I started 2016 with a miserable writer look on my face (similar to a bulldog chewing a wasp) and I ended it with a smile. As the year progressed my writer happiness levels increased.
Based on my learnings from 2016, here are my top tips on how to be a happy writer in 2017:
- Spend more time writing in coffee shops. Give yourself a 2017 coffee shop goal.
- Reach out regularly to other writers; offer assistance, seek advice or just reach out to say ‘hello’.
- Eat more cake. Give yourself a 2017 cake goal.
- Give yourself permission to write badly on a first draft. You end up writing them quicker and on subsequent drafts you can address the quality of your writing.
- Finish as many writing projects as you can. The buzz you get from completing a draft is wonderful and makes you forget about all the literary suffering along the way. I am now addicted to finishing stuff.
- Read a mixture of good and bad fiction. The bad fiction will do wonders for your writing ego.
- Don’t be afraid to laugh or cry whilst you write. Let all those emotions flood out as you type. You would not believe the amount of times I wept whilst writing in 2016.
- If you are going to procrastinate – do it properly and really enjoy yourself.
- Give yourself regular breaks. I have started taking little breaks away from my writing and they really refresh and energize me.
- Get carried away with your stories and characters. Don’t hold back. Bring them to life and invite them round for tea.
- Stop comparing yourself to successful authors. Behind every successful author are years of hard work, graft, persistence and determination. I now give successful authors a silent ‘well done!’ because I have had a small taste of what they have gone through to get their books on shelves.
- Be proud to say that you are a writer. Stop hiding it away.
- Enjoy your writing journey and forget about possible outcomes.
- Run your own race. I have stopped competing against others.
- Give yourself freedom to read and write from other genres.
- Take more writer naps. Give yourself a nap goal.
- Have at least one heavy romantic crush with a fictional character.
- When you are stressed about writing pin pretty stuff on Pinterest. I find that employing a rapid finger pinning action (pin..pin…pin…pin) works wonders for creative stress. Sigh!
Let’s all try to stay smiling in 2017.
Have a great day.