Writing Resolutions for the New Year

Whether you are an avid New Year’s Resolution setter like me, or prefer to avoid the January 1st tradition of turning over a new leaf, there’s no denying that the start of a new year is a very convenient time to set a new goal.

I find setting goals is a really motivating way of getting closer to what I want to achieve, and for that reason I will be making one of my New Year’s Resolutions a writing resolution. In 2020, I want to improve my writing by making sure I make writing a consistent habit and part of my everyday routine. I also want to complete the first draft of my novel (writing ‘The End’ is going to feel so satisfying!), so I’ve made it one of my resolutions, just to make sure I actually focus on it throughout the year.

Whether you’re just starting to come up with stories or have been writing for years, setting a writing resolution can be a great way to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and try new things.

Here’s some ideas for writing resolutions if you fancy setting one;

  • Enter a writing competition once a month (you could also aim to apply for a new writing related opportunity every month – LiteratureWorks has a great list of some here, submit your work to online magazines and anthologies each month, or even submit your novel to an agent each month.)
  • Write and edit a new short story or poem every month (or every week, if you’re feeling ambitious!)
  • Try to write something every week day for the next year – it could just be filling a page in a notebook when you wake up in the morning, or typing out a few sentences on your phone when you’re on the bus. Either way, it’s a great way to make writing an everyday habit.
  • Finish a first draft – Do you have a novel idea in mind but have been putting off writing it? Make this year the year you get it down on paper (or in a word document, whichever takes your fancy)
  • Try to write something in a different genre or style every month. If you’re a prose writer, try poetry. If you always write crime fiction, try romance. You will, naturally, prefer some over others, but the process will push you out of your comfort zone and force you to be more experimental with your writing.
  • If you’re published or self-published, you could set yourself a goal to do with your book, such as organising a book signing, getting your book stocked in certain shops or selling X amount of copies (if this is something you’re interested in, our workshop on ‘How to Promote Your Book’ will have heaps of tips to help you towards these goals – more information here)

Something to keep in mind with any New Year’s Resolution, but especially those which are linked to your creative process, is that it is completely okay to fail at things. If you forget your goal half way through January and don’t pick it up again until mid-July: it is okay. If you’re really consistent with your resolution for the first half of the year but don’t manage to write anything at all in the second half: it is okay.

Try not to be discouraged. Be kind to yourself and pick up your goal again when you feel ready and able. We all make resolutions with the best intentions in mind, but things change, life happens and everything can get a bit busy. Any progress, even if it isn’t perfect, will still help you to improve and is therefore, good progress.

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