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This blog was featured on 12/29/2018
Writing Resolutions You Can Enjoy Committing To
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
29 days ago
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
29 days ago

Resolutions are tough. We all feel the refreshing rush of a new year and want to hop on our biggest, boldest dreams. Then a few weeks pass and we’re back to square one.

How many times have you set resolutions like these:

  • I’m going to write 1000 words every time I sit down to write.
  • I’m going to write every day.
  • I’m going to finish my book this year.

They are the dieting resolutions of the writing world.

And how many times have you set those goals only to be in a slump by February?

Instead of returning to the same resolutions that flopped in years passed, here’s some suggestions for new resolutions you can set and stick with that will help you hone your craft and develop good habits.

Read 24 new books this year.

Maybe you already read at a faster pace than this. Maybe you have let life get in the way of the best thing writers can do to improve their skills and barely manage a book a month.

Either way, commit to reading one book in the genre you’re writing and one book outside of your genre every month. This way you are learning the style that needs to be in your book and also getting a new perspective on writing.

Complete a short story.

Perhaps it’s committing to 50,000+ words that is overwhelming your resolution. Instead of demanding you finish a book by next December, commit to a short story by May.

You can even write a story connected to your big project that may one day serve as a marketing tool or bonus feature.

Make a writer friend.

We all need encouragement now and then. And in fact, we need someone to hold us accountable and bounce ideas off of. So make a friend who is also a writer. Go to local writing events, reach out on social media or shoot an email to someone you admire.

Find a writing mentor.

We may idolize famous authors, but that’s not the same as finding a mentor. A mentor can coach you and motivate you. They don’t even necessarily have to be someone you know. The online world makes it easy to find a coach FOR FREE.

Joanna Penn, Jane Friedman and Mark Dawson all have rich educational resources, podcasts and blogs that can help you grow and improve. If you know someone who can be your mentor in person, great! If not, find someone online who is already teaching about craft, marketing and publishing.

Participate in NaNoWriMo.

Did November sneak up on you this year? Maybe you tried to participate in National Novel Writing Month and lost momentum after a couple of weeks. Perhaps you didn’t even get started because you forgot about it until it was too late in the month.

This year, commit early to joining a writing challenge so you can make plans for success. Maybe you hire a housekeeper to come in a couple times in November. Or maybe you pass on hosting Thanksgiving this year.

The sooner you decide to join a writing challenge the better chance you’ll have at completing it.

Take a writing retreat.

We all need vacations to reboot. Could you also take a trip to get your writing on track? Though not everyone can afford to hole up in a cozy lakeside cabin, you can make different arrangements for yourself.

Go to a local hotel like J.K. Rowling or ask a friend if you can house sit while they vacation. The point is, if you leave your environment, you’re less likely to be distracted by kids, chores and other interruptions. Take advantage of long writing stretches, quiet editing hours and meditative reading time.

Fill your social media feed with writing motivation.

Social media can be the antithesis of productivity. We all have a tendency to get lost in baby photos, puppy videos and political commentary. What if instead, we turned social media into fuel (or at least put some helpful reminders into our feed).

Next time you’re scrolling, go on a follow binge of writers. Find accounts that share motivational writing memes. Flip through some hashtags like #amwriting, #writersofinstagram, #authorsofig and #writingcommunity to identify some rich writing content.

Form a writing habit that fits your life.

The general advice out there is that we should all try to write every day. Maybe that just hasn’t worked for you. That’s okay! Instead of trying to commit to someone else’s routine, commit to finding one that works for you.

Work with your spouse to select two nights a week where you can go to the library while he or she handles the kids. Select three days a week where you wake up an hour earlier to get in your word count. Decide that this year you won’t watch anymore reruns and that any time your family is watching something on TV that you’ve seen, you’re going to step away to write.

Test out new methods like writing sprints or dictation to see if you can make a lot of impact in a short amount of time. There’s no right or wrong way to get your words in. There is just writing and not writing.

Attend an event for writers.

Whether it’s a local writing workshop or a national writing conference, putting yourself around other writers at all stages can be great fuel. Leave the solitary writer life behind and get in touch with some fellow wordsmiths.

Start blogging about your writing journey.

Sometimes accountability can come from within when you start documenting what you are working on. If you have your own site, talk about your experiences there. If not, you can use your She Writes blog when you become a member to share your progress and possibly motivate others.

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