5 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

The New Year 2022 is here. It’s a time when people make resolutions to lose weight, be nicer, or some other personal improvement. But resolutions are really goals to set and to achieve. We writers need goals that are very specific. They give us something to strive for every day. The important thing, though, is to be realistic. In that vein, I propose a few resolutions, i.e., goals, just for all of us writers out there.

5. Stop focusing on word count

Yes, you need to pay attention to it, but focusing on word count for writers is like focusing on calorie counts for dieters. Both writers and dieters need to go for quality and worry about the counts later. As a former dieter, I also know that focusing on calories also made me focus too much on food. Now I focus on getting a certain amount of protein, a certain amount of roughage, a certain amount of energy-producing carbs while cutting down on excess fat and salt. It has become second nature, not a focus. For writers, that focus needs to be on plot and characters. You need both for a successful work of fiction.

4. Make your writing a priority

Not everyone has the luxury of writing full time. Most of you are squeezing in an hour or two here and there in your day (or week) to do some writing. Time to make writing the priority. Examine what you are now spending time on and list them. Assign them priorities. Eating and sleeping are #1, of course, but lunch with friends might have to drop down the list. Taking care of your children is high, but so should your writing be. Tough choices here that only you can make.

3. Avoid writing courses

Frankly, they are wastes of money. If you know spelling and grammar, have a fairly good vocabulary, and read a lot, you have the basics to sit and write. And only by doing will you succeed. Write and write and write. You will probably write a bunch of trash at first, but the more you write, the better you will get.

2. Avoid writing groups

Most writing groups in which I have participated are dominated by one or two good writers who want a captive audience to give them feedback on their work. I have seen fist fights break out between members when one person reads his work out loud and another criticizes it negatively, not constructively. How in the world can that be helpful to you as a writer? Develop friendships with people, such as someone who teaches a literature course or who works in your local public library, whom you would trust to read your work and give you honest feedback. You’ll get a lot more out of it.

1. Develop your own voice

The most important thing of all. Sure you can write for a particular market, such as steamy romance or horror, but do it in your own voice. The more you write (see #3 above), the more your voice will develop. That means, of course, that #4 should probably be here as #1, but you get the idea, I’m sure.

Final Thoughts

Set your own resolution(s) that fits your situation. This list should give you an idea or two of where to start.

My New Year’s Resolution is to be better in the editorial process. I find rereading my work to be tedious, albeit very necessary.

Hope you found this helpful and have been inspired to start and/or continue writing!

Please check out my WIPs. And thanks for reading.

Disclaimer: I get no compensation for links in this post or on my site to other sites and/or products.


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