What writing resolutions should you set for yourself when you’re a writer? Everyone’s on a different writing journey with varied destinations. As we embark on our next trip around the sun, hopefully, the following goals will provide us both with some inspiration for a more productive writing year.
That’s not a hard writing resolution to shoot for. Everyone could write more. The trick is finding both motivation and time. By making a better plan for myself, I hope to up my creative writing game. However, why didn’t I write more in 2019? I’m sure there were reasons and I’ve made a few observations that might provide insight for a better plan going forward.
Reflection: I make time to write these posts every week. Yet I notice that I don’t put dedicated time aside to write creatively. I’m not lacking in projects, so what’s my problem?
- What’s holding you back from writing? How do you prioritize your time? Examine how you spend your time and what you value. Maybe you just need to look at your week a little different. (Check out Mary’s post on efficient writing time).
Perform a Mental Warehouse Inventory
Before I make a plan, I think it would be a good idea to take stock of all the projects floating around my head and my harddrive. As of right now, I have: one little black book filled with notes for an all-female thriller novel, three chapters written for that thriller novel, a YA novel in its infancy stage, the beginnings of a memoir, one abandoned writing project from 2009 that has over 25,000 words, and at least four short stories doing nothing.
Reflections: I need to be better about finishing projects. With limited time, would it be a good idea to dust off some of the short stories sitting on my hard drive and enter them somewhere? Are there any projects worth revisiting/revising?
- What writing projects could you dust off? Yes, it’s good to leave things alone for a while. Writing, like wine, sometimes needs time to age properly. Sometimes the wine is rancid after a few years and should be composted. Sometimes, however, something beautiful is born from aging. Look through your work and decide if anything needs composting. Or if there’s a project that just needs a little love to help it become something beautiful.
Make a Better Writing Plan
I’ve identified that I don’t write enough and that there are unfinished projects lying around in need of some attention. Therefore, creating a plan that utilizes the small pockets of time available should set me up for success.
Make an outline – By planning the ins and outs of my story structure in advance, I provide myself with a road map. Therefore, when I do find myself in front of my laptop, with the world trying to force its way in, I could drop in, choose a chapter synopsis and write a chapter. (As a resource, check out Mindy’s wonderful post about 3 Ways to Outline Your Novel)
- Keep a Writing Window Open – As an art teacher, I have an early-finisher area for my students. It’s a low table beside a shelf filled with drawing books, resource books, objects, games, and postcards of existing artwork. I also have an area in my room for self-serve art supplies. When students finish a project ahead of time, they know that they can grab what they need, then explore on their own. This can be true for me as a writer. If I leave a window on my laptop open. Whenever I have the time, I can dump my thoughts out onto the screen. I was good about my little black book, filling it with notes as they came to me. I need to revisit this.
Reflections: Of all the excellent writing resolutions, this one is the most important. In order to set myself up for success, I need to provide my future self with the necessary tools. If I do, I can finish a writing project!
- What tools do you need to help your future self? Do you struggle with certain areas of writing craft? It might be worth your time to take a class or attend a writer’s conference. Identify what you need and gift yourself the keys to success.
Thank you for reading my writing resolutions post. Wishing you all the best in your 2020 writing endeavors. Here’s to a successful year, in advance!