I’ve been seeing a lot of Facebook posts lately dismissing the idea of New Year’s resolutions. “I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions,” one friend wrote. “I believe in constantly changing yourself for the better.” Well, that’s all well and good, if you have an infinite well of personal motivation in you, but for those of us who can’t be driven 24/7, the New Year can be a great launching point for change. Everyone’s resolutions will of course be different — we’re all good and bad at different things, and we have different goals — but I wanted to share my writing-related resolutions for 2014 with you, just in case they help inspire yours! Better yet, share your resolutions with me in the comments and we can work together over the year to achieve them!
write every day
This is an extremely common resolution, but with good reason: Most of us find it difficult to really dig up the time to write. There’s always something else you can be doing, so it takes effort to find time to write every single day.
It’s also a common resolution for me. I’ve made this promise to myself many, many times before. But this year, it’s going to be different, and I’ll tell you why: I’m quickly realizing that now that I’m “an adult,” out of school, etc., nothing is going to make me write but me. No time will be more convenient than now.
I’m also going to try and write first thing in the morning, so that no matter how crazy or busy or strange my day gets, I’ve already done my daily writing. I’ll be much more difficult to derail if I can achieve that. And of course, my other writing-related resolutions should go hand-in-hand with this one, so hopefully that will help, as well!
submit my work
There have been so many summers and so many years where I say to myself, “I’m going to start submitting my work for publication soon.” The reasons I haven’t followed through are ridiculous: I’m afraid that if I submit my best work to somewhere small-scale, I’ll have “wasted” work I could've submitted to bigger publications, but I’m simultaneously afraid that my best work isn’t good enough for the best magazines.
The best solution to these problems is to write more. If my best work gets accepted somewhere, it isn’t “wasted,” I just need to write some new best work. If I just wrote more work, I’d end up with more that I was proud of, I’d be able to submit more places, and the whole vicious mental cycle would be averted.
I already have two small-scale avenues for publication that I’m working towards right now, and my goal is to submit to both of them this month. A solid start if I can achieve it!
write a novel
I’ve written plenty of novel drafts, but all through NaNoWriMo (not that there’s anything wrong with that… I just need to take those lessons and apply them to my writing pace the other 11 months!) If I really want to be a novelist, I need to really buckle down and focus on a single idea. I’ve improved a lot simply by learning to produce quantity, but that’s not enough to be working on anymore.
I have an idea for a novel that I am excited to get started with (I wrote the first thousand words or so this morning!) and my goal is to have a draft that’s ready to send to publishers by the end of 2014.
I know these goals are ambitious, but in my opinion, that’s the only way to set goals. I know I’m capable of achieving them, although it will be hard work. Now I just need to follow through and prove myself right.
What are your writing-related New Year’s resolutions? Tell me in the comments, and I hope we can spend the coming year supporting each other in achieving them!