It’s about that time again, time to look at where we’ve come during the past year and time to think ahead to what we’d like to do in the New Year.
I’m curious to know if any of you set writing goals for 2008. Did you meet them? Did they change as the year went along? Did you find them impossible and abandon them?
I find I’m moving toward personal essay writing as my favored genre. I love fiction, but I’m not sure I write it well. It doesn’t come easily for me. I try it every now and then, but I find it’s like pulling teeth. I hit the proverbial wall with it in anything longer than the short story format. I may not have a novel in me.
I don’t think I’ll stop experimenting with it, but I’m not sure it’ll ever be my favorite genre to write, though it’s certainly my favorite to read, right up there with memoir and essays (another shorter form).
As for my own writing goals in 2009, I plan to read a lot of essays. It goes without saying that a huge part of writing well is reading what you’d like to write. I have several books of essays, including a couple ‘Best of …’ yearly compilations.
In addition to working on my essay writing skills, I’ll be reading and dissecting examples of essays that seem to “work” best, the ones that resonate most deeply with me.
I’m going to attempt to pull into the more serious territory of the essay rather than the ease of blog writing. I suspect the fact I find that so easy to do reflects on its lack of complexity. Occasionally I write more deeply than others, but usually it’s “off the cuff” stuff jotted off quickly so I post something, rather than nothing.
That’s why I asked that question about blog writing, to hopefully open up a discussion of what’s good nonfiction writing. I think I set it up so no one felt comfortable critiquing blog writing as that could be perceived as an attack against me. Nothing could be further from the truth! I know that’s more breezy writing. With a few exceptions for my more personal posts it doesn’t go that deeply into my soul. Delving more deeply is a personal goal of mine for 2009. It’s more than just revealing more. It’s hard to explain, but it involves more thoughtful writing less written to entertain. It may not always wrap up so neatly as blogging.
So, what do YOU plan to accomplish in 2009? Do you set goals? Some of them may be for longer periods than just one year, like my goal to read the Harvard Classics. I won’t be doing that in a year. Ten years, maybe.
What about YOU?