Six New Year’s Writing Goals

I try not to make New Year’s resolutions, but it’s good to have some writing goals. The important thing, is to make them attainable, otherwise you’ll feel like a failure, when you don’t win the Man Booker Prize and get a three-book deal by October. Instead, make small changes to how you approach your writing for 2015.

Here’s my six step plan:

  1. Write: it’s the first rule of write club. It’s the last rule of write club. And it’s the most important rule of write club. If you Set attainable writing goals that last past Januarydon’t write, you’re not a writer and will never be a writer. So just write.
  2. Read: I have met people who want to write, but never read. I’ll give you a moment to think that one over. So, I don’t feel like I’m stating the bleeding obvious, by saying – read. Read a lot. Read widely. And read the sort of thing you’d like to write. But don’t stick with what you know, instead, read non-fiction and poetry and sci-fi and pulpy airport fiction and stuff for children and teens and literary stuff. And read critically (thanks Chuck Wendig) – that’s how reading helps you become a better writer.
  3. Try something new: I don’t mean give up on your current project and leap into something to feel that rush of the new, only to become stuck half-way through and repeat ad infinitum. I mean, flex your underused writer’s muscles. If you always write long form, try writing a short story. Next time you get stuck on your WIP, you could dabble in writing a poem or a play. Write the script for an advert or a classified’s ad for something bizarre. It could spark an idea and will hone your skills as a writer.
  4. Get off social media: The internet is a great tool, but it’s also a time-eater. Social media is the procrastinator’s drug of choice and although everyone tells you it’s the best way to promote yourself as a writer, if it stops you from writing, then it needs to go.
  5. Don’t wait for the muse: You need to write, even when you don’t feel like writing. I’m sorry, but waiting for the muse, is just a fast-track to not getting your project finished. Waiting for the muse can be like waiting for Godot – futile and just another form of procrastination. If you really are blocked on your current project, go to step 3, do not reverse step 4.
  6. Reward yourself: When you have a good day of writing, take a moment to appreciate it. Go to your favourite cafe. Share your accomplishment with someone who understands (that may not always be your partner or family – try another writer). Make a note of your good days. The more you write, the more good days you’ll have. Enjoy them.

What changes are you going to make for writing in 2015?


One thought on “Six New Year’s Writing Goals

  1. Whenever I am feeling sorry for myself because my writing is not as great as I would like, or I ‘just don’t have the time’ blah blah blah, I read one of my favourite pieces from Chuck Wendig’s blog. It’s called 25 THINGS I WANT TO SAY TO SO-CALLED “ASPIRING” WRITERS, it’s not poetry but it makes me laugh and gives a nice little reality check. In fact I printed off the image at the top of the page and stuck it to my desk, it’s become my writer’s mantra.

    Liked by 1 person

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