You’ve made it to a new year! Congratulations are in order. Pat yourself on the back. Make yourself a snack. Take a shower.
The New Year: a perfect time to evaluate where you are in life, where you want to go, and how you want to get there. That’s why man invented resolutions; to help us start the year traversing a path towards improvement.
What better time to set some writing goals for yourself? I’ve got a few in mind for you.
1. Write Every Day
A fairly straightforward one. This will get you into the habit of churning out pages or poems, and will give you time to progress your works in progress.
Set a goal for yourself, either a page or time limit. It doesn’t even need to be for a long time — some of the best habits start out with just five minutes of effort every day. Once you get used to writing for a small increment of time, you can up your quota and adjust it as needed. Feel free to dial back your quota if you find yourself too frazzled to keep up.
Something I did one year was write a poem every day, and that habit stemmed from a New Year’s resolution. I found it quite beneficial, and I learned a lot from that challenge.
2. Read Every Day
Or just read more. Lots of people tend to shoot for a book a month, but frequently find themselves surpassing that goal.
Many professional writers build time into their day dedicated to nothing but reading. It helps keep them sharp, shows them what’s relevant in today’s social landscape, and stimulates their creativity. The more you read, the more your writing will improve.
You could even modify this resolution to be “read the books I haven’t read yet that I already own”. There’s probably an unread book or two kicking around your bedroom floor. Now’s the perfect time to crack it open.
3. Submit for Publication
Maybe you’ve nailed this whole writing thing and are constantly producing quality stories and poems. That’s great — but now what?
Perhaps 2022 can be the year you start reaching out to editors and publishers. Shoot your shot — send in that manuscript. Alternatively, you can submit to literary magazines to help build up your portfolio, or participate in writing competitions. If you hop online, you’re sure to find any number of contests and magazines looking for passionate writers.
If you decide to take up this resolution, don’t feel discouraged if your work gets rejected. It’s all part of the gig. Remember, you can be rejected a thousand times, but your work only needs to be accepted once.
4. Play Around with Form/Genre
There’s all sorts of writing out there, and maybe you’ve found the medium that works best for you. But maybe some exploration of form is in order.
Each month, you could dedicate your craft to writing in a different form. January might be for novels, February might be for poetry, March might be for screenplays. You could even do this with genres. Perhaps you’ve always written slice-of-life, but what if your real strength is science fiction?
This could be a time to stretch your imagination and flex your writing muscles. Build up a portfolio of all sorts of writing. Who knows what will strike a chord with your imagination?
is a writer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Graduating in May 2020 with a degree in English Literature with a Writing Emphasis, Ian writes comics, poetry, and scripts. He is currently an intern for The Brain Health Magazine and aims to work in the comic publishing industry. In his spare time, Ian plays Dungeons & Dragons, board games, and bass guitar.