"" Rob Parnell's Writing Academy Blog: So - What's Next For You?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

So - What's Next For You?

So - we made it to the end of the year. 

I hope last year was all that you wanted - and needed - from your present life.

We often think that the new year is a time to recycle all those old resolutions. 

I think this can be a mistake. 

Because we then send a message to our brains that goals and ambitions are to be confined to January - and forgotten when the year gets under way!

The time to make resolutions is every day. 

Just five minutes in the morning - say at nine o clock - spent making a short list of the things that are important to you - bearing in mind the long term, as well as the short, will pay huge dividends when it comes to reviewing your progress towards your dream life.

Year's end is really only a time to ask: Am I living my dream life? 

And if not, what can I do to make that happen by the end of next year?

Usually any kind of success these days implies self promotion...

Writers are often expected to self-promote, either through social media, personal appearances or via TV and radio. 

This can be tough for many, more insular writers - actually like me.

I may look confident in my videos but it's really just an illusion created by editing and post production. 

At least it does prove that you can be introverted and still make the media work for you.

Actors and comedians often seem like extroverts - but this too can be an incorrect assumption. 

Performing is a skill that even the most shy writer can accomplish with enough practice - and indeed may become an essential component of a writer's career if we want success in this modern, sound bite, glitz driven age.

Besides which, it's about pushing ourselves, isn't it?

With every new writing project we want to improve, to stretch ourselves just that little bit further.

This should also apply I think to other areas of our lives.

Self-help gurus always talk about the need to get outside of our comfort zones in order to grow. 

And what could be more outside a writer's comfort zone than performing, acting and even speaking?

I understand!

It's rare that any of us like the look or sound of ourselves on film. 

Even Johnny Depp says he can't watch himself on screen!

But I think it's important to overcome these things - in much the same way we need to overcome any kind of social anxiety in order to successfully interact with other people - especially people that can help us.

Think of performing as a writer as a necessary evil...

I hate pitching my work in person, an increasingly often occurrence.

To be honest I find the whole idea of relating written material in verbal form to be slightly odd, even distasteful sometimes. 

I mean, why should writers be considered the best orators of their work?

They rarely are.

And how do publishers, producers and agents have the audacity to turn down ideas without even taking the merest glimpse at our writing?

I could be Shakespeare and these people would never know - just because they didn't think Romeo and Juliet had sufficient 'legs' as a viable idea.

It's a crazy new system.

To me, it's a thinly veiled insult to writers, really. 

It's basically saying that the writing is unimportant - anyone can do that - it's the idea that must sell itself.

Good in principle but I am offended by the unwillingness to even ask the question, Oh, by the way, can you actually write?

These days, the writer is often considered a necessary evil - and not always necessary at that.

I heard an artist friend complaining the other day when he suggested to a millennial they should read a book.

"Oh, yeah," the kid said. "I know books. They're like websites made of paper, right?"

All the best for your own writing projects this year!
Keep writing!

Rob Parnell
Your Success is My Concern
Rob Parnell's Writing Academy

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