I'm going to say it a lot during this year, so why not start now...
I would not still be writing--shoot, I probably would not be sane--if it wasn't for two brilliant books by Heather Sellers: Page after Page and Chapter after Chapter. I cannot recommend them enough.
(And since I know that I'm my only reader at the moment, I'll say this a lot more later, when someone else is reading. For now, you know, it's just practice.)
Plenty of people tell you how to write paragraphs, dialogue, character, emotion, etc. etc. What Heather Sellers does is help you see how to have a writing life. After four years of creative writing classes and practice, I at least was a decent beginner at writing... but I had no idea whatsoever how to craft the life that went with it. The whims and emotions. The neediness. The cycle of feeling like a pure genius, only the next moment to feel like the village idiot. Sellers talked me through all this, and does it with class, again and again.
She is brilliant. Buy her books. Trust her.
Today I scribbled this quote from Page after Page, to help coach me along this year (read: to keep me from shirking):
Your confidence as a writer is going to come from the strength you get in establishing a regular writing practice. Something you can count on. While publication is very juicy and sexy and delicious, it doesn't change the fact that you will have to go write. You need to focus on that.
And with that... back to work.