Simple Writing Resolutions You Can Actually Keep in 2016
Isn’t it funny how much can change in a year? What’s more surprising is just how little can change too.
Because the writing resolutions I set for 2016 are almost the same resolutions I had for 2015. Depressing? Not really. Because writing and editing a novel, reading more, and working on your side hustle isn’t something so easily ticked off. It’s one of those life goals that I reckon will be on my list for 2017 too – although I hope I’ll be a little further along on that path.
So with all the glorious positivity the first week of January brings, here are my updated writing resolutions for 2016 – all of which you can definitely keep.
1) Read more
I read so many fantastic books in 2015 – more than I thought possible given a distinct lack of free time. And it’s all down to finding little pockets of reading time throughout a packed schedule. Like ten minutes sitting in my car before I go into work, or always keeping a book in my bag or on my bedside table. Lots more ways you can make time to read (even if you’re super busy) are here.
2) Create smaller writing goals
The problem with ‘finish/edit your book’ is that it’s an oppressively big task. As well as breaking it up into smaller tasks (‘edit this key scene’, ‘add more atmosphere throughout the book’), I’m also going to keep setting myself smaller writing goals in 2016. Because sometimes opening a page with 70,000 words is just too much to handle – but writing a short flash fiction story, working on short writing prompts, or scheduling new blog posts are all things I can tick off the list.
3) Write every week
Sure I’d like to aim to write every day, but that’s too unrealistic for me. Instead, I want to write something (non-work related) every single week. This could be to do with my novel, a flash fiction story, or just some ideas or writing prompts to pick up another time. Little and often is the key here.
4) Make ‘writing time’ actual writing time
That means putting time into the schedule for writing – and sticking to it. It means treating writing like a doctor’s appointment and not something you can drop if you don’t feel like it. I got better at this in 2015, but still have so much further to go. Also on this list: turning off social media and trying not to get distracted when writing.
5) Get a writing space
Fingers crossed I’ll be moving into a new house early this year and I have my eye on turning the spare room into my own writing space / book nook. It’s just so difficult to get into the writing mood with a laptop balanced on my knee when the TV is on. So by the end of the year I’d like to have created a writing space that’s completely my own, somewhere that I can focus, sit comfortably and be more productive.
6) Let other people read your work
The thought of this one terrifies me. What if I show someone my novel and they think it’s a complete waste of time? What if they think it’s beyond hope and I should just give up? What if I get constructive feedback that actually helps me to improve my writing? There’s a whole unknown world of possibilities out there and I’m not going to find out until I bite the bullet and start letting people in. I’m not ready to completely let my work out into the world of course (it’s mine, all mine), but this year I do want to get some feedback that I can use to make things even better. Maybe.
And that’s that. Good luck with your writing goals this year! Let’s hope we haven’t completely abandoned them by mid-February …