Writing Fresh in 2016: Start the New Year with Something Truly New

calendarA new year is a time of new beginnings. So why not apply that principle to your writing and do something completely different this month? You might find that a fresh project, completely out of the box, is just what you need to start your writing off on the right track for 2016. Even better, you might discover a hidden talent or skill within yourself that you never knew you had. Here are 10 ideas for writing fresh this month. Give one a try, and see what new beginning is in store for you.

  1. Commit to Camp NaNoWriMo in April. Camp NaNoWriMo is a more laidback version of November’s NaNoWriMo: you write a 10,000- to 1 million-word work during the month of April. It may not result in a best seller, but you’ll have a solid draft to polish and a productive month of writing. For more info, contact Camp NaNoWriMo.
  2. Take a class on a fresh writing topic. Classes are a great way to start the New Year, especially if they teach you a new skill or steer you in a direction you’ve always wanted to try out but never have before. Search the internet for course options, or contact a college, writing center, or writer's association.
  3. Join a writer’s group. A writing group doesn’t just reward you with contacts; it can motivate you, offer new and lasting friendships, and provide a way for you to share your skills and knowledge. Check local libraries, a chapter of a national writer’s organization, or an online writing community for groups to join. Or, start a group of your own.
  4. Make a cold call for work. It may be bold and uncomfortable, but if you want work, sometimes you have to get gutsy. For editing and proofreading work especially, cold calls and email inquiries to publishing companies, bloggers, or other freelance-hiring companies may be the best way to land clients.
  5. Write a poem. Even if you’re not poetic, writing a poem is a great way to jumpstart creativity. You don’t have to publish your poem; just writing it may be enough to refresh you and open up ideas for future writing projects. Or, you might find that you’re actually good at poetry. Poems come in all forms to try, from simple rhymes to haiku to acrostics.
  6. Draw or paint. Whether or not you’re skilled at drawing or painting, they can be a means to an end—like a way for you to put color, texture, and visuals to your words—or an end in themselves. Either way, you’ll have fun in the process. Consider enrolling in a drawing or painting class for a more serious go at this fun and rewarding art form.
  7. Find a contest to enter. Contests for writers abound, and entering one can payoff big in money, recognition, and motivation. If you’ve never entered a writing contest before, you’re missing out on a great way to showcase your work and possibly get feedback. Look for updates on these past writing contests.
  8. Start a new blog. Blogging is the thing today, and while the competition is stiff for readership, there’s no reason why you can’t—or shouldn’t—start a fresh one. You can set up a new blog, revamp an old one, or submit guest posts for other bloggers. If blogging isn’t for you, consider an alternate way to share your writing with the public, like starting a newsletter or writing posts for social media.
  9. Study vocabulary. Having an extensive vocabulary isn’t essential for writers, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Building your vocabulary won’t just help you recognize and use words better; it’ll provide insight into the background and history of words. There are many books available on how to expand your vocabulary. Or, look for electronic vocabulary-building games or apps.
  10. Rearrange your office space. A fresh writing space can add newness to your writing life. Start by rearranging furniture or your desktop. Remove old, outdated reference books from your writing bookshelf, and add new, fresh materials. Restock your drawers with notebooks, pens, and other essential office supplies. Then put your “new” writing area to use!

Got any other great tips for writing fresh this month? Please share your ideas!



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