Your New Year’s Writing Resolutions

By on January 2, 2018
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All writers know that setting goals and deadlines is one of the most helpful ways to stay on track and achieve what we want to achieve.

At the start of each year, there is never a better time to take stock of your writing achievements to date and then set some future goals for the year ahead.

So what are some fantastic New Year's resolutions for writers?

Focus on how much you write, not what happens afterwards. It’s too easy to get caught up in what we want from our writing and forget to just write in the first place. Without being productive and without practising, all the other stuff is irrelevant. If you want to make one thing a priority this year, make it writing - actually physically putting the words down. The more productive you are, the better you’ll feel.

Find your writing truth. Try to use your writing to say something, to give a little something to the world. Writing for writing’s sake isn’t enough. There has to be something more than this. Search deep inside for what truly inspires you to write, and make sure you stay true to yourself - always.

Have a sense of humour. When you get particularly into your writing, you run the risk of taking yourself a little bit too seriously which not only can be tedious for those around you but will stop you enjoying what you do as well. Being unable to laugh at your mistakes, or be amused when you realise how poorly you’ve written something will make your writing life much more difficult and dull. Relax, have fun with it, accept that you are not perfect and you’ll find it so much easier to let go and write the way you want to too.

Experiment. Make this the year that you push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something completely different. You may discover a new writing passion that takes you to exciting and unexpected places.

Research properly. When it comes to research, we often start out with vigour and determination and then slowly lose interest. But researching your book thoroughly can really pay off, so try to make an effort to do this correctly from now on.

Don’t skip out on proper editing. Editing is another area where many writers need more resolve and determination. For lots of us, editing is the most challenging part of writing, but don’t be afraid to take your time and don’t give up halfway through. If you re-write and edit until you can’t bear it anymore the results will be well worth it - so hang on in there and just keep going!

Take advice and criticism. Learning how to be quiet and listen to advice and criticism of your writing is one of the most beneficial things you can do. Get feedback from as many different sources as you can - the more you try, the more you’ll learn and the better your writing can become.

Read, read read. If you’ve been a bit of a slacker when it comes to reading over the past few months, make this year the year that you read like crazy. The more you do, the more ideas and inspiration you’ll get for your own work - so set yourself reading challenges and get cracking!

Find some support. Seek out other writers and throw yourself into the writing community. Other writers really can offer invaluable advice and support so make this year the year you dive in, immerse yourself and get involved!

Start that blog, finish that book, get published and earn a living! Whatever your writing goals just make sure you go for them. Get that book finished, get something published, start to make money writing - you can do anything you set your mind to, so just go for it.

Of course, you can make writing resolutions at any time of the year, and it’s ok to shift the goalposts every now and again too. Remember, setting resolutions is the very tip of the iceberg. The real work is making sure you have the determination to follow through. So make your number one resolution to stick to your guns and have the resolve and motivation to get on with it, and make 2018 your best writing year yet!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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