New Year’s New Writing Goals : Why Do We Do It?

Writing goals. Daily word counts. Writing productivity hacks.

A well-known feeling, as a New Year’s Eve rises, yet again, upon this dear wide wild world, emerge.
This year, oh this year…

All those writing projects will come flying out of our imagination onto the page.
This year, oh this year…

All those books will touch the hearts of literary agents or publishers if, like me, you’re from Quebec, you are writing in French and you’re trying to make despite a real thought market.
This year, oh this year…

Why does the feeling of a new start seem ever stronger when a new year awaits around the corner?

Why do feel the urge to make new goals, to put pressure on ourselves the minute the clock dings midnight?

I wished I was a professional writer or journalist when those kinds of questions fluttered around and around in my mind.

But, circumstances being, let’s dive in with the information we can gather.

Why do most of us writers feel more motivated upon New Year’s Eve?

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Writing Under So Many Stars

Such a marvellous sight!

It’s almost Christmas Eve. A few days need to go by, but we’re almost there.

This year, hubby-to-be, kiddo and I chose a different place to celebrate the North American Holidays season.

From Christmas to almost New Year’s Eve, we settled down in a little cozy, sparkling with wonderful art cabin, just a sigh away from the St Lawrence River, nearby a little village on Ile d’Orléans.

When I first started to write this post, no moon shined on the ice crackling on the shore.

However, stars did. So many stars, so bright in the frigid minus 20 degrees Celsius.

Such a marvellous sight, dear fellow writers, not only did I feel the need to share, but it made me wonder about the power of travelling and its impact on my creative writing quest.

For nowadays, technology obliging, writers can do such in-depth researches that travelling to physically experience the weather, the atmosphere, the sounds, the decor, the smells of any destination seems almost like a burden.

However, here I am, dear fellow writers, listening to the ice pilling up on the shore so close to the cabin. Crackling crack crack criiick. A big cargo boat is slowly going down in what’s left of free water.

And a little « what if… » starts to dance in my mind.

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Semantic Satiation, or What Might Lurk Behind the Proverbial Writer’s Block

lt all began with a writer.

In order to make the audience of tv show « Ted Lasso » laugh, that said writer taught it would be fun to explore the well-researched psychological phenomenon that is semantic satiation.

One thing led to another, and there I was on a very quiet Tuesday, listening to the host of a francophone late-morning radio show I almost enjoy, repeating the word « chapeau » for 15 seconds.

After a while, you don’t understand a word anymore. It’s just random, almost annoying sounds.

And apparently, the same phenomenon can be applied to writers.

Sometimes, we’re puzzled by how bad our writing appears to be. Or by how impossible it seems some days to write a decent 500 words in less than an hour.

The answer might just be this: Semantic Satiation.

Writer’s Block and Semantic Satiation: Same Battle?

Well, it’s not exactly the same thing.

Semantic satiation have to do with the repetition of one word leading to the feeling the word has become meaningless, or sound darn weird.

Although writers may suffer from a sort of word saturation, if, for example, they write continuously without a break for a prolonged period of time.

After a while, the act of writing in itself, no matter if it’s fiction or technical writing, if it’s writing business letters or legal contracts, may lose its sense for some writers.

Suddenly, no words are good anymore.

They are the same words as the day before. It’s always the same words. However, they sound weird, they seem stupid, meaningless.

I’ve always called it writer’s block. Now that I heard about semantic satiation and how a similar phenomenon can affect writers, it shed new light on the said writer block.

When every word I write is bad, it’s a signal I need to step away from the page and go do something else!

Dear fellow writers, I hope this helped… and made you smile a bit.

Until next time!

Sources:

APA PsycNet

Mental Floss

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