The Remarkable Truth About Writing in a Monumental Transformative 21st Century

We live in a busy world on the move amid a hodge-podge of multiple cultures and different generations working together to achieve the boss’s goals. A happy boss makes a happy you. Rapidly changing technology demands that we become continuous learners, adapting to the new ways of communicating and performing work. Artificial intelligence and robots are on the horizon threatening to alter how we live, work, and play. Maybe ‘threatening’ is the wrong word. But be sure, change is coming.

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How will these changes affect you as a writer? Technology has changed how we write. We are far removed from the days of feather plumes and inkwells. I recall how dramatic having a word processor instead of a ribbon typewriter was for me as a young aspiring writer. Now as an aging aspiring writer, they have apps for that.

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Our multi-generational, cross-cultural world will influence the type of characters we write about and the stories we tell about them. How can they not? As a kid writer, I conjured up several aliases and pen names I could write under, since I didn’t see a bunch of books on the public library shelves written by authors with strange-sounding, odd-spelled names. In comparison, today my name doesn’t seem as out-of-place as more and more international writers are finding space on the local bookshelves.

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Advancements in technology have also made publishing more accessible to more people. This is both good and bad. The publishing houses do act as a filter, working diligently to ensure a certain quality of writing is published. However, you don’t necessarily need a publisher today. You can self-publish. Of course, this means you gotta get out and hustle to sell your books since you don’t have the marketing department of a publishing house behind you. Distribution is another challenge. Go to your local bookstore and tell ‘em you wrote a book and you’d like them to sell it. Odds are that won’t happen. Plus, with everybody and their dog being able to publish, there’s a lot of junk that gets in the way of skillful writing by people who have worked hard at their craft. But hey…who am I to judge. Creativity is a good thang, right? And that’s the truth.

Keep on writing…I believe in you.

~TDG

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Set SMART Writing Goals for 2018

Writers write. If you’ve ever stared the blank page glowing off your laptop screen, I’m sure you’ve heard that before. Stacks of notebooks and legal pads testify to your commitment. Yes, Stephen King, writers write.

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Writers plan and organize too. You set objectives. You aim for goals.

As 2017 draws to a close, what are your writing goals for next year? What strategies and tactics will you employ to reach your goals? Did you set SMART goals or are your objectives willy-nilly, feel gooders?

SMART Goals are:

S. – Specific

M. – Measurable

A. – Assignable

R. – Realistic

T. – Time based

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Studies and experience show the more specific goals are the greater the odds of attaining them. Measuring progress and achievement is critical. Otherwise you don’t really know how you are coming along and when you need to celebrate. Assignable is a nice way of saying accountable. Writing is a lonely affair. If the story doesn’t get written, it’s on you. Realistic is a big, daunting word. If you’ve never ever written, don’t start out trying to write “War and Peace” or “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. Keep it simple. Make your goals attainable and reachable. Start by writing 100-200 words a day, six days a week. Take a day off. It’ll be okay. Build the volume of words you write until you are producing consistently. Find a level you can maintain. If you’ve never moved any iron, you wouldn’t go to your nearest gym and try to bench press 400 pounds of weight.  That would be ridiculous. And painful. Finally, make your goals time-based. Yes. That means set a deadline. As with previous steps, be specific, make it measurable, be accountable, and be realistic. I know that a ton of “experts” tell you how you can write your Great American Novel in 30 days. Odds are against it. Start with something like this: I will complete the first draft of my first chapter of 2,500 words for my 80,000 word novel on January 31, 2018.

Anyways…writers write. So why are you just sitting there?

Get to it.

I believe in you.

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Photos courtesy of the fine artists at Pixabay.com