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Daily Writer’s Fix: January 7-11 (Idea Generator, Round 2)

Poem

Whew, we made it. What I’m talking about is keeping our New Year’s writing resolutions. It’s been almost a week since we had to start getting used to writing 2013 instead of 2012, and we’ve had nearly a week to keep the goals we set.

We’ll get back to our normal sensory-based Daily Writer’s Fix format soon, but I want to start the year off by making sure that you have a substantial pool of topics and ideas to pull out whenever you’re wondering what to write about. If you did the exercise in our first Idea Generator every day last week, you already have a great start. And if you use this week’s Idea Generator every day between now and Friday, you’ll have more ideas than you know what to do with (and that’s a good problem to have).

And now… here’s this week’s Idea Generator:

Your life is a treasure chest from which to draw ideas. The trick is identifying things in life as story nuggets. Keep a small notepad with you at all times this week; carry it around the house in your pocket and in the front pocket of your purse or briefcase whenever you leave the house.While you’re going about your day, think about what’s relevant to your life. What issues are you trying to work through? What are some defining characteristics of your lifestyle? What are some new techniques, habits, or solutions you’re trying to work into your life? Whenever you come up with an idea, write it down in your notepad right away, along with any notes or visions you might have for a story angle. Don’t worry about developing the story right now; just write down what comes to mind you’ll have a good springboard when it’s time to get writing. Challenge yourself to come up with at least five of these each day between now and Friday. If you do, you’ll have at least 25 story ideas or topics by the end of the week!

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Friday Forum: 1/4

The laundry hamper is apparently the perfect place for an ambush.
The laundry hamper is apparently the perfect place for an ambush.

Earlier we shared about our favorite posts from the past year in a year end Retrospective. Now we’d like to know which ones you liked best. Share which of our posts came to be your favorites and why. Any feedback you can provide will help us better serve you in the coming year. Thanks!

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Setting Writing Goals for the New Year

2013 Writing Goals

The New Year is always about a fresh start, an ability to think about goals with a clean slate and a renewed belief in one’s ability to actually keep a resolution going for the next 365 days. I love the optimism that the new year imbues us with, don’t you? Here at Nooks & Cranberries, we’re striving to help you keep your writing goals in 2013, so we’ll be talking a lot about them over the next few weeks. To start, it’s time to set some goals! What do you want to accomplish as a writer in 2013? In concrete terms, what bylines do you want to acquire by December 31, 2013? How many short stories do you want to write? Do you have a personal essay you’re trying to get published? Is there a magazine you’re dreaming about writing for? Do you want to begin writing about a new topic? Or how about landing an agent or book proposal?

My list of goals is still a work in progress–and to be honest it’s always evolving, but here are some of my writing-related goals for 2013:

  • Complete an enticing book proposal for my food memoir
  • Increase the number of publications I write for, particularly involving parenting, food, and all things Scandinavian
  • Put the finishing touches on my home office, which is where I aim to do most of my writing
  • Build a professional writer’s website
  • Get into a good blogging groove–I have three of them so it can be tricky to strike a balance
  • Set aside regular time for personal writing
  • Improve my photography skills to augment my writing
  • Master the arts of organization and time management–essential skills for productivity
  • Encourage other writers, particularly moms who are trying to find time for their passion while giving their all to their family

What are your writing goals for the new year? Leave a comment–we’d love to hear from you!

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A 2012 Retrospective

Wow, it’s already 2013. The first day of the new year is always an exciting time, and we’re looking forward to what’s ahead. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we’d like to take a moment to look back on a wonderful 2012.

2012 was the year of Nooks & Cranberries, to us. We had gone on hiatus for a while, but when we returned last summer, there was no looking back! We’ve been posting daily for months, giving you writing prompts and inspiration, glimpses into the writing life, and, of course, some fantastic Destination Inspiration. The latter is the backbone of Nooks & Cranberries, so we want to take you along on a look back to some of our favorite recent destinations.
For a Seattle writing space, we love Belle Epicurean. Tip: Order a brioche and take a seat at one of the marble-topped window seats.

Belle Epicurean Brioche

We also got out of town quite a bit, giving you some Destination Inspiration from some other great Northwest places, including Walla Walla’s Brasserie Four

Brasserie Four Macarons

Monteillet Fromagerie in Dayton, Washington, …

Monteillet Cheese

…and Whoopemup Hollow Cafe in Waitsburg.

Whoopemup Hollow Gazpacho

We also had a great trip to Bend, Oregon, with our husbands and sons, where the focus switched from wine to beer (as seen from our sampler, below, at 10 Barrel). There’s nothing like getting out of our natural preferences to expand our palates–and our inspiration!

10 Barrel Sampler