Most of us are probably starting the New Year full throttle with new ideas and writing goals. Here are a few tips to think about as you create your writing resolutions:
Let’s say you wrote 50,000 new words last year. This year, up the ante — try 55,000, 60,000, etc. If you submitted your work to ten agents/journals/magazines, try submitting to fifteen. Challenging yourself (and meeting that challenge) stimulates growth.
This might sound like a contradiction to the first tip, but challenging yourself and giving yourself unrealistic goals are two different things. It is vital to be aware of your time as you try to figure out how you will meet your goals. Writing 3,000 words per day might be within the reaches of some writers, but if you are working a full-time job and raising a family, writing 3,000 words per day might to be very difficult. Often, when we give ourselves unrealistic goals, we are setting ourselves up for self-sabotage. Push yourself but do not break yourself.
Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
This goes for reading and writing. If you typically read science fiction, try a western or a graphic novel. If you normally read literary fiction, try genre fiction. If you find yourself drawn to non-fiction, try fiction (and vice versa). See how you can use the conventions of other genres to inform your own writing (think of all the terrible romantic scenes in literary novels that could have been saved had the author picked up ONE romance novel). After reading a couple of works, I challenge you to try and write a short story or a short article in that new genre. Even if you find it is not your taste, you might discover something valuable to add to your writer’s toolbox. Ultimately everything we read and write aides us in becoming better writers.
Keep these writing resolutions tips in mind throughout the year! Here’s to writing, and to self-discovery!