When I think of “New Year’s Resolutions,” I think of all the people who set new goals as to 1) learn something new, 2) lose weight, 3) eat healtheir, 4) be less stressed, and the list goes on. Those are really good thing to pursue, but this post is not about those types of goals. Plus, “New Year’s Resolutions” is way too cliche (ask all the humans).
I’ve come up with some goals for you as a writer. Any writer. You may write only in your journal or you may be a bestselling author, I don’t care. Every kind of writer should set certain goals that will help them to, in the long run, become a better writer. And it doesn’t even have to start on January 1.
So here’s my list that I’ve come up with. It’s just an example of writerly New Year’s Resolutions and you do not have to strictly adhere; Feel free to mix, mash and add or subtract from them as you see fit. Remember, these goals are small. The idea is to make your goals a habit every day so that you can gradually expound on them later. Make small goals in the beginning of the year and by the end of the year, they’ll be big. Habits can grow; so make them good ones.
1) Write every day. No, not 2,000 words (unless you’re feeling particularly ambitious, in which case, DON’T STOP). But just a paragraph, a few sentences. It can be in a daily journal, a little bit of inspiration that entered your mind, or a short scene in a story. Remember: keep it short and simple. You can increase when you’re ready.
2) Read books like a writer. Rather than reading a book, enjoying it, and putting it down only to forget all about it an hour later, analyze what you’ve read. Try to learn as much as you can. You’re a writer; other authors are going to influence you. So here’s some examples to get you started:
- Figure out what the author of each book is trying to communicate to the reader. Every story has a certain theme or message that the writer is trying to relate. What’s the big idea? Why was the book written? Overall, what did you learn?
- Find the bare skeleton of the plot. Discover where in the book you learned of the main character’s ambitions, the building up of suspense, the conflict, climax, falling action, and resolution (see what I did there?).
- What were the character arcs? In a good story, usually the main character will start out as an all-around punk that needs to learn a thing or two. As the story progresses, he or she will realize their fault, make a big decision that somehow involves the fate of the world (depending on the genre), while at the same time changing their self for the better.
3) Try different types of genres. Read and learn from different books you don’t usually read. Read the bad books and read the good books. Learn from the author’s mistakes and point out the things the author did that you liked and learned from. Try to incorporate these new foundings into your own writing; you don’t even have to change your writing genre if you read and learn from books of different genres. Although, it would be a fun new year goal to write a story of a genre you don’t usually read or write.
4) Set a certain time for writing. Set aside an amount of time each and every day to write. It can be one minute. It can be five minutes. It can be a whole hour. Remember, however, not to overwhelm yourself on your first day. You can start with a minute and a few months later, you might be at half an hour. Do what you think is best and increase the time as you progress. Also, pick a time of day where you can write best with few distractions, noise, and stress, and dedicate that time to nothing but writing. This will soon become a habit that will easily get worked into your busy, daily schedule. This is my biggest and most important goal because I am a Spontaneous Writer who royally sucks at organized, orderly schedules.
So there you have it. A few examples of writing goals for the new year. Remember, please come up with goals on your own, as this post was just an idea to get your brain working. Also remember to start small and work your way up. What are some New Year’s Resolutions you’ve made in terms of reading and writing? What do you think of the tips I gave? Please let me know, I want to hear all about your thoughts in the comments section. Cheers!