Memoir Writing Prompt: Happy New Year!

Have you written out your New Year’s resolutions? Time’s a wasting as they say. The first full two weeks of the new year is in the history books, and we are racing through the month. What’s holding you back? Have you given up on making resolutions?
Cecil Murphy, author of 90 Minutes in Heaven and ghostwriter for The Ben Carson Story, along with more than 150 other books, sent out a great mantra in his January newsletter. He said, “If you base your New Year’s resolutions on past failures, you will never plan for success.” So profound!
As a writer, consider these resolutions for 2019:

• Write every day.
Start with baby steps. If you enjoy a quiet time of devotion in the morning, write down your thoughts as you pray or study. Or, at the end of the day, write down the inconsequential happenings of the day – it’s those happenings that make for a good memoir later.

• Make a new writing buddy.
Writing buddies are priceless. To have another person sitting on the other side of the table writing their own story helps you to concentrate and stay on track. Call your public library and see if they can point you in the right direction.

• Find a writing mentor (for critique).
As priceless as a writing buddy can be, a writing mentor will help to strengthen your writing. If you only want “warm fuzzies” as in “Oh, your writing is the best I’ve ever read,” then a writing mentor is not for you. However, if you want “I like the way your story transitions from here to here; however, I get lost in this scene,” then you are ready for a writing mentor. Again, consult your public library.

• Read one book every month.
The more books you read, the more you will learn from trying different styles of writing. Notice the use of sensory phrases and active verbs. Take note of point of view. Who’s telling the story? Which style do you prefer? Notice the tense of verbs – present, past, future. If you find an author you really enjoy, check out their blog and follow them for tidbits of writing expertise. And even one step further than that: write a review for this author. Put the review on Goodreads, Amazon and then email it to the author.

• Call yourself a writer.
It doesn’t matter if your writing is not the basis of your income right now, you are a writer. Every time you sit down to write, see yourself as a writer. If you can carve out a specific time of day to write, put a sign outside your office or bedroom door that says, “Writer at work.” If you tell yourself something so many times, you will eventually believe it as truth. (Of course, you have to write.)

For years, I listed my number one resolution as “Lose ten pounds of baby fat.” Now twenty years later, my 2019 New Year’s resolution is “Lose twenty pounds¬¬¬ – ten pounds of baby fat and ten more stress fat.” I think 2019 is the year for major success. What about you?

Memoir writing prompt: Let’s not even consider past failures. Write down your 2019 New Year’s resolutions. You might write under each one how you plan to accomplish this feat. Put your resolutions in a place where you will see them each morning. And start seeing yourself as a success in the making!

Categories Legacy, Legacy Writing Prompts | Tags: | Posted on January 15, 2019

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