Admittedly, I’ve never been a big New Year’s resolutions person. Not that resolutions are bad or unhelpful; I just like to think that if I need to determine a new course of action, I have the discipline to do it.
However, there is something compelling about adopting a new plan or action or discipline at the start of the year.
As a writer, there are so many things we can adopt or do better at or somehow enhance our craft. Writing is perhaps one of those disciplines where constant improvement or new courses of action are required to succeed—however we might define success.
With this in mind, as 2023 dawns, here are six resolutions—or suggestions—to consider as you take your writing to the next level!
1. Grow your audience. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of being a writer outside of actually being a good writer. It’s often something we don’t think about until we’re ready to publish our book.
When I published my first book, I was so focused on developing an awesome cover, ordering the ISBN number and planning a compelling launch party that I didn’t have much of an audience to promote my book to once it was released.
Now is the time to put some time and effort into growing your email newsletter audience or your Facebook group or whatever platform you want to build.
2. Commit to writing every day. This is one of those commitments or resolutions you see everywhere. But that doesn’t make it unworthy.
Admittedly, I’ve committed to this resolution several times before and have had mixed results. The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to write 1,000 words a day or something seemingly unachievable.
Committing to even 15 minutes a day—even if that’s only 50 or 100 words—is a huge win for a writer.
If you only write 50 words a day, you have 1,500 new words a month or 18,000 words in a year. Not a bad start—or finish—for the book you are working on.
3. Set a deadline for completing your book/other project. This one is my biggest challenge for 2023. I’ve been working on a particular novel off and on for about a decade. I’ve struggled to get the story right.
But I can spend another 10 years putzing with it or set a deadline this year to complete the first draft, which I have done. Every finished manuscript starts with a first draft. Endeavor to get that first draft finished this year!
4. Join that writers’ group, attend a seminar or conference. I was so encouraged several years ago when I acted out of my comfort zone and attended a writers’ conference with my daughter. It was so refreshing to see other writers and share with them the struggles and successes of our sometimes nomadic existence.
Plus, all those tips and ideas can really help bolster our writing for this current season of our career.
5. Address that weakness in your writing. What’s one weakness in your writing you need to address? For me, it’s always been dialogue—creating realistic and compelling dialogue that moves the story along.
Maybe it’s character development or plot creation or research. Whatever it is, see if you can find a few books, some classes or a conference that has a breakout session on your particular area of need.
After you devoted requisite time to this area, you’ll be happy you did.
6. Do something out of the ordinary. This one is completely in your court, and you will know the right thing to do. Maybe it’s finally submitting that book proposal you’ve been thinking about for years, or contacting that editor to help with your manuscript or showing your draft to a friend.
It can be a myriad of things that—for you—are out of the ordinary or something outside your comfort zone that will enhance your career. Whatever it is, don’t be surprised if it propels you to the next level of your writing!
These are just a few tips to consider in 2023. Choose one, two or five things you want to focus on this year and dive into them!
People are waiting to read your stories and excited to hear about what you work on behind those laptop screens.
Here’s to much writing success in 2023!