The ball has dropped, the crowds have cheered, the streamers have flown and kisses have been… well… kissed. That’s right, it’s a brand new year! It’s the time for celebration, hope, desperate promises that this year will be better than last and (that’s right) your New Year’s Resolutions. You’re definitely going to stick with them this year, right? We sure hope so because we’re calling for all you writers out there to follow our New Year’s Resolutions for Writers:
1) Set a Reading Goal
One of the most important parts of writing is reading. It’s one of the best ways to learn about technique, style, and the ins and outs of your specific book genre. So, this year, set yourself a reading goal! Make it official by setting up a Goodreads account (if you don’t already have one). Goodreads allows you to set a reading goal and track your progress. It even gives you suggestions based on your previous reads and books you’ve marked as ‘read’. Make sure you plan ahead too. You don’t want to finish a book and sit around for a few days twiddling your thumbs over what to read next. Try to plan your reads two or three books ahead of yourself so that you’re never left idle.
2) Make time for writing/Finishing your book
Just as important as setting a reading goal, you’ll also need set a writing goal. Whether you’re currently writing a novel, between books, or even an active blog writer, you need to stay active with your craft. Start by setting yourself a goal for the year. For example, your goal could be to finish your book by the end of the year. Or your goal could be to write a certain number of short stories or blog posts. Next, make yourself a calendar. Set aside specific nights to write and jot down your goal for each session. Make yourself weekly plans and monthly plans. What do you want to have finished by the end of week one? By the end of the first month? Ultimately, if you stay strict to your plan, you’ll have your yearly writing goal accomplished.
3) Find an agent/publisher
If you’re someone who has already finished your book and is starting to look for an agent or publisher, make that your New Year’s Resolution. Keep writing, but also set aside time each week to devote to searching for a literary agent or a publisher. Make a weekly or monthly goal of how many agents you’d like to contact in that period.
4) Improve weak spot(s)
We all have our weaknesses as writers. Some of us are bad at dialogue, others struggle to set a scene. This is the year to work on your writing problem-area. For part of your writing time, do some exercises that target those problem areas. And when you’re reading, notice what other writers do that you don’t. If you’re mindful of your problem-area throughout the year and actively doing research and exercises to improve, by the end of the year you’ll have improved drastically.
5) Meet other Authors/Join a Writing Workshop
This is the year to push yourself out of your comfort zone, so set a goal of joining a workshop class. They’re easy to find in your local area with a little Google magic, and it’s a fantastic way to meet people with similar interests, get some fresh insight on your writing, and learn new techniques.
6) Start a blog
Even if you’re not necessarily a blogger, starting a blog is such a helpful tool for up-and-coming writers. Write about your day, things you’re passionate about, or even books you’re reading. Create social media platforms and link it to your blog to build a following. The combination of these tools shows potential publishers that you’re a marketable client.
7) Learn on the daily
Writing is partly about knowledge. The more you know, the more you can write about. You never know when the opportunity will come to sprinkle in a juicy factoid. So set yourself a goal to learn something new every single day. Not only will it make you a better writer, but it will also make you a better person.