A new year is an excellent time to begin a new habit. Gretchen Rubin, in her book “Better Than Before,” points out that the trick to successfully starting any new habit is consistency. It’s much more difficult to start a new habit than it is to simply keep repeating an old one. So when adopting resolutions for writers this year, be sure to make them a part of your daily life so they don’t fall by the wayside.
#1: Write for yourself every day.
Not all writing can nor should be of the income-generating variety. Keep a journal or do some form of writing that is just for you. No time? Keep a simple one-line journal where you just have to write a single sentence each day. Have fun with it – no one ever needs to read it but you.
#2: Make writing a priority.
Quit postponing your writing time. The best time to schedule anything you want to get done is first thing in the morning before the other responsibilities of the day intrude. Schedule a block of writing time and stick to it – just like you would with any other appointment that was scheduled.
#3: Do something scary.
Enter a contest, pitch a piece to a high-profile magazine, or join a writing critique group. Try putting yourself out there this year. The only true failure is not to try at all.
#4: Challenge yourself.
Improve your writing game this year. Write from a different point of view. Try a different genre. Think of the writing you wish you were doing and try doing it. Stretch yourself.
#5: Read more, and not just for work.
Writers must read. Read fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, romance, mysteries, biographies, true crime, science studies, and children’s books – the wider you cast your net the more you will grow as both a writer and a person.
#6: Take a class.
We should never stop learning. Take a class, either local or online, in something that intrigues you. Increasing your knowledge improves your writing. Check out free online classes at sites like Coursera or EdX. Astrobiology, anyone?
#7: Create your own space.
Writers spend many hours in one space, so create one you love. Even if you have to use the kitchen table, take a few minutes to clear off the clutter. You could even use a tablecloth that is just for when you write to symbolize that this is now your creative space.
#8: Get a website.
Make 2016 the year you create an online presence. Use one of the many free website builders to create a simple writer site. You can keep samples displayed here to refer clients and publishers to as needed. Why not also go ahead and make an author profile on your favorite social media sites, too?
#9: Join a group.
A writers’ group can really improve your craft. Try out several until you find one that you can work with. Whether you opt for an in-person or online group, the support and advice is parallel to none. You can look for groups in your area on services like MeetUp.
#10: Try self-publishing.
There are plenty of options for self-publishing available these days, and many of them carry no upfront costs. Amazon’s Kindle publishing service and Blurb are only two examples. Consider trying your hand at writing, formatting your own eBook and selling it through one of the major digital publishing venues.
#11: Disconnect daily.
It’s easy to find yourself staring into the computer screen all day when you are a writer, but you need to step away. Set a daily stop time and stick to it. Turning off the computer at the same time daily ensures that you have time away from writing and work to recharge.
#12: Get organized.
Don’t waste your precious writing time catching up on other tasks. Create a system to handle emails and other office chores that can eat away at your time. Make sure you have everything you need before you sit down to write. A bit of organization can go a long way.
#13: Increase your vocabulary.
Create a daily habit of learning new words. A word-a-day calendar or app is an easy option to achieve this resolution. Just remember to use your new word so you don’t forget it.
#14: Share your bounty.
Find time to volunteer. New experiences and new people can fuel your writing—and you get to help others! Want some writing-themed ideas? Offer to read to children in classrooms or at libraries.
#15: Go on an adventure.
This can be something as tame as a visit to a new restaurant or it can be as exotic as a trip to foreign shores. Set a resolution to go on adventures, both far-flung and local. These adventures will broaden your horizons and feed your writer’s soul.
#16: Take care of yourself.
Last, but far from least, take care of yourself in 2016. Get outside once in a while, walk or exercise daily, and have plenty of healthy snacks on hand for those marathon keyboard sessions.
2016 can be your best year ever! Take the time to make some realistic resolutions and then work on them daily until they become habits.
What are some New Year’s Resolutions you’re working on? Share in the comments!
This article was written by one of our writers. The author’s views are entirely their own and may not reflect the views of WritersDomain.