Writers, we get it: it’s hard to set time aside to actually write. Life gets in the way. You have work and family and friends and responsibilities. Sometimes you start your day with every intention to sit down and write, but when the time comes, you’re too tired or just want to zone out in front of the TV. Pretty soon a month goes by, and that novel you’ve been wanting to write as fallen to the wayside. You’ll get it done eventually, right? Maybe it’s time you set some writing goals.
As 2017 closes in, it’s time to set some realistic, achievable writing goals. Make 2017 your year of writing—publish that novel, finish that memoir, sell your collection of poems. In order to accomplish your goals, you’ll have to remain focused, but this is one New Year’s resolution you’ll want to keep.
The first of the three writing goals? Write every day
This may sound hard, but it can actually be very manageable. Remember National Novel Writing Month? If you write just 1,600-1,700 words a day, you can have a completed novel in just one month. Now, of course, depending on your schedule, you may not be able to write that many words in a day. That’s okay! Set a word limit that works for you. Maybe you can only write 1,000 words a day; maybe you can only write 500. If setting a word limit is too stressful, set a time limit: write for thirty minutes a day at least. You can break it up throughout the day if that seems too daunting. Just do what is possible for you, even if it isn’t your best work, and do it every day. This will get you into a good habit of staying committed to your craft. That novel, collection of poems, or memoir will come along nicely if you stay dedicated.
Writing goal #2: try something new
Do you write romantic fiction only? Step out of your comfort zone and try writing Western or Science Fiction instead! Only a short story writer? Try poetry! It doesn’t need to last forever, and you don’t need to be good at it. All that matters is you’re trying something new and challenging yourself. You may go back to your original genre, and that’s just fine. Or, you may just find that you have a real talent for it. It never hurts to broaden your scope. It’s good, as a writer, to challenge yourself. You must continue to grow and evolve in your craft, and a good way to do that is to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. You may excel in one area, but you could in another, too; don’t limit yourself. Tap into your potential and flex your creative muscles.
Writing goal #3: read more
Now, yes, this isn’t writing, per say, but the more you read, the better a writer you’ll be. Set aside some time to read—there doesn’t need to be a set daily limit, since you’re already planning on writing every day. But maybe two or three times a week set aside a half hour to an hour to settle down with a good book. Fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, so long as you’re surrounding yourself with words, you can’t go wrong. If you want to read books that specifically intended to help you grow as a writer, check out our blog on the best books for writers.
If you stick to these New Year’s writing goals, you will have a productive and rewarding year, full of words, books, and challenges. What better way to grow as a writer than to challenge yourself to. You never know, a self-published book could lie in your future as a result of your beneficial resolutions.