Writers are constantly trying to improve their voice and craft, myself included. Yet, this idea of “improving your writing” can feel daunting, even for professionals. However, it doesn’t have to feel this way!
New Year’s Resolutions can sometimes seem dumb but the concept of New Year’s Resolutions is not that much different than making regular everyday goals, they’re just long term instead of short term.
So how does this apply to writers?
Writers need goals too. We need something to push for, we need a purpose to write. The truth is that we sometimes get lost and we need to be put back on track. New Year’s Resolutions, or year-long goals, can help writers stay focused and accomplished.
So, as writers face the New Year, what resolutions will we make?
There’s defintely a ton of ideas out there if you just Google “Writer Goals” or “New Year’s Resolutions for Writers.” But if you’re looking for some quick tips, I have 10 ideas for you!
#1 Write AT LEAST 4 times a week.
Practice makes perfect! If you want to really find your writing voice, writing regularly will help you develop this. Already found your writing voice? It’s still important to practice different styles and dynamic capacities with your writing.
#2 Sort through your old writing.
Have an old manuscript you want to rewrite? Put it in a folder. Have some old maps you drew or world building charts that you still find cool? Put them in another folder. Found lists upon lists of old ideas? Keep them close!
#3 Finish something!
Finishing a manuscript, poem, or script rgives a true feeling of accomplishment! However, when we loose sight of this feeling, hopelessness can block our creative process. Try an finish a piece or two within a year to remind yourself of your purpose, your ability, and your skills.
#4 Edit an old piece of writing.
Although we writers often glare with disdain at old writing, this doesn’t mean that the content was bad; it just needs a little extra help! As cringey as it may feel, pick up an old piece of writing and work through it line by line. You may find that you had some good parts in there!
#5 Try writing in a different genre.
One helpful way to explore a new voice or a new level to your writing is exploring a new genre. Learn how poets use specific words to illustrate new images and meanings. Or, try reading a couple chapters of a nonfiction story and see how the narrative differs from fantasty.
#6 Try entering a writing competition!
Over the last several years, online writing competitions have become increasingly popluar. Many writers have won money, awards, and book deals with major publishing houses. This may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t hurt to at least look into it!
#7 Research publishers.
Even if you aren’t ready to publish right away, you can still look into what’s out there. Not to mention, it’s good to have some experience researching and networking with different writing professionals. If you are looking to get published soon, do as much research as you can! Read reviews, opinion and culture articles, ask what’s included in contracts, ask around for publishing houses, and so forth.
#8 Make new writer friends and build a writing community!
I’ve explained in past posts just how important it is to create and maintain a writing community. On almost any social media platform, you can simply search basic words such as “writers,” “writing community,” and others, to find a nook of writers like you. These communities can help you develop new ideas, read through your work with you, and can give advice and encouragement when you need it the most.
#9 Create a website for your work.
If you’re not ready for a website, start with social media outlets that are specifically for your writing and promotions. Already have a website? Work on blogs and gaining more traffic on your site through marketting. It’s also becoming more common to share small bits of your drafts on social media and websites to give readers a taste of your work.
#10 Learn how to market yourself as an author/writer/playwrite/poet.
As online advertisements and events become increasingly popular, learning to market yourself and your work is super important. Research writers that you like and see how they market themselves: do they post regularly? Do they use hashtags? What accounts do they follow? Are they apart of organizations?