Let’s be honest. For many of us, 2016 was less than what we’d hoped for. Maybe for you it was the opposite and 2016 was the best year by far. It’s all a matter of perspective. Whether we reach our goal or not, the desire remains the same: Everyone wants a change.
As 2017 is kicking off, people proclaim their New Year’s Resolutions and formulate their plans of action. An idea of what this year could be is born and we find ourselves fantasizing about how great it will be to achieve those goals. Success is right within our grasps; we can feel it.
Writers are people too and we are no exception to the world of New Year Resolutions. We want change and success just as much as anyone. Perhaps even more, considering how much of ourselves we pour into our work for nothing more than the joy it brings us.
So, while everyone else is making goals to lose weight, learn a new language, travel more often, or whatever their need for change is, you can bet a significant fund that writers are just as intent on making 2017 their year.
I know I certainly am 🙂
You might ask: What would a writer’s 2017 New Year’s Resolution be? Wouldn’t the ultimate goal be to get published? Of course, most writers do want to have their work reviewed and published. In fact, one of my own goals is to find an agent for my work. But for writer’s, goals aren’t just about the end game; all steps along the journey are equally important.
Whether you’re a curious mind or a dedicated author, here are 5 New Year Resolutions for Writers:
- Write daily. What you write doesn’t have to become anything. There’s no commitment to a theme or need for what you write to be logically laid out. This is probably one of the few times you’d have to explain yourself or your work to anyone because it’s simply about getting into the habit about writing something – anything- daily. It’s all about writing whatever you want each day to get into the habit of consistently writing. And, it’s a great habit for any writer!
- Write about what you don’t know. Many writers live by the advice to “write what you know.” This advises you to stay within your comfort zone and to stick to writing what you’re familiar with. Other writers, however, like to step outside their comfort zone and explore uncharted topics. They research, read, and wrote stories they normally wouldn’t have if they followed the old advice. Sometimes going outside your comfort zone helps you to develop your own writing style more, adding to your experience, and expanding what you know.
- Read more. As writers, it should come as no surprise that we also love to read. Sadly, with the flow of life – jobs, family, college – we might feel as though we don’t have enough time to feed our inner starving readers. This year, make a goal to read ___ amount of books. For me, my goal this year is to read 13 novels over the course of 2017. Replace idle time with reading: travel time on the bus, time spent waiting for dinner to be done, the 1+ hour spent watching Netflix. We always have time; we just need to use it better to do the activities we want. Why not use it to squeeze in a few books you’ve dying to read?
- Join a critique group. The more you put yourself out there, the more you get used to feedback. Constructive criticism is an inevitable part of being a writer. Unless you never submit or share your work, you can’t avoid it. And why would you want to? Criticism can be one of the most enlightening components of the writing process.It sheds light on any areas you might need to focus on to become an even better writer. Joining a small critique group can alleviate anxiety when the time comes to submit your work to a publisher. In the end, it’s a win-win with the advice, support, and encouragement you can receive from the right critique group.
- Submit your work. For some writers, fear is the ultimate enemy. They spend all that time writing and never send their work out into the world. Part of being a writer is about taking the risk. So if you’ve been holding onto a manuscript for fear of rejection, let it go. After all the hard work you’ve put into it, you owe it to yourself to face your fear down and try.