Writer resolutions, goals, whatever you call them sometimes as writers we find ourselves in need of something to keep us motivated and striving toward those elusive dreams of being published, becoming a best-seller… or just finishing this one book. Dreams and goals vary by the writer and each individual writing path is as diverse as each writer’s process, but no matter how you write or find your story, three things hold true:
- Goals focus you and help you to actually get something done. And even better, the knowledge that you are moving ahead, plus the accomplishment and success you will experience is motivational in itself.
- Most writers meet resistance, which manifests its ugly little self by different forms of procrastination. That’s the bad news. The good? It is within your power to annihilate procrastination. So what are you waiting for?
- The more inspired you are as an artist and writer, the more you will write. This will bring additional inspiration so you’ll write a whole lot more. Which will give more inspiration and bring more writing. And…(don’t you want to grab a strap and hop on this carousel?)
Focus, overcoming procrastination, and getting inspired. Sounds good, but how do you accomplish these things? Writer resolutions are a way to aim your intentions. What is better than setting yourself to have the best writing year of your life? Nothing. So make your writing resolutions a priority and let’s get to it.
Writer Resolutions To Focus and Get Something Done
Start your book.
Ahh…how can three little words be so hard? Starting your book can be the most challenging moment of the process. Here’s the first step in your writing journey. Don’t worry about quality; just start writing. Whatever you write won’t have to see the light of day. You can throw anything away (that’s why God invented paper shredders!) Guess what will happen? If you start writing with no idea, after a page or so, an idea will start to surface. You’ll meet some characters and they will become more real with every page you write. Your story will solidify. Your characters take on lives of their own. Keep writing and OMG—you are writing a book! Most of the final writing, shaping, and crafting is done in revision, so stop worrying about the quality of what you are writing! It’s the first draft. It’s supposed to be bad. There’s time to make it good once you get the first draft done.
Finish your book.
Oh look, another impossible three words. There are a myriad of techniques to accomplish this little trick, just find what works for you. Did you join in NaNoWriMo? Then you know all about word count. (Hint: if you didn’t, go to the website www.nanowrimo.org to find loads of inspiration and guidance.) To complete your first draft, figure out a “finish” date, then block out what days you can’t write (hint: should be very few). Next, figure out how many words per day you have to write to hit that date. Then write. For revision, don’t worry about word count. Again, commit to a “finish” date and how many pages per day you have to revise to complete your goal. And in the words of Nike, just do it.
Write short stories or articles and send them out.
This is a great one and keeps you in the writing mood and mode. As you practice your craft don’t forget to send pieces out. That starts a good energy, throwing your babies out into the world. Plus short stories can start novels in your mind, and articles can inspire longer works of non-fiction. Win-win-win.
Writer Resolutions To Battle Procrastination
Spend less time on Facebook (or watching television, or playing computer games, or…)
Pay attention and limit your recreation time. I set my dancing robot alarm clock for ten minutes and allow myself two facebook sessions per day. That’s plenty of time to catch up with friends, say what I need to say, but not enough to do any virtual farming or make a virtual meal. ‘Nuff said. BTW—if you want to do those things, do it when you have time set aside to unwind.
Put research (character profiles, worldbuilding, etc.) where it belongs and don’t let these take the place of writing.
Background work for a book is important, but don’t let it usurp actual writing time. When you need to stop to research something, type XXXRESEARCH or a question—XXXWhatWouldSheWear? I do an XXX so I can search later to find them and I also cram the words together so I get the neat little red-squiggle line to point out where I need to go back and do some additional work. This is a way to keep moving forward and writing. Do not get distracted and let research eat up your writing time.
Writer Resolutions to Inspire You
Sign up for a writing class and show up.
Good for you! You found a writing class and signed up for it. (Hint: not only are they in your area—try libraries, community colleges, etc.—but you can find a spectrum of writing classes on the internet as well.) Now show up! Signing up doesn’t count unless you commit to going, writing, and meeting the deadlines the instructor sets. Bonus: you will build camaraderie with writing friends as you hone your craft.
Choose a writing conference.
These get-togethers are wonderful for networking, learning, pitching, and are excellent inspiration. They can be a deadline for finishing your work to pitch to an agent or editor, or use a conference to kick-off a new project. Wherever you are in your writing journey, there’s a great reason to go to one of these.
Find or form a writing critique group.
You can form critique groups through your local library and/or bookstore. Start giving and receiving feedback. Both are valuable. Honing your critical eye will help your own work as well as the feedback you give to others. And you’ll bond strong friendships as you get to know each other through your work.
Whether you choose one or all of these writer resolutions to add to your list or make up some you feel will take you where you want to go, make this year the best writing year of your life!