Making New Year’s resolutions has become part and parcel for many of us at this time of year, whether it is getting more exercise, eating less, or doing household projects. Writers should include their writing plans too. Make them just as important as your other resolutions, and make plans that you can stick to. I have put together some articles and podcasts that discuss planning and how to commit to plans.
This article from Random House discusses 8 new year’s resolutions for writers including being realistic in your goal setting, allowing yourself to write ‘badly’. This mindset will help you to move forward in your story. As well as setting writing goals, set reading ones too. Not only will it help you stay current on trends, but it will also help you to hone your writing.
Not taking yourself too seriously is the message here when making resolutions. Try something new, a new genre maybe. Write even when you don’t feel like it.
To create a happy writing plan for the new year, you should consider envisaging where you want to be in 5 years not just the next 12 months. Make a list of all your writing projects on your plate and decide which will help you to get closer to your 5-year goals. Look at what is missing from this list and rewrite deadlines for the next 12 months, making sure to schedule them in your calendar.
Ingram shares 15 resolutions for writers and aspiring authors, including finding your optimal writing environment; determining your audience, who is going to read your book. Asking these questions will help you to identify your audience and build your author platform. Getting involved in your writing community and surrounding yourself with like-minded people is invaluable.
Shauna Privatsky says that resolutions tend to start bright and shiny, and then dull when something gets in the way. Setting realistic goals and making a workable plan are important. Don’t put off writing saying that you are too busy. Sit down and list everything that you do in a day and look for snippets of time to fit in some writing. Maybe it can only be half an hour in your lunch break or getting up an hour earlier to write, it all counts. Set achievable mini-goals and reward yourself.
You can read or listen to this blog by Savannah Gilbo on how to plan your writing projects for the next twelve months. She talks you through five steps that will help you figure out what you want to accomplish and then exactly how you’ll do it. Reviewing the last 12 months will help you to make a realistic plan for the future. Brainstorm all the big things you want to accomplish in the coming year. Considering all the non-negotiables is important because it forces you to take into account what is important to you. Savannah advises you to put your projects through the SMART test: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
This podcast from The Creative Penn talks about finding time to write and how to make the most of your writing time.
Episode: How to Build Your Best Writing Life
Kristen Keiffer talks about being ready to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be in your writing life. She shares essential strategies for writing success.
Different methods and strategies work well for different people. Sarah encourages you to make realistic yet challenging goals, measurable yet flexible, and meaningful yet fun and exciting.
Another one from The Creative Penn, and an important one. This podcast with Dr. Euan Lawson discusses the ways a writer can improve their physical and mental health, and how it can positively impact your creativity.
Being realistic in your writing plans is key. Plenty of people sign up for a gym or a diet in January only for it to be forgotten about by mid-February, don’t let this happen with your writing. Writing every day, no matter how few words are written, makes it become a routine. It will become an integral part of your day, and one that very quickly is established as normal. Check in regularly on your resolutions, don’t just do it at the year-end. By doing this, you will motivate yourself to keep working away at them. I wish you all a very happy New Year and wish you the best of luck with your writing plans.
(c) Lucy O’Callaghan