New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

People have been making New Year’s resolutions since the time of the ancient Babylonians. The most popular resolution then was not to quit smoking or to lose weight but to return something borrowed from a friend the year before. Times have certainly changed.

a New Year's resolution, wikimedia commons

a New Year’s resolution, wikimedia commons

In the today’s world, New Year’s is an excuse to party. Lots of resolutions are made, but they are usually broken after a few days or weeks. If you decide to make resolutions, don’t make ones that are so demanding they are impossible to keep. Instead, make resolutions about things you want to accomplish with your life.

The New Year’s resolutions of a writer should focus mainly on different aspects of writing. When you look back over the past year, are there things you wish you had done differently? Do you wish you had spent more time writing? Do you wish you had sent more manuscripts to publishers? Do you wish you had self-published your book? Perhaps there is a writing course you wanted to take but didn’t?

I will suggest some possible resolutions that a writer might want to make.

writing, www.pexels.com

writing, www.pexels.com

Improve your writing skills by taking a writing class. There are several available over the internet. Some of them are free, but some of them you do have to pay for. No matter which class you take, do your best. If you have a strong desire to learn, you will.

Commit to writing one short story or article a week. This isn’t the time to be overly critical or to be a perfectionist. That is one of my biggest obstacles—I want everything to be perfect. But I am human and so are you. If you insist on your manuscript being perfect (in your eyes) before you submit it for publication, then you will never take that step.

Commit to finishing a book in six months. That means you will actually have to sit down and work on writing your book, not just dream about doing so. If we didn’t have television around, there would probably be a lot more books written. Maybe you need to make a resolution to turn off the television for at least a few hours each evening so you can devote that time to your writing.

girl writing, etc.usf.edu

girl writing, etc.usf.edu

Once a month, send a story or article to a magazine for publication. What you have written may or may not be accepted. Don’t let fear of rejection stop you. Most authors could fill a book with rejection slips they have received before something they wrote was actually accepted for publication.

If you don’t want to submit your writing to traditional publishers, resolve to self-publish your work. Just be sure that you have it edited before you publish it. If a well-known publisher were to accept your work for publication, it would be edited. Don’t allow the quality of your self-published work to be any less.

Resolve to enjoy all that life has to offer while always looking for stories to be told and articles to be written. Carry a notebook with you to jot down ideas and make note of interesting things you see or hear. Don’t sit at your computer all day or feel as though all of your time has to be focused on writing. Take some time to go for a walk. As you observe life happening around you, inspiration for stories will come.

reading books, flickr

reading books, flickr

Resolve to read more. Anyone who wants to write needs to read—a lot. Don’t feel guilty about reading. Think of it as work. Study the techniques used by your favorite authors. Would you have written the story the same way? Copy down the first sentence or paragraph and then write the rest of the story yourself in your own way with a new ending. If you like the way your story turns out, go back and completely rewrite the portion you copied down to start and make the story your own.

Resolve to broaden your knowledge of words and grammar. This will improve your writing tremendously. Learn just one new word a week. Master not only the meanings of the many different homonyms but also learn how to spell them. If there is a part of grammar that you don’t understand, take a few minutes each day and study it until you do understand it.

New Year's resolution postcard, wikimedia commons

New Year’s resolution postcard, wikimedia commons

If you make the resolution to write a short story a week and then miss a week doing so, that is no reason to give up that resolution. Just start it again the next week. Life happens and causes us to change our plans at times. Don’t be discouraged by it.

Make a resolution that 2017 will be the most successful year of writing that you have ever had. If your writing is just a hobby, think about moving it up a notch and trying for publication. There is always room for another good writer.

Recommended Article: No Interruptions Day & Other Holidays That End the Year

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *