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“How Are Your Resolutions Coming?”

            Well, it’s a new year. Projects have come and gone, whether finished or filed away for future work. No matter what stage of writing career you’re in, what better time is there to start thinking about one goal (or many) you can start (or restart) in January, the time for new beginnings? I bet you already have your resolution picked, so let’s start thinking about how to keep to that resolution.

If you’re like me, you probably have that one project that’s been gnawing at you for months and/or years. But we’re writers, children of passion and procrastination equally. I’m here to give you a few tips on keeping those new writerly resolutions:

  1. Don’t be afraid to pick small goals. Small successes lead up to giant successes. I’m resolving to actually continue this past year’s resolution to continue working on my novel’s revision. A chapter a month is my aim. Build up your little goals and suddenly you’ll have met a huge goal.
  2. Don’t fence yourself in with goals that can only be quantified. Not everything can be tabulated. If you want to finish your novel in a year, with a page revised a day, great, go for it. But don’t be afraid to count some mindless wandering imagination sessions that yield up some great new material but that isn’t part of your daily word count. You came up with ideas, didn’t you? Don’t count them out.
  3. A huge break came for me when I realized that I needed to be held accountable. It’s what got me through school, having someone to report to for good grades (if you’re into that kind of thing). So, on my blog, I keep my followers informed of my revision progress, through the highs and lows. Nothing fancy, nothing in-depth. But that reporting has helped keep me on track… Until the holidays arrived, of course.
  4. Finally: don’t think you won’t have setbacks. You will. It’s part of the writing life. Embrace the fact you won’t hit every single itsy bitsy goal, and you’ll be able to live up to your resolution easier.

So there you go, my tips for your writerly resolutions, be they writing a short story every month or finally getting that editor job you’ve been after. Whatever you want in the next year for your writing career, you can have; but above all, be realistic and be excited. It’s a new year, after all.

Nicole Aronis is the Vice President of Communications at Basilica Press, but she also writes short stories and novels and runs her own writing community blog.