New year’s resolutions are on many people’s minds this time of year. For writers, the new year is a great opportunity to reevaluate your goals and set new ones. Here are your New Year’s resolutions for writers.
Write. This may seem simple, writers write. Sit down and do it. If you really want to do something, you make time for it. No excuses this year. Just write. Don’t trouble yourself with specific word count goals, just write something every day. An outline will help you immeasurably. Even if you’re one of those fly by the seat of your pants type of authors, having a plan of action will ease the path to writing nirvana. You may ditch your outline halfway through, but at least you tried.
Read. When you’re not writing, you should be reading. No excuses on this one either. Read as much as you can and as widely as you can. Take advantage of the free books at your disposal, online and at your local library. There are people giving away their books for free, so read their work. Read new authors as well as established ones to get a sense of what’s out there in the publishing world. Try a new genre. You might be surprised and inspired by the amazing work you discover.
Join Goodreads. If you’ve joined already, update your lists and check out the great recommendations from friends and readers around the world. Groups in genres you love offer discussions and more recommendations tailored to your reading tastes. Follow your favorite authors and get updates on their latest books. For more information, check out Goodreads online.
Write more. Even if you have to scribble a few lines during the commute on the subway ride home, it is possible to write more than you think possible. Your schedule may be insane, but if you’ve got a story to tell, you owe it to yourself and your potential readers to write it down.
Edit with care. Most writers are their own worst critic. Don’t let perfectionism keep you in a holding pattern of constant revision. At some point, you must stop and let someone else take a look at your work. Three drafts is a good start. Then, hand it over to a group of beta readers for their insights and edits. Fresh eyes will always catch what you gloss over after the umpteenth read through. If after all that feedback and one more revision your novel is terrible, it’s time to give up. It may be a work ahead of its time, or you may have to accept that you’re a bad writer, but at least you know and now, you can move on.
For more writing information and tips, check out Writers Digest and Poets & Writers online.