“Today is the first page of a 365-page book — write a good one.”
Didn’t get a source for that quote, but I saw it floating around the internet yesterday and thought it quite appropriate for us writers. It’s a new year: time for new beginnings, fresh starts, and clean slates.
Writing is a solitary craft. You tend to lose track of things like dates. It’s a good idea to come up for air once in a while, though, and reconnect with the world. New Year’s is a good time to do this. It’s the traditional sweeping out of the old, and a great opportunity to re-think your manuscript.
Instead of the more usual resolutions — weight loss and exercise goals, saving money or donating more to charity — I challenge you to create goals for yourself as a writer. Oh, all right, you can do that in addition to your other resolutions if you wish!
Here are some ideas for your writerly goals:
Set a daily word or page count and keep to that goal
Resist the editing urge – set a specific time to edit and stick to that (at the end of a chapter, for example, but no sooner)
Track your progress – make a colorful chart or graph showing how far you’ve come
Slow and steady wins the race – instead of beating yourself up for not writing as fast as your favorite author, pat yourself on the back whenever you finish a page or a chapter
Work on your brand – if you haven’t done so already, set up that social media page and get your name out there
Set up your website, too, and start blogging
Read – spend some quality time analyzing how your favorite authors do it, or just getting some inspiration from enjoying a good story
And my favorite New Year’s goal? Write down every positive thing that happens to you over the next year, and tuck that scrap of paper into a jar or box. Next New Year’s — or anytime you happen to feel down — open up that package of happiness and refresh yourself.