New year, new me? It’s that time again—time to come up with that New Year’s resolution! As writers, we are always open to the idea of improvement and broadening our minds to creativity for the sake of a story. With that in mind, set writing goals you intend to follow-through with. Now that it’s 2019, here are 9 New Year’s Resolutions to consider:
1. Realistic Goals
It’s easy to get ahead of ourselves and think that we will have all of this time to write when, in reality, that’s the time we wish we had to write. It isn’t always the reality. So, set realistic writing goals for yourself so you’re not disappointed if you don’t meet your own expectations.
2. Networking With Other Authors
Spend more time with other writers—on and offline. Social media can be a great avenue to connect with people and build relationships with writers. It’s where I’ve met most of my author friends and have developed wonderful friendships that have led to adjoined events in person. Besides, who understands the ups and downs of being an author better than another author?
Not sure how to meet other authors? Check out writing groups, participate in panels, attend bookish events, or go on a writing retreat. There are plenty of ways! You just have to research them.
3. Reading Goals
There are ZERO downsides to reading. First, it’s an enjoyable hobby for authors. Second, reading—especially reading the genre you write—will help you stay current with what’s new and trending. And third, reading other authors will help you hone your own writing. Fourth, if you read outside your preferred genre, you can open yourself up to fresh ideas you may not have thought previously.
4. Change Things Up
Change is good. Try something new by shaking up your writing process, environment, or the time you write. For example, if you find yourself writing in bed at night, why not try writing in the morning at a coffee shop? A little change might inspire you.
5. Social Media
Branding yourself is all part of being an author these days. Authors need to market themselves online and the best place to do this is via social media. Instagram has a #bookstagram community where you can connect with potential readers all over the world. Build friendships over your love of reading. Don’t forget about Twitter—the platform most writers use to connect with other writers. Create an image of yourself online that people can relate to and feel comfortable talking to. There’s always Facebook, LinkedIn, and Litsy, but don’t stretch yourself too thin. Focus on a few social media platforms and brand yourself.
6. Focus On Revisions
You can write “badly,” as long as you edit. We’ve all had those days where we think what we’ve written is absolutely brilliant. Then we read it later to discover that “he roled he’s eye” is not actually a clever sentence. In fact, it needs help. Lots of help. So, give it what it needs and make those revisions count.
7. Swap Genres
Give a new genre a shot. Write something different than your usual to see what you’re capable of. If you’re used to writing YA fantasy, why not try a contemporary short story? You never know what you’ll enjoy writing until you give it a shot.
8. Analyze Your Favourite Authors
Read your favourite authors for inspiration. What are they doing now? What makes their work so enticing? Break down their writing to determine why you enjoy reading their work so much. It may adjust the way you view your own writing… which may lead you to change up your writing process. It certainly did for me.
9. Breaks Are Part Of The Process
Creative burnout is real. When you’re writing a LOT for so long, you reach a point of brain freeze—and not because you’ve slurped a slushie too quickly. This particular brain freeze stumps you and leaves you feeling like you can’t continue the plot of a story because you’re fresh out of imagination. When this happens, remember that breaks are part of the process. Taking a step back from your writing for a week (or even a few weeks) can provide you with the time you need to reset, so you can get back to doing what you love. Venturing out into the world and having those experiences will help you write. After all, how can you write about something you’ve never truly experienced yourself? Take breaks without feeling guilty.
Writing is important, but you can’t forget to live. Your writing goals should be more than just writing. Being an author is all about fostering friendships, learning something new, reading, changing things up, and living. Heck, it’s 2019! Retreat from your hermit hole already.