Happy New Year! It’s the time of year when many people make resolutions to get fit…drop bad habits…and make some changes for the better in 2016. Why not take this opportunity to decide to strengthen your writing skills and achieve your goal of getting published in the new year?
Seven New Year’s Resolutions For Writers
1. Write every day.
Resolve to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) every single day. Write one sentence or one chapter, but practice your craft daily. If you have trouble getting started, try writing prompts or jotting down your thoughts in a journal. Freewriting (or stream-of-consciousness writing) is another technique for generating new ideas or developing a vague idea into something concrete—like an essay, short story, or poem.
2. Read every day.
Resolve to spend some time every day reading like a writer. Identify how the author develops characters, structures the plot, and uses the setting. Keep a book handy to read while you’re waiting to pick up your children or while you’re sitting in a doctor’s office. Listen to audiobooks when you’re cooking dinner, driving to work, or exercising.
3. Submit work regularly.
Resolve to make a submission schedule and stick to it. It may be difficult, but don’t give up! Submissions are a numbers game, to some extent, and we recommend our clients submit a piece to one hundred markets before they give up on it.
4. Improve your craft.
Resolve to hone your writing skills. Take a class at your local community college or attend a writing conference. Read articles about strengthening your work. And keep Resolution Number One!
5. Ask for help.
Resolve to get the help you need to accomplish your writing goals in 2016. Find a critique partner or hire an editor. Join a writing group and ask your fellow writers for advice. And consider giving yourself the gift of being able to focus on your craft by letting Writer’s Relief do all the time-consuming research and targeting to find the best markets for your work.
6. Welcome rejections.
Resolve to recognize rejections for what they are: an ongoing rite of passage for every writer. Rejections are signs that you’re heading in the right direction—you’re getting your work out there, which is the first step toward getting it published!
7. Change things up.
Resolve to add some excitement and stretch yourself by tackling a new form or genre or a topic that’s outside your comfort zone. If you typically write romances, why not test your skills with the mystery genre? Or, take a break from your novel and write some poetry. Trying something different will allow you to return to your original genre with fresh eyes and new ideas.