Happy New Year!

A new year usually hauls in countless resolutions and (often short-term) changes. Luckily, for writers, a short-term change or moment of inspiration is not as demoralising or unproductive as a failed promise to oneself. Imagination is our greatest asset but, as with all good things in life, it needs work and maintenance. And, in case you needed any more convincing, the good news is that cultivating imagination also has health benefits (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329870.400).

So, how do new starts apply to writing when a new year finds you in the middle of a project? Put it aside. Yes, now. And start writing something else. It can be a short story, poem or piece of nonfiction, so long as it’s not part of your current project. Once you’re finished (or at least started!), return to your previous project and, hopefully, you will be able to look at it from a fresh, cobweb-free perspective.

And if you’re still stuck for ideas, there is no better time than at the start of the year, when literary calendars are filling and plentiful. There are calendars of events to attend and publication dates (for the UK, see, for example,  http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/02/books-2015-calendar-year-kazuo-ishiguro-jonathan-franzen-toni-morrison ) and of historical events (http://www.lovereading.co.uk/literary_calendar). There are calendars of sport events, nature walks, science lectures, local talks, seminars etc. Skim, attend, read, and be inspired.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and productive 2015!