“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” J.K. Rowling
Who better to empower us to enjoy a transformative year of writing than the wildly successful and creative J.K. Rowling? Her inspiring words of wisdom has prompted me to revive an old New Year’s tradition of mine: writing a “Letter of Intention” to myself outlining what I intend to accomplish over the next twelve months. I like the word
“intention” — to my mind, it conveys forward motion and drive. Its dictionary definition captures this nicely: “a determining mentally upon some action or result.”
In a nutshell, a Letter of Intention penned early in January spells out your New Year’s plan of action: what you intend to do to get where you want to be by the time December rolls around. It’s provides a road map that can help you stay focused and on track when it comes to making progress in your writing life. It can also be a fun way to challenge yourself to take your work to the next level.
If this appeals to you, here are a few questions to get you going:
Looking back, what are you most proud of about the past year?
Reflect on actions you took to improve your craft and bring major
projects to fruition or further along the path to completion.
What would you like to bring from last year into the new year?
Reflect on what writing approaches are working well for you and how
you can build on them going forward.
What writing skills would you like to develop and nourish this year?
Reflect on what you plan to do to strengthen your current kitbag of
writers tools. Do you want to explore new genres? Add humor? Hone your
research techniques? Learn more about social media?
What writing outcomes/results will you find most fulfilling?
Reflect on three or four major goals on your “To Do” list. Frame these
as if they are already accomplished and be specific: “I am thrilled
with the final revision of my novel.” “I am represented by a dynamic,
dedicated agent who loves my work.” You get the idea.
If you decide to go this route, I’d love to hear about it. Write on!