Write whatever you want to, whenever you want to.
I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard suggestions about scheduling writing tasks and picking up writing at a particular time slot. But no! I don’t think writing is a task that needs to be done. It’s an art that shows when it wants to show. Of course, keeping a schedule can be good, but simply marking in your diary doesn’t guarantee a writing spirit. Plus, not setting anything would allow you to be a little less at stress.
Admit you’re writing for the readers.
I seriously can’t understand why writers aren’t vocal about wanting people to read their books. And no, I don’t mean spamming or being too advertising. What I mean is agreeing to the fact. Sure, you got to write a story for yourself first, for what you love, but do you seriously just want to back it up in your laptop and forget about it? Definitely not! You want it to be on bookshelves and in your readers’ hands, so why not say it? There’s enough diplomacy in the world already. We’re artists, not diplomats.
Support other writers.
You can’t reach anywhere without the support of others and without supporting others. Appreciate a prose you liked, an excerpt that made you happy or a snippet that touched your heart. Being a writer is not a race to be crowned at the end of this world, it’s about being a part of this community so don’t forget to give back more than what you get.
There’s no set course that you need to pass for being acclaimed as a writer. [Even those who are in writing courses know that] So never think of yourself as saturated with all the rules and possibilities about the language you write in. This year, try to keep your mind open to any and all changes as long as they make sense to you.
Learn to take criticism.
This should be a resolution for life, and if you don’t often find yourself taking criticism in a positive manner, now’s the time to take it up. As a beta-reader and reviewer, I (sadly) frequently come across both published and aspiring authors who have no idea how not to respond to an objective appraisal. As a writer, if you try to see the overall picture, it’s actually not that tough—try thinking about the positives and you’ll be good to go, trust me. Having said that, don’t forget to work on the negative feedback, it’s all about strengthening your craft.
Use social media more.
I know so many writers and authors who have amazing stories to tell but unfortunately, their stories are not reaching those who would enjoy it. Writing a book isn’t the last step, getting your book out there is. And that won’t happen unless you make the effort yourself, even if you’ll be traditionally published. If you want an audience that truly likes you, you need to let them know how much you like them. Again, not through spamming or making your book available for 99 cents on Christmas, but by interacting about your book, your writing or you as a person.
Include realistic issues in your story even if they’re sensitive.
There are so many books out there that does deal with sensitive issues but ugh, not many do it correctly. [And too easily, the sensitivity readers are blamed—yes, I’m looking at you, NY Times] However, the possibility of going wrong or not according to the majority of perspectives, shouldn’t stop you from trying. Writing itself is all about trying, especially fiction. Nobody knows what would be received well and what would not, but give it your best; research, take help and genuinely work toward raising that sensitivity issue in the right light.
Ask for help if you need it.
This covers all the possibilities. Whether it’s the tenses that don’t make sense or life as a whole, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Something might be crystal clear to you while something would be cloudy af, whatever it is, help and be helped. Join writing groups or connect with critique partners. If there’s a question bugging you about the publishing industry, there’s nothing wrong in attempting to contact a person experienced in that area. This holds true even for your health, ask if you need support, if you need to be heard or if you simply want to share your silence with someone. Nobody’s gonna say no, not if they’re human enough.
How can I let this evergreen resolution slip from the list? Well, you know the drill. Set a reading goal, for both your genre and other genre books, try reaching that goal all through the year and fail miserably. LOL. Just kidding! No, don’t set a goal, just read. Read whatever you want, good or bad, fiction or non-fiction, old or new. Give your brain some break from your own story; the more it craves for your characters, the more ideas it’ll produce. Trust me, it’ll be a win-win for you!
Get more sleep and drink more coffee.
Contradicting much? Yeah, isn’t life all about contradictions? Furthermore, we’re writers and to write or not to write is already a big enough contradiction for us. Jokes aside, get more sleep because it’ll keep you healthy, get your body functioning more and will help you with some inspiration [that is, if you dream]. As for coffee? Try limiting it and maybe drink more water…but who am I kidding, haha. No, in all seriousness, keep yourself hydrated and if it isn’t already clear to you, water is more hydrating than coffee.
So that’s about it! Hope you’ll be adding one (or a few) of these to your 2018 resolutions and actually sticking to them. Yea, the latter is the tough part; I feel ya. But stay strong and keep writing!