As a writer, having resolutions will help you stay on track with work and creativity. And what better time to be resolute than the new year?
It’s the end of 2019 and just the time to reflect on your resolutions. How many did you follow through? How many fell off the wagon midway? Which ones you never started upon? Look back to see what you can do differently this year.
You want to finish 24 books? How?
Want to find an agent? Did you know how to pitch?
Have an e-book ready? Learn to self publish, perhaps?
Wanting to do something is one thing but finding a path to it is another.
This year, I am starting with some practical writing goals. Here are a few things that have come to my mind. I have picked 5 of these to follow in 2020. You can pick yours.
Want to write more this year than the last? Want to get into a new genre? Looking to try out a new style? There are so many thing for a writer to look forward to in 2020:
Creativity is the mother of all writers. May you be an author or web content creator, working the creative muscle is like an exercise. Free writing is the highest recommendation from every writer’s cap. Forget editing, forget meaning, forget patterns, characters, plot, research, content; just write! Exercise your creative muscle like clockwork.
This is a bit different. It is about picking one thing. You may be a blogger, an author, a copywriter or into any other writing profession. Decide to write daily in your professional area. don’t worry about it being good, bad or finished. Just something daily.
Call Yourself a Writer
Many writers struggle with the title. Calling yourself a writer professionally is something I have seen and experienced from other writers and myself. Start small but start surely. It may seem awkward at first but the more you say it, the more confidence and hard work it will inspire in you.
Finish the Project
Pending projects have been a the bane of every writer’s existence. Pick one project you are passionate about but it seems to be pending from eons. It might be an article, an anecdote you want to send out, a collaboration you want to do or anything else. Be resolute to work on it, finish it this year. Polish it into readiness to be sent into the world.
Scrap the Project
Just like finishing a project is a necessity for it to flourish, knowing when to scrap a project is a hard part of a writer’s job. Start small, if you have never done it before. Pick a number, 2, 3 or 5. This year, take time to scrap projects that are going nowhere.
Finish the Book
Authors and their stories are never ending. Some are done while others remain undone in the dark dungeons of a cardboard box. Pick one to finish this year.
If you can’t free write, you can journal. Many writers and readers love to journal. Take up the hobby, and self invest. It can be a positivity journal, planning journal, inspiring journal, story journal, dream journal, daily journal or anything you want it to be.
The harsh reality for a writer is that selling your heartfelt creative work to the judgmental eye of public is a bitter pill. Bestseller is another name for hard work! This 2020 get out of your comfort zone:
Find an Agent
A complete book or a book idea is no good in work document or spiral binding if it never sees the light of the day. Start agent hunting. There is always an audience for you, just the right agent is needed to make your work shine in the sun.
Writers love writing. What they don’t love is marketing and selling. But we all got to make money. What better time than now to start. Start pitching now. The more you pitch, the more you get in the habit.
If you already pitch, this year, increase the magnitude. Pitch every day of the week. Pitch for one hour daily. Pitch twice each week. Pitch higher to the same clients. If you already are into paid writing, this year can be all about increased frequency.
I know it can be daunting to give yourself the task of posting daily. There is no point in assigning tasks to yourself that can get overbearing but you can always decide to increase the frequency. Take from once a week to twice or from twice to thrice.
You don’t always need an agent or editor for you work to see the light of the day. This year be the master of your own destiny. Browse through the internet and look for places to share your work. Getting feedback from readers and other writers is how you improve. Look for constructive criticism. Sharing work is the best way to receive feedback and improve.
Regulate Networking Time
Don’t overdo it, don’t neglect it. Regulate your networking time. No use will come off checking Twitter every 15 minutes while no use being absent from social media completely. Make fix hours per day for this job. Don’t let social media, in the name of networking, eat away your time.
Some writers struggle with drafting while others struggle with editing. I, personally, am a procrastinator for latter. Much of my new year will be focused on editing. You are free to take your pick:
As a personal struggle, this is one of my resolution. Instead of writing loads this year, resolve to edit more. Baby steps. I am going to edit one short story every month, how about you? Edit one article each week or assign one day per week exclusively dedicated to editing.
Unlike me, if you are already in the habit but can’t find the love or regularity for the task, make your 2020 about editing daily.
Refurbish Old Projects
For those who are resolved to take a vacation this year, think about refurbishing old projects. The articles you wrote 10 years ago may not be applicable now but the topic still is. Does a short story lay forgotten somewhere, maybe now is the time for it to be alive again.
In 2020, work on areas that will improve upon your career. Small passion projects like reading, planning, self care, time management or learn a new skill.
Reading comes with the job territory. All of us are inevitable readers but the work load can sometimes push it to the side. This year, I am resolved to read one article daily. You can decide on number of books per year or a magazine/ subscription service you are going to follow diligently. Read two books per week. Read two books per month. What you can achieve is up to you.
Clutter is no good to anybody. This year is as good as any to stay organised. The organisation may be of files on your laptop or the papers on your desk. It could be books on your self or the mails in your inbox. Maybe use a planner, daily to-do lists or a task management system to keep track of your tasks and time.
Networking does not only come via online community. The physical presence of other like minded people around you is the best way towards progress. Maybe you will learn new things along the way, find friends to share work with or simply join a support system.
Let’s presume that you and me, we aren’t where we want to be. It isn’t easy to find an agent or client but the readers’ hunger is insatiable. There is always demand for more content. Thus, there is always someone who wants to read your blood and sweat. In that respect enter contests; short story, novel, novella, articles, anecdotes, non-fiction, poetry, haiku, flash fiction, articles.
Set yourself a new milestone by exploring new genres of writing. Expanding into different styles is just like learning new skills. Poets can try creative non-fiction or copy writers can aim for flash fiction. Dipping your feet in a new genre is a fun way to practice.
You will notice that most of the writing goals in this post talk about weekly tasks instead of yearly goals or monthly milestones. Wonder why? Goals need to be achievable. Setting a yearly bar can be like an intimidating mountain to climb where the peak is hidden in the clouds but a weekly mark is the next check point where you can stop, look back, revise and improve for the next week or the next check point.
This year I am resolved to work on weekly goals and improvise until I figure out what works best for me. Will I be able to read an article daily? Will you be able to finish two books a week? Will I be able to free write every morning? Will you be able to maintain a daily inspirational journal?
We don’t have the answer but that is alright. Set realistic goals so that when you stray from the path (and you will), getting back on track won’t get daunting.
What are your new year’s resolutions?
See you next blog!