Happy New Year, writing community! The stroke of midnight may have put a difficult year behind us but let’s face it: there’s no magic to the new year. The changing of one calendar day to the next doesn’t mean a change in circumstance.
Still, I’m one of those people who enjoys making and attempting to keep resolutions. There are few things as refreshing to me, as a writer, as a blank page. And that’s just what the new year is. An opportunity to write a new story in my life.
So here are some of the writerly resolutions I have made this year:
1. “Finish” a Manuscript
When I make resolutions, I tend to think of them as long-term goals that I can control. At the same time, I like to pick something big to work on since it’s a good opportunity to focus my attention.
The last few months, I’ve been having trouble focusing my attention on one manuscript. I spent most of my time last year working on a big rewrite and afterwards, I wasn’t sure what to work on. I thumbed through a few first drafts I haven’t picked up since writing. I wrote a few chapters to a new novel.
Finally, I found a good stopping point with the holidays and took a break. Now with the start of the new year, it’s time for me to make a decision and buckle down on my next novel.
2. Work on a Blogging Schedule
Because platform is so important for me as a writer, I’ve been working the last year to improve my platform. Social media is a big part of my platform work, but I haven’t been the best at consistently working on blogging.
The thing is, social media should be a funnel to direct readers to YOU. And my website and blog should be the foundation for that. So it’s time to dust off that old entry password and get some blog posts consistently scheduled!
3. Read 10 Books
One of the things I have had a harder time doing in the last few years is reading. With five kids and a dozen other tasks to accomplish each day, it doesn’t leave a ton of time for reading. Last year I read about five books for fun, which isn’t that impressive. (I did read others for research or in critique group, but I’m not including those.)
But as a writer, reading needs to be a part of my schedule. There are few better things as important to being a writer as reading. Reading not only helps writers grow, but also teaches them a great deal about craft.
So I’m hoping to read ten books for fun this year. It’s not as many as I used to, but progress. And–who knows–maybe I can read more. But that seems like a good starting place.
Do you make writer resolutions for New Years? I encourage you to make some! Aim for things you can control. Hopefully this time next year, we’ll have something to see for all our effort!