7 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

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I know we’re reaching the end of January, and I’ve been MIA for the longest time ever – I apologize for that. I may have procrastinated a lot or been uninspired, but here I am, back online, and I hope it’s not too late to wish every single one of you a Happy New Year 2023!

Have you made your new year’s resolution yet? I’m not usually a fan of resolutions because I usually fall out even before Valentine’s Day. But I thought this year I’ll make an exception in the hope that by doing so, I’ll have a set of goals to help me improve further as a writer. So, I’ve gathered a list of goals I hope to carry out throughout the year (fingers crossed) and goals I’m still following through the years. Who knows, perhaps it might help bring out the budding writer in you or finally publish that book you tucked away somewhere.   

1. Read more.

I realize I have fallen out of reading new books, telling myself I’ll make better use of my time devoted to writing. But reading is part and parcel of being a writer. You may think reading provides essential enjoyment to most writers, and it’s true. But the fact is, reading is research, and reading is work. Reading makes your mind work on new concepts to write. If you write children’s books, you must read many children’s books. It also goes that if you’re planning on writing a poetry book, you must read many poetry books. The more you read, the more adaptable you’ll be.

So, instead of binge-watching a series on Netflix for 2 hours before bed, try to grab a book and read. In my case, I’ve started to use my time waiting for my kids with their after-school activities, reading.

2. Write something. Anything. Every day.

I’ve heard this many times, but it’s easier said than done. I envy those who can write 700 words an hour or even 300 words every day. Sometimes I find myself sitting in front of my computer, staring at my screen blankly.

Rather than having a word count goal, I’ve decided to give myself a daily time frame of at least 40 minutes daily on writing. Whether or not your writing is flawed, isn’t making any sense, or it’s just a paragraph or two, just keep on writing. Something. Anything.

3. Have a comfortable writing environment.

“Oh, you’re a writer? So you can write anywhere.” Anywhere? Really, anywhere? The world may be our working space, but I wouldn’t go anywhere to write. But I would go somewhere to look for fresh ideas or ponder things from a different view and jot them down in a notebook.  

Writing is having thoughts and ideas put down into words, and subsequently, these words are then written in different techniques and tones to communicate with the readers. So to me, a proper writing space is essential.

Take the time to look for good lighting and a comfortable seat for good back support. Trust me. I ached for months from using my kid’s desk chair, thinking I could save money while she took mine cause somehow ‘she grew overnight’. Also, consider the amount of noise in that space and add some greenery to help increase productivity and reduce stress. Don’t forget; you spend most of your time in that space, so make it comfortable. You find that you’ll write better.

4. Complete that book.

If you’ve got a half-written novel lying somewhere in the house, make this year the year to finish it. Stop procrastinating or doubting your writing skills. I’ve come across people who told me they’d written a lot in their notebooks or on sheets of paper in a folder but made excuses for their lack of experience in publishing or what they should do next once they’ve done writing it. 

First things first, finish that damn manuscript. And then start thinking of your next step.

5. Don’t just ‘like’ marketing. Try to love it.

So your book is published with an attractive glossy cover and a catchy blurb. Now what? Unless you put it out there, no one will know about your new book. But where do you start from social media to an email list, interviews, and blogs? From the very bottom. It’s tedious having to keep up to date with everything and wanting to write simultaneously, but it’s needed. I admit I’ve not been doing much in this department. Always behind when it comes to marketing. Take this blog, for example, that I’m writing right now.

Marketing is almost every author’s nightmare. However, let’s change our mindset this year to not just like it but love and enjoy doing it. Think of it as a way to get to know other readers and writers.

6. Don’t shy away from calling yourself a writer/author.

If you write, you’re a writer. If you’ve published a book, you’re an author. I used to shy away from calling myself an author. When people ask me, “So, what do you do?” I’d say, “I write books.” I’m not sure why I shied from owning that title. It wasn’t that I sold only ten books a year. One would think that after more than 700 books sold, the first year is pretty darn good for a nobody stepping into the world of publishing for the first time.

So don’t be afraid to own the title. You deserve it.

7. Ditch the whole resolution idea.

You’re wondering why I’m contradicting here. Resolutions don’t work with everyone, and that’s fine. Why create unnecessary stress and guilt when things don’t work out as you want them to? Take the year as it comes, and do what’s best for you. Writing is meant to be a fun journey, not a race, not an end-point. 

Instead of resolutions, try having intentions. Rather than having a list of goals you want to achieve, try being focused, mindful, and present in your daily activities. Or finding joy in everyday tasks, no matter how mundane it is. It’s less concrete and more metaphysical.

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