Writer Wednesday Welcomes Margaret Duarte!!!

This month, I will be featuring other writers just like you and I, writers who are gearing up for 2011, setting goals, claiming their dreams and just putting on their game-face. DO you have your game-face on? Well, what are you waiting for?
Today, my new writer pal, and overall lovely friend, Margaret Duarte is here guest posting and sharing her goals for 2011. I LOVE  LOVE LOVE IT because she’s thinking BIG!

Big Ambitions for 2011

I have big ambitions for 2011.
I need fresh ideas for my blog–posts that both share my journey as a writer and also inform.
I’ve been blogging for over six months.  I should be a pro by now. Ha.

Where to begin?

Here comes the “big ambitions” part.

To keep the creative juices flowing, I plan to make use of:

  • The 4 A.M. Breakthrough approach. In his book, subtitled Unconventional Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction, Brian Kiteley writes, “Writers should trust that they have trained their instincts well and not think at all. Practice makes for better instincts.” His book aims at “demystifying the process of writing” and his exercises are meant to help make the writer realize “it is possible–and even fun–to write fiction.” Exercise 1: Write a fragment of narrative in paratactic style.
  • The Daily Writer, by Fred White, subtitled 366 meditations to cultivate a productive and meaningful writing life. Regardless of genre, he says, with writing “you are wielding that most powerful, mind- and spirit-enhancing tool that civilization has ever invented, the tool of language, and you are doing so in ways that illuminate people’s lives, sometimes improving their lives in practical ways, while at the same time aesthetically delighting them.” Exercise for January 1: Compose an allegory, keeping in mind that each of your characters represents an abstract trait.
  • Writing Down Your Soul, by Janet Conner. According to Janet, “There is a voice inside you. There is a Voice inside everyone. Whether you hear it or not, the Voice is there. Whether you acknowledge it or not, the Voice is there. Whether you ask it for help or ignore its guidance, the Voice is still there. Waiting. It is waiting for you to stop, if just for a moment, and listen. The Voice is always there, guiding you, encouraging you, loving you.” This book is about connecting with that Voice. Step one: Show up.
  • John Truby’s The Anatomy of Story, 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller. In Truby’s own words, he will: “Show that a great story is organic–not a machine but a living body that develops; Treat storytelling as an exacting craft with precise techniques that will help you be successful, regardless of the medium or genre you choose; Work through a writing process that is also organic, meaning that we will develop characters and plot that grow naturally out of your original story idea.” Starting point: Developing your premise.
  • Romancing The Ordinary, A Year of Simple Splendor, by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I’ve already gone through this book twice in previous years. I’ve found that her daily passages offer ideas that grab me and get me writing. January 1, Truth or Dare. “Can I challenge you to a dare?” Sarah asks. “Today, stop praying for anything other than the life you have! Join me as we tear up that list of resolutions. You don’t need them anymore. All you have is all you need. But more than that, all you have is all you could possibly want. If you don’t believe it, stick close by me this year and I’ll prove it.”

I have my Mead Composition books ready. I’ve purchased a box of my favorite pens (Precise Needlepoint Rolling Ball V5). All await.

Oh, and did I mention that I also plan to revise at least two of my novels, start an exercise routine, and spend more time working on my yard and with family?

Wish me luck.

You can read more of Margaret’s work, goals, thoughts and wit over at her blog Enter the Between

9 comments to Writer Wednesday Welcomes Margaret Duarte!!!

  • I am exhausted for you just reading this! But…I have no doubt you’ll do whatever you set your mind to…Best of Luck in the New Year! :)

  • Great post, Margaret. Go get ‘em girl! And can I add my endorsement to the sentiment on resolutions? If you ever want to fail at anything, set yourself a resolution – works every time :-)

  • Thanks for the comments ladies! I think as writers we are a little bit crazy-overzealous-over-achievers to begin with. LOL. January is as good a time as any to make some bold announcements. Mine include everything from getting published to running for local politics ha! I mean, hey, why not me, right?

  • Hi Charissa. Yes, this is quite a reading list, but I need the inspiration/education they provide. I’m halfway through WRITING DOWN YOUR SOUL and ANATOMY OF STORY, both excellent books for different reasons. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Here’s wishing you all the best in 2011!

  • Hi Jackie. I know what you mean about resolutions, but for some strange reason they work for me. I live on a farm with family and neighbors coming in and out of my house all day long. If I’m not careful, time gets away from me and I accomplish nothing! So I’m strict, strict, strict on myself. Yes, this list is a long one, but I’m breaking it up over the year. As I told Charissa above, I’m already half way through two of the books on my list. My whip sits on the tip of my desk!

  • Hi Margaret,

    I read writing down the soul, years ago, then had it on tape, and now want to get it on audio CD. I love, love, that book,it really inspires me, and I know so many others. One of the reads I want to get to is, The Art of War for Writers. Like you I have a lot of goals for this year, and one is to get a book indie pub, and go from there.

  • Hi Lee. Good for you. I’d love to hear how it goes with the indie pub. Sign of the future? I’ll see if I can find The Art of War for Writers–as if I need more to read. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  • Hi Margaret
    Just to be clear, otherwise it looks like I was completely undermining (or attempting to) your blog! I was only referring to the piece about ‘tearing up those resolutions because we don’t need them,’ and that you only need resolve and need. I’m completely with you and love your inspirational list, it’s just that I read them as ‘goals’ or ‘challenges’ not as more frivolous resolutions which are as easy to think up as they are to fail. Wishing you all the best for a fab 2011.

  • Oh Jackie. I knew what you were trying to say. As Sarah Ban Breathnach said in her dare in Romancing the Ordinary, “Stop praying for anything other than the life you have,” and “All you have is all you need.” She’s talking about those resolutions that are more like reaching for pie in the sky that only make us feel inferior and depressed. But we all need to be inspired and we all need to set goals. I knew exactly what you were saying. Thanks, though, for bringing this up. I’d hate for you to think that I took it wrong. Good luck in the coming year with all your projects, especially those to do with writing, and may be find much inspiration.

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