By Lauren Shade
Part of the excitement of a new year is the fresh start it gives you. Regardless of the past year, a new year holds so much potential. That is why starting the year off right – and maintaining your goals by exposing the new year’s potential – is so important. Yet many people who make resolutions, especially those involving writing, struggle to keep them. That is why we’ve created a list of ways to stay on top of your writing resolutions during the challenging months ahead.
Create a Schedule
It’s been said before but it has to be said again…and again. The best way to stay on top of your writing is to continue writing. The new year and all of the changes that it brings can be distracting. One of the most recommended things you can do to stay active with your story is creating a thought-out schedule for writing – and reading – times.
Give Yourself Small Goals
Frequently, we hear the resolution “I want to finish a book.” This isn’t a bad place to start. However, this idea should stand as your foundation.
Each month you should work toward smaller, more realistic goals that will build up and, eventually, create a whole story. Ease into your resolution so you don’t get worn down by the task. Pacing yourself and finding time to set aside during your week in order to accomplish your writing goals will allow you to take your story slowly, not rush through important details and avoid becoming overwhelmed with the tasks ahead.
Find a Writing Partner
Finding someone to write along with is a fantastic way to stay on top of your writing. Critique partners will not only be motivation for you to continue writing but they also help you strengthen your writing. The same way a teammate can bring out the best in your game, critique partners offer fresh perspectives on your story and vice versa. If you’re struggling with where to start, social media is a great resource for finding critique partners for your work in progress! And if you already have a critique partner, try taking up another.
Use What’s Around You
One of my favorite ways to draw inspiration is by noticing the world around me. Noticing the way people speak and interact with each other and admiring the scenery/city in a new light – maybe even going out of your way to find someplace new – can all be, in their own right, fuel to forming new characters and plot. Some people do this by reading – which I recommended you do extensively this year – and some do this by observation.
Either way, the new year is about finding different and better ways to tell your story. Challenge yourself and maybe you will see things you didn’t see before. You can do this by reading outside your genre or finding a new place to write.
Just remember there are always resources out there to help you draw inspiration. The most important thing to do is to never give up on your writing, to continue to strengthen your craft, and to stay excited! If you hold on to that excitement and willingness to learn and grow, you’ll have no problem completing your resolutions.
Lauren Shade is a literary assistant with Holloway. Follow her on social media @Shade_Lauren.