It’s easy to let obstacles stop us from reaching our full potential. Life can get busy and ideas can stagnate. If you’re feeling stuck, the new year is a perfect time to refocus and reinvent yourself as a writer. Take this opportunity to flourish with fresh intentions.
Step 1: Create a Vision Board
Figure out what you’re passionate about and what your strengths are. Reinvention flows around finding an angle that works with who you are as a writer. Examine what you want to write, who you want to reach, and how you want to accomplish it. Once you’ve done that, get all your writing goals out of your head and onto your vision board. A vision board is a collage of images and words representing a person's wishes or goals, intended to serve as inspiration or motivation. You can use magazines, newspapers, or old books and cut out words or images that represent your dreams. Having a vision board will help you remember why you started this journey and focus on where you want to be.
Step 2: Make New Connections
The easiest way to transition into a new chapter of your writing career is to do it with people who have the same mindset and goals as you. Writing as part of a community will give you a safe place to express yourself and collaborate with others. Find your local writing club to expand your writing horizons.
Step 3: Get Healthy
Whether you’re a health nut, a couch potato, or somewhere in between, everyone has room for improvement on this one. Getting healthy and staying healthy can help alter your mood, mindset, and motivation for the better! If you’re having trouble focusing while writing, try going for a walk to clear your head. Physical activity has been shown to improve concentration, as well as eating a diet high in Omega 3s. If you’re feeling too overwhelmed to write, try taking up yoga or meditation. Life throws so many curveballs our way, and it’s all to easy to succumb to the stress. However, if you can find ways to keep your body and mind healthy, your writing will thank you.
Step 4: Read More
The secret to becoming a better writer is … reading! The more books you read—including those outside of your chosen genre—the better educated you’ll become. If you’re a fiction writer, don’t disregard non-fiction; you never know when the information you’ve just read can be incorporated into your current project. And if you’re a non-fiction writer, it’s in your best interests to read fiction. If you decide to write a memoir, biography, or similar, you’ll need to add fiction techniques that help you “show your story” instead of simply “telling” it.
Step 5: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
The best form of inspiration comes through experience. If you’re writing is in a rut, then you’ve most likely been sitting in your comfort zone. Get out and try at least two new things. Make conversation with the person next to you in line for coffee, take a dance class, or volunteer. Experiencing different environments and activities can help stimulate your mind and get those ideas flowing. Remember: The choices you make outside your comfort zone could be in your biography one day.
Step 6: Find a Mentor
There are two types of mentors: direct and indirect. If you are more of a hands-on learner, find a person you can meet with who embodies the type of writer you would like to be. Interview them and learn from their failures and successes. If you are more of an independent learner, find a writer who inspires you. Read their work and study it. What about them resonates with you as a writer? Being inspired by someone who shares your passions can help you by providing an example of how to be successful.
Step 7: Set a Timeline
Organization is key. Where do you want to be tomorrow, next month, or next year? Look back on your writing plans from the past and analyze what worked and what didn’t. Evaluating your past mistakes will keep you from repeating them. Once you’ve created a timeline of where you would like to be and when, put it next to your vision board. Having these tools in plain view will help you remember your goals each day. Most importantly, carve out a certain amount of time each week to write without distraction. Time management and organization will help you turn your dreams into reality.
To reinvent yourself as a writer, you must love two things: the act of writing and what you’re writing about. If you write about things you feel mediocre about, your writing will be mediocre. For something to be phenomenal, it must be in touch with your passions and emotions. Evaluate yourself and what you need to be working on. The process of reinvention demands commitment. Commit to yourself, your passions, your writing time, and your success.