New Year Resolutions: Setting The Right Ones For Writer Success

It’s that time of year again! The closing weeks of one year and the brand new potential of another, when taking stock and setting the slate clean can give your creative energy a boost.

Not everyone has resolutions or likes to set them, but I find them helpful, even if they never come true. Just writing down a resolution puts me in the right mindset to aim for goals, even when they fizzle out by February.

There is a trick, however, to making sure your resolutions work for you and not against you, and that’s setting the right ones.

New Year Resolutions: Setting The Right Ones For Writer Success

The Realistic Ones

First up, you need to be a little boring with some of your resolutions and make realistic ones.

They’re the kind that will see you making slow and steady progress, such as writing half a page a day or reading one book a month. These goals should be the ones you know you can achieve, even when life throws everything around you into chaos.

The Fantasy Ones

Once you’ve made your safe, reliable, and realistic resolutions, go all out with your fantasy ones.

Your book turned into a streaming phenomenon by Netflix? Your signature on the dotted line of multi-million dollar publishing deal? Your book the best-selling title of the year? (and the fact you’re not even close to finishing it just a minor detail on your path to glory!).

These resolutions may never come true, but allow yourself to believe they could, write them down, and aim for them anyway. The best writing is powered by hope, and you’ll need plenty of it to survive another year in the writing game.

The Future Ones

These resolutions can be a combination of your realistic and fantasy resolutions, I.e. the dotted line might not be for a multi-million dollar deal, but it is for a deal.

Your future resolutions can also be a list of the things you want to achieve at some point, but might not be able to squeeze in this year, like that writing course you’ve always wanted to take or the blog you’ve been meaning to start.

Throw in the newsletter you aim to send more than once a blue moon, finally finishing the WIP you started six years ago, getting that one idea out of your head, and you’ve got some future resolutions to keep you inspired.

The Ones You Can Do Right Now

That brings us to the actual resolutions you can do right now. Did you start a project with NaNo in November and win? Great! A lot of the work is now done, so make your first resolution for this new year to get it finished.

Did you finally slog your way through a round of edits last year? Fantastic! Your next resolution is to do what you can to polish the project.

Look at what you were working on in the last year, decide what you have to do to complete it, and take that momentum into your new year. If you set up the right resolutions, you can totally aim and hit writer success.

Good luck!

Are you a fan of setting resolutions or do you find them too restrictive? Let me know in the comments!

— K.M. Allan

27 thoughts on “New Year Resolutions: Setting The Right Ones For Writer Success

  1. Ruth Miranda

    I’m not a huge fan of setting goals or resolutions because experience tells me life ALWAYS throws me plenty of curved balls to get me off track, but I did set some personal resolutions for the upcoming year, and a couple of writerly resoltions that are pretty much in line with what I’ve been doing so far: edit, revise and publish a couple of books that are already written and have been simmering for a year, write the first draft of a new novel, do research for this novel, and market, promote, advertise my existing ones so that I can sell a couple of books this year.

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  2. Really enjoyed reading this – some very good practical advice.

    I tend to get carried away and set myself lots of impossible goals – and then get despondent about it all! However – now inspired by your ‘realistic goals’ ideas – I’m going to aim for reading at least one book and writing at least two blogposts per month.

    I’m also planning to pick up my novel/ long project again, re-read my previously written chapters, rework the plot, and then start writing again. Perhaps one new chapter a month is achievable – anything more is a bonus!

    Wishing you a happy, healthy and creative New Year!

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  3. I’m of the idea that if you really want to do something you don’t have to wait for the new year to start. If you don’t have time now it’s not like you will have it next year, in most cases, so just find the time to do what you want to do NOW and don’t wait for some magic to happen on 1st January.

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  5. petespringerauthor

    I’ve never been a resolutions person, but I have to admit that my thinking has shifted in the last couple of years. After never giving more than a passing thought to birthdays, when I turned sixty and retired, I realized that the hourglass had turned, and there were only so many more sands before they run out. I’ve been checking off the boxes from my Bucket List, and I’m determined to fully enjoy retirement doing all of the things I’ve always wanted to do but never had the time for before.

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  6. In my younger days I would spend half of New Years day writing up unrealistic goals. Not surprising they would dry up by February. I slowly learned this was not the best approach. Like you said, be realistic.

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  8. A great way to look at setting resolutions. I continue to set monthly goals and tie them to yearly goals.
    Ok think as long as you have easy to manage steps to get you to your goals/resolutions you have the best chance of keeping them

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