We know the common New Year’s resolutions people make: lose weight, save money, get more organized. As a writer, you probably have at least one writing-oriented resolution. But, why not make your entire list of resolutions for this year those that’ll lead to success to your writing goals? Here are some resolution ideas you might make and how to keep them.
Create and commit to a routine of writing
Plain and simple, nothing gets written if you don’t write it. Sometimes it seems that most of writing is the waiting for it to happen somewhere in between the procrastination snacking and the writer’s block at the eleventh hour. We can even get into the habit of only writing when we feel like it or when pressed with a deadline. However, your craft will not improve if you don’t practice it. Set objective goals that are realistic and measurable. Either commit to a word count (perhaps using word count meters to track your progress) or an amount of time that you will write on a daily or weekly basis. For example, 200 words or one hour per day are easy goals. Use this time to write about anything to exercise your creative muscle or use the time to devote to a project, which leads to the next resolution…
Finish that writing project
You know which one. It’s THE project – the collection of poems, the finished book, the biography. It’s the one that has sat half-done for longer than you can remember. You can envision the finished product, yet finishing it has become your personal Moby Dick. Well, channel your inner Captain Ahab and finish it once and for all. Sit down and write out a timeline and give yourself deadlines to meet. Use your writing routine as time to dedicate to it.
Find other writers
Meetup.com is a great place to find local writers. Many writing groups will have weekly meet-ups where you can share your work for feedback and hear what other people are working on. It’s a great way to find inspiration and support. Also, join groups online where you can connect with writers and exchange ideas. These connections in person and online can lead to other possibilities like finding someone to walk you through publishing your first book. Or attend writers’ conferences, workshops, and retreats, like those produced by Black Writers Events.
Try a new genre
Writing in a different genre is another way to keep your mind fresh and flexible. Trying out new genres also brings diversity to your portfolio when you apply for a writing position. If you mainly write non-fiction, try writing a short story. If you write novels, try writing an article on current events. And everyone should try his or her pen at poetry. What’s a writing collection if you don’t have a few embarrassing poems of ardent love sprinkled in there (hopefully, only discovered posthumously).
The more you actively remind yourself of the reasons that you enjoy writing and are a writer, the more this can motivate you to continue on with your resolutions. The most important thing is to have confidence in yourself and in your craft. Happy writing in 2015!