Writers’ Resolution Number One

Idea LampThis is a picture of what I call my Idea Lamp. Things I most need to remind myself about my work are taped and pinned and clamped to the shade and even to the shaft.

The boldest print is allotted to the reminder I need most of all. Though sticky notes encroach nonetheless. “SPEND MORE TIME WRITING” it reads in solid caps and purple Sharpie ink underlined five times.

Those words require that much force of emphasis for me. Especially right now for two reasons. The first is obvious. “At this time of the rolling year…” Charles Dickens would begin. I continue “… I catapult myself into everything BUT writing.

I tell myself I’m doing it for family or for the sake of the season and its spirit or simply because I enjoy the leap. All of these are true but they don’t tell the entire tale or warble more than a few verses of the entire carol.

I’m on vacation to be sure. Vacation from what? Vacation from the problems that writing never fails to impose. Those problems are the second reason I need a resolution with the power of a well-aimed boot behind it to catapult me back to SPENDING MORE TIME WRITING.

My current challenges involve the in-progress fourth novel in my ongoing series. The new story is titled A Villain for Vanessa and it poses special problems. As special as your problems with your current project whatever it may be.

These are the boulders that make up my particular roadblock. We each have our own boulders and our own roadblocks. You and I and everyone else who has ever written down words we hope will be read – from Bob Cratchit’s pen nib to now.

We each have a story of what our individual boulders may be and how formidably they’ve been stacked in our personal path. The common element among us is that all of our boulder blockades are cemented together by doubt.

We doubt that we know what to do or how to do it or even if we can do it at all. Doubt is a killer disease and for us there is only one cure. SPEND MORE TIME WRITING. Write up one boulder and over the next and through the fissures between when we find them.

Write so furiously forward the doubts can’t overtake us – and when they inevitably do – write straight past them and beyond.

Meanwhile keep your Idea Lamp burning bright at this and every other time of the rolling year. I resolve to do the same. Happy New 2016.

Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.


A Vacancy at the Inn is Alice’s Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 3 – A Holiday Season Novella. Just 95 cents. The Best New Year’s Bargain Ever at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017RZFGWC.


4 thoughts on “Writers’ Resolution Number One

  1. Alice, truer words never spoken. And it’s like any other discipline, we need to plow through. The rewards are there. But we have to get past the point where it hurts.
    Kathy Bailey

    1. Hi Again Kathy. I love the image of plowing through. I picture one of those old-fashioned forked plows breaking the clods of dirt and making a furrow where seeds can be planted. Then the planter tends the seedlings but also trusts the elements to cooperate. We have to do all of that as writer. Bread down the clods. Scatter the seeds. Allow the forces of our own writerly imaginations to shine and nurture our work so it can grow. But it is hard work. Perhaps not backbreaking in the same way as the plowman’s labors may be – though I’ve risen from the desk aching many times. Sometimes however we must break our hearts to do our work. To be more specific – we must break our hearts open and let our true stories pour forth. Here’s to a New Year of breaking open and pouring forth for all of us. Alice

    1. I love the name Joy and you do certainly embody it. Charging forward with power in gratitude. What an image. What a prospect. Happy New Year to you to Joy. And thank you for the joy you are.

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