Shelley Widhalm

Archive for the ‘Why I Write’ Category

A blogger’s 2015 reflections

In Blogging, The Writing Life, Why Blog?, Why I Write on December 27, 2015 at 11:00 am

Surgery-Cast3The end of the year is a time for reflection about the past year and setting goals for what’s next.

The goals don’t have to be the intimidating New Year’s resolutions that initially generate excitement, but may fizzle out after a month or two when the change requires just that: change.

When it comes to writing, adding a resolution or a new goal to your writing schedule can liven things up, generate excitement and offer up some inspiration. This can provide a fresh start and a way to redo those things that aren’t working, such as trying to write three days a week but only getting to it once or writing so many words a session and facing writer’s block.

My writing goals for 2016 include doing National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, again in November with the aim to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I did NaNoWriMo in 2013 and again in 2015.

I plan to edit the novel I nearly finished, “The Heat of Trouble.”

And I plan to write more short stories and look for an agent for a couple of my completed manuscripts.

Over the past year, I wrote a novel and edited a couple of others, plus I blogged nearly every week about the writing process. I’ve been blogging for four years about the different elements of writing, types of writing and the writer’s life. I wrote about writing inspiration and motivation, the habits of successful writers and the revision process, explaining about what I love (and sometimes don’t love so much) about writing.

As I blogged, I found I haven’t generated much of an audience for my writing about writing, but I did gain a better understanding of what’s involved and how to apply it to my own writing. That’s because I could review and see things slightly differently than before by putting my thoughts into a weekly format.

In 2016, I will continue to blog about writing but may take a different approach or introduce new topics. At this point, I’m not sure.

It’s likely I won’t be blogging in January during my recovery from a surgery to my left hand. The surgery was Dec. 11, and I wrote ahead for the remainder of the year and posted the blogs to align with each Sunday, my regular blogging day.

I will return in February—after about two months of single-hand activities limited to my right hand—with a fresh perspective and hopefully some goals in how I want to approach my blog and my writing life

Blogging: A Year in Review

In Shelley Widhalm, Why I Write, Writing on December 28, 2014 at 11:00 am

I am doing a model pose during the fashion shoot.

What a year in 2014!

What I love about the end of the year is getting a new calendar and planner for the next year and seeing all of those blank pages.

This is when the blank page is exciting, not when you’re a writer facing writer’s block.

The blank page presents a fresh start with those New Year’s resolutions and goals that offer a plan for something new or a way to redo something that isn’t working. It’s also a time for reflection on what you’ve accomplished over the past year and to identify what to work on or continue working on next.

For the past three years, I’ve been blogging about the writing process, the different elements of writing and the writer’s life, posting a blog nearly every week in 2014.

I blogged about revising three of my novels and the process I went through to edit, tighten and refine each of the storylines. I talked about what I love (and sometimes don’t love so much) about writing. And I discussed my favorite aspects of writing, such as finding motivation to do the writing and the habits of successful writers.

Over the past three years, I methodically covered every element of writing I could think of, gaining a better understanding of the material and how to apply it to my own writing. I blogged about what’s involved in structuring plot, developing character, coming up with original themes, providing intriguing settings and using imagery, metaphors and similes.

Explaining something to someone else is the best way to review and see things slightly differently than before; teaching is a form of learning.

In 2015, I will expand what I blog about to include more of my personal life and possibly something I’m an expert in, though I haven’t decided just what. I’ve read from multiple sources that the most successful blogs focus on an area of expertise. I have a broad knowledge about multiple topics, but don’t have a favorite except maybe reading and loving classics.

Here are a few ideas I’m considering for next year:

  • Providing writing prompts that I also will respond to, using them in my own writing.
  • Writing about the secrets of a writer’s life and what is involved in writing and editing a novel from scratch to finish.
  • Trying 52 things I haven’t done before and writing about them (except this one has been done before).

Hum, what do you think?