Happy New Year!

Tomorrow, New Year’s Day, we’ll be posting the first writing prompts of 2010, after which Saturday Scribes will be MOVING to The Mimosa Effect. Mainly because your faithful moderator is feeling lazy has been taken by the (possibly overly optimistic) notion that it will prove less of a hassle to keep all of her shiny things in one box.

I’ll post a proper link to the new Sat. Scribes section once next week’s prompts are up in the new space.

Cheers, and Happy New Year to all the writers out there!

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Saturday Scribes New Year’s Writing Prompts

As of today, Saturday Scribes is back in action, along with regular weekly writing prompts (posted every Friday).   This week, we’re inviting everyone to post their new year’s writing goals*, along with links to your latest writing endeavours.  (*see below for some helpful tips)

Theme:  Change & Renewal

Words:
undercarriage
punk
token
cognizant

Bonus Challenge:  Set a New Year’s Writing Goal, and Stick To It.

Sounds easy, right? After all, with the ringing in of every new year, countless writers around the world have solemnly held their hands over their hearts and proclaimed their New Year’s writing resolutions (although often exactly what these resolutions are is not always clear, considering how many of them are shouted out in a crowded pub, or muttered into the bottom of an empty glass, or whispered to the sad dark shadows of an unheated garret somewhere in the lower east side).

The problem is, that most people set themselves some lofty, nigh-impossible goal (write the Greatest Novel of Our Time and become rich and famous, preferably by the end of next month, kind of thing).  So here are a few handy tips for setting a goal you can actually reach: (1) Be Specific, (2) Keep it Simple, (3) Find something that inspires and/or challenges you, (4) Be Realistic, and (5) It’s Okay to Start Small.   

Examples:

Specific: Write a short story from the point of view of a ferret, and finish it by next week.
More vague, but doable: Write something from a perspective I haven’t tried before.
Too vague (and likely doomed to failure): Write something, when I have time/after I get to the next level in my new computer game.

Simple: Write a paragraph about oysters / three haiku about my dog / a love story featuring cheese strings.  -or-  Submit one poem to a magazine before my next birthday.
Less Simple: Finish the novel that’s been languishing in my desk drawer for twelve years, work out the complete plot chart for the next three sequels, and figure out what emotional complex is preventing me from sending my stuff out to publishers.

Inspirations and Challenges:
What makes you want to write?  Some people love a challenge – nothing gets them going like someone saying, “I bet you can’t do this”, or, “I bet you haven’t tried this before”.  Other people like writing in their comfort zone, focusing on the things they love best, whether it be cats, Nietzschean philosophy, why people suck, or, heaven forfend, the “f” word (as in, fanfic).  Forcing yourself to do something just because you think you should (or because someone else thinks you should) is a recipe for disaster.

Keeping it Real – How much free time do you really have in a day? What restrictions does real life put on your writing time? How many days can you go without sleep/real food/human interaction?
Realistic: Write one new poem on the first Monday of every month.  Write for twenty minutes without stopping, every day for a week.  Write and finish two short stories over the next two months. 
Less Realistic:  Become a J.K. Rowling clone and churn out seven best-selling kid’s books and retire a happy millionaire before I’m forty. (Although it never hurts to dream.)

Starting Small:  (See “Simple”, above)
If you’re having trouble sticking to your writing goals, you might be over-reaching.  Your New Year’s goal doesn’t have to be world-changing or earth-shattering.  I’ve known writers (myself included) to put sticky notes on their computer monitors that simply say, “write one sentence”, or, “write one true thing”.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  “Fill a page” is far more doable than “write a 70,000-word epic romance”.  Reaching a goal, however tiny, will make you feel good – which will make you more likely to set more goals, and more likely to believe you can succeed in reaching them.  If you’ve been struggling through a dry spot, ease yourself back into things.  Give yourself incentives (if I can just get to the end of this bleepin’ paragraph, I get to have that second cup of coffee/glass of wine/shot of whiskey).

Good luck, and happy writing!

Happy New Year!

Happy 2009 everyone!  The first writing prompts of 2009 (special New Year’s Day edition) will be up shortly. 

Hope everyone’s recovered from partying last night – or, if you didn’t get to party, that it was due to being distracted by some other fun/productive/lucrative activity.  As for me, I hit the sack well before midnight last night so I could be up early this morning to play a harp gig at city hall – so, two out of three, at any rate.  Although it was mildly amusing to be surrounded by serious-looking men in black at ten in the morning (there were Personages of Importance attending, what with it being a New Year’s levee featuring our very own Lieutenant Governor, hence the increased security).  Since it was within a few blocks of my house, and I got to trade off every 20 minutes or so with the first nations drummers and singers who were performing downstairs (I was upstairs), it was really a pretty laid-back affair on my part – plus there was free coffee (& cider, & danishes).  I made enough to offset groceries for the month, so one might say I got to play for my supper (or breakfast, in this case).

Right, enough non-writing-related babbling – on with the prompts!