Resolve Your Writing Habits: Goals to Set for 2017

Despite what some might tell you, January 3rd is NOT too late to start making New Year’s resolutions.  After all, a resolution is a decision or commitment which ought to bring you closer to your goals…and those are most effective when kept in mind throughout the year.

Each of us is at a different point in our writing lives, but I’d like to take this time to share a few writing-related-resolutions of my own which hopefully will either be of benefit to you, or will at least spark a few ideas.

  • Reading:
    • I am awful at finish book challenges or keeping up with book clubs, so I’m not even going to bother. Reading shouldn’t be stressful.  Instead, what I resolve to do is be mindful of what I read.  I’ve set a doable limit: 25 books within the year.  Even at my snail’s pace, this should be possible.  But what’s important is that the books I DO manage to squeeze into my schedule should be of value.  I resolve to read books because they reflect a style of writing I hope to master, or because they’re old comfortable favorites and I like what they have to say, or simply because they catch my eye.  Accidental books are the best books—you never know what will jump off the shelf!
  • Writing:
    • As a full-time teacher and part-time graduate student, I often find myself feeling guilty for taking time to write. Which is silly, because that’s what I want to do for a living.  I resolve to always allow myself to write, and to pursue writing opportunities when they strike.
  • Branding:
    • This is something which I’ve only just begun to play with, and boy is it fun! I’m in love with Instagram (@companyofsouls), gradually warming to Twitter (same handle), and in the process of researching self-promotion in preparation for the release of Dark Roast (April!).  One of the resources I’ve gotten the most out of is a user-friendly little volume called Your Book, Your Brand: The Step-By-Step Guide to Launching Your Book and Boosting Your Sales, by Dana Kaye.  You can find it  here.  I’m resolving to take the advice I’ve found in it—and in other places—and be a bit more consistent about my branding.
  • Mental Health:
    • Just because the two health categories are at the end of my list doesn’t mean they are least important. Quite the opposite.  You can’t draw from an empty well, as they say.  I am terrible at taking care of myself, and while a small smidgen of insanity and stress is good for creativity, there is a line.  I resolve to be more mindful of my mentality and recognize when I need to take a step back.
  • Physical Health:
    • Same story. Corpses don’t write books.  The typical lifestyle of an author lends itself to being sedentary and drinking copious amounts of coffee (or wine, or whiskey, or whatever your poison is).  I resolve to be an author who also works out and eats things that are good for me (most of the time).  Be nice to yourself, but take care.

These are my writing resolutions.  What are yours?  Take some time, decide what is best for you, and let’s make 2017 the best it can be.


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