Sometimes even the most well-intentioned writing resolutions can end up being whimsical, erratic, and just plain unrealistic. But when you focus on goals that are slightly more achievable, you’re not only more likely to pull them off, but you’ll also feel much better about yourself come deadline time.
Following are ten writing resolutions you can start fulfilling right now.
1. You Can Write Every Day
Or at least on a regular basis.
Plan a reasonable writing schedule and stick with it. Perhaps you’ll write for two hours every day, as I do, or perhaps you’ll only be able to save twenty minutes from the general frenzy of life. Whatever the amount of time, make up your mind to stick with it relentlessly.
2. You Can Finish That First Draft
Let this be the year you type “The End” on that story (or stories) you’ve been tinkering with. Unfinished stories are unread stories, and unread stories are unpublished stories. Start building the habit of finishing every story you start.
3. You Can Study the Craft/Read More
Invest in some worthy books on the craft, subscribe to writing magazines, or sign up for writing workshops either online or at a conference. And don’t forget to read like crazy. The best way to study the craft is to learn at the feet of the master wordsmiths.
4. You Can Enjoy Every Minute
Okay, maybe not every minute. You’re entitled to the occasional headbang against the keyboard when your main character is blowing raspberries instead of cooperating.
But don’t let yourself forget that, as a writer, you’re one of the most blessed people on the planet. Embrace the ups and downs of the craft, and don’t let the rough moments get to you.
5. You Can Find a Critique Partner
We all need at least one pair of objective eyes to catch the glaring mistakes in our manuscripts and cheer us on when the going gets tough. If you’re not already lucky enough to have such a person, start frequenting writing groups, forums, and blogs. Strike up friendships and offer to trade manuscript critiques.
6. You Can Banish Writer’s Block
Learn to cultivate a lifestyle that encourages inspiration, and master the skills that will send the writer’s block packing whenever it threatens.
7. You Can Stretch Your Comfort Zone
Safe is boring. Try something new this year—whether it’s a new genre, a new format, or a wildly unpredictable new character.
8. You Can Set Realistic Goals
Focus on what you can achieve on your own. You can’t ensure you’ll find a publisher for your novel this year—but you can send out five queries every month.
9. You Can Help Others
The writing community is all about sharing. We learn from and are assisted by others, and, in turn, we should make it a point to share our own knowledge and encouragement. Join writing forums and groups, offer to read a less experienced author’s manuscript, or maybe just leave a good review on one of your favorite author’s books.
10. You Can Call Yourself a Writer
If you write, you’re a writer. Don’t ever let yourself believe differently. Make it your goal to better your writing skills and habits with every new year, but don’t feel you have to wait to claim your title as a “writer.” Claim it and wear it with pride.