Dear Guild Members,
Only three hundred fifty-nine shopping days left until Christmas. Time to get cracking.
May I hazard a guess: You are thinking January is way too early to begin even thinking about Christmas? Like this is akin to bikini shopping in winter.
Perhaps. Perhaps not.
Time, we all know, has a mischievous way of slipping through our fingers, like sand through a sieve. Ralph Waldo Emerson offered this perspective on these 359 days: “This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”
Emerson’s perspective is insightful. More than merely events in transition, time is a currency. A non-replaceable, non-renewable currency. That can be spent. Or not.
Here are a few thoughts to challenge you to ensure your time spent with the Writer’s Guild enriches your writing journey in 2012.
Dream Big. I had the good fortune to ask Bryce Courtenay, author of the inspiring best seller The Power of One what advice would offer new writers. He extended his long arms skyward and in his booming voice replied, “Jim, whether you are writing a high-concept thriller or a comedy about two warring chefs, write a B-I-I-I-G book!” He smiled before adding, “I mean a big story. Take your readers deep inside your locations, your characters, to places they have not been before.”
Good advice. Dream Big. Your writing will follow.
To borrow a phrase, ‘Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’. Your Writers Guild offers a treasure trove of programs to support your writing: Workshops. One-on-one agent sessions. Informative speakers. Writing contests. Critique groups. Manuscript reviews. Desert Writers EXPO.
Set your course and select those Guild activities that are just right for your journey. Then pour your heart into them.
Assemble your Mission Possible team. Mentors are good. Teams are better. Connect with some of the abundant talent we have in the Guild. Build your getting-published support team, creative brain trust, your cheering squad. Your team members will be delighted, and honored to be asked. You will be enriched. I guarantee it.
Live beyond your means. We all have good intentions. We mean to flesh out our protagonist more fully . . . mean to add those special details of scene . . . the list goes on. Give yourself a New Years gift. Pledge to go beyond your means in your writing in 2012.
Many times it is that extra step which yields the unique, special result we ‘Dreamed Big’ about not so long ago.
So there you have it. Some New Years tips for spending those valuable, soon-to-vanish days of 2012. But don’t dally. By the time you are reading this you probably have fewer than three hundred forty-nine days remaining before Christmas.
James D. McFarlin