Maybe you’re like me, which means you suffer a bit from what I think of as “writer’s panic.” It hits when you realize that you haven’t sat down to write in…a really long time. I don’t even want to think about how long it’s been since I last looked at my comic book script. And I had such grand ideas! Such fire and determination to finish before the end of the year! When I realize I’m not getting any younger, my stories aren’t getting any wiser, and my fingers are getting overused from spending all Sunday afternoon playing games on my smart phone, the panic really sets in. We all have stories just begging to be committed to digital memory, but with the distraction of the holidays, the overeating, busyness, parties, aunts and uncles from out of town etc., the opportunity to sit down and write seems like a faraway dream.

That’s all behind us now, though, isn’t it? It’s the New Year – which means new writing habits, the kind that prompt you to finish that project you’ve been tinkering with for too long. I’m right beside you and my new year’s resolution is to finish two short stories as well as my long-lost comic book script. I’m also taking a television writing course this winter, which I think will be very motivating, and I’m saying that as a student, not as a staff member. Writing classes are great because they “force” you to write each week in order to complete assignments. I highly recommend them.

Of course, here at the Writers’ Program, courses are only one way we motivate you to write. Here are some other ways to make writing a priority this year:

1. The Writers Studio. Four days of intensive workshops. With 10 to choose from (5 in creative writing, 5 in screenwriting), there’s something for everyone. Not only is it a chance to send a jolt of electricity into your projects, but it’s an excellent networking opportunity, and a chance to meet like-minded writers. Hurry up and enroll though, as some workshops are already full, and others are filling up fast!

2. Come join us at one of our free annual events. The Publication Party in May is a grand way to catch one of your favorite Writers’ Program instructors reading from their recently published works. You’ll also snack on free and tasty desserts (you know, the important stuff in life!) The Cyberhouse, also in May, is a great opportunity to “mingle” online with more than 35 summer instructors. And don’t forget the Writers Faire, coming in August. Stay tuned for more details.

3. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. You know you’re on there all the time anyway, so you might as well fill your feeds with writer-power, writing-related quotes, writing advice from our knowledgeable instructors, and other news of the writerly persuasion.

4. If you still have questions about how to get your writing on track, call a trusty Writers’ Program advisor at (310) 825-9415. We can tell you about these options and more including competitions, consultations, and certificate programs.

Let’s make 2011 the year we all get some serious writing done!

Sara Bond is the Program Assistant for Creative Writing (Online) and Events.

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