1. Become a Word Whisperer. Logan Pearsall Smith said “What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.”
2. Stop misspelling recieve and enviornment
3. Figure out a way to convince the IRS that every trip to Wal-Mart is a deductible writing expense. It’s research! After all, what better place can you go to find some crazy characters to write into a story?
4. Remember the difference between affect and effect. Stopping to look it up each time has an unfortunate affect effect on the flow of my, uh, whatever I was talking about.
5. Reread at least five of my favorite books from childhood…you know, the classics, like Anne of Green Gables, Little Women and Superfudge.
6. Pursue agents with greater tenacity. (Hmmm…maybe ten-a-city is the right formula!)
7. Adopt a method for organizing the rejection letters piling up in my office. I’m thinking that something like the Dewey Decimal System might be adequate.
8. Find a market for a story about my oddball hobby: listening to 1930s comedy radio shows. (No, I’m not a 90-year old woman, thank you very much.)
9. Be a student of humor. Author Patricia Case recommends improving your “funny” by studying comedy-writing techniques. Or to quote The Cat in the Hat, “It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how.”
10. Inspire others to work harder at their writing craft. Then, when they are successful, they can encourage me to keep going. (Hey, that’s YOU I’m talking about!)
Happy New Year! May we all achieve that multi-million-dollar book contract sometime in the next 12 months–that way, we’ll have no need to write a resolution list again next year.
Amy Dee Stephens
“Words carry time and culture.”