish in hard copy.

    Our goal: publish children’s books. Our course in year one: learn about children’s books and publishing. Our objective in year one: to publish one book on Amazon.

    So . . . if y’all come to Phoenix and you find a guy out drooling and begging secretly out on the sidewalks of our Sky Harbor airport, please donate to him. That’ll likely be I.

  8. Like PJ Parrish, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. But I’m trying to spend more time writing and less time surfing the Net. Except for TKZ, of course!

  9. I think my 2017 Mantra will be “Valid ID” as in identifying myself as a writer, both to myself and to others. I just read my first James Scott Bell book “Just Write” and have been inspired to focus on developing my writing skills and to write my first fiction book. As an Aries, I want it to happen quickly! So, I have made my list and developing a “Valid ID” is my top priority!

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