2016 was… was a year. 2017 might be better. It might be worse. We have to prepare for both, and, now, at the start of the new year, we need to look back on the year and evaluate how we did as writers. Did we tell the stories we wanted to tell? Did we write as much as we wanted to? Did we submit to magazines or publishers? Did we start those projects that we were excited about?
Take a moment, before continuing with this article, to reflect on those questions and to let your thoughts wander about your role of a writer. Jot down your thoughts on a scrap pad of paper near you, so that you can create resolutions from them.
I can’t tell you exactly what goals you need to set as a writer, but here are the ones that I’m pursuing next year. Hopefully, reading through them will give you some ideas as well:
- Reserve time, every day, to write. Aim for 1-2 hours.
- Get organized. Use calendars/ spreadsheets to keep track of projects.
- Submit to 5 magazines a month.
- Work on one-off pieces in addition to working on projects.
- Write the pieces that scare you, especially the political ones.
- Read 50 books this year, of various genres and styles.
- Learn from the books you read, compiling techniques into a reference notebook.
- Finish the novel.
- Keep your number of in-progress projects at or below three.
- Think, write, and talk about writing and being a writer.
And lastly, 11. Love what you make. Love every poem and essay that you submit. Love the mistakes in your novel transcript. The act of creating, of writing, is amazing- stop second guessing yourself.
I hope that this list inspired any of you other writers to pursue your goals and projects, but also keep yourself grounded as writers. I find that I often push my identity as a writer to the back burner, and this year my goal is to keep it front and center.
I hope you all had a lovely holiday season, and I’ll see you in the new year!