Monday, December 29, 2014

Writer New Year Resolutions

It's that time of year again when people make resolutions to change some part of their life for the better.

Here are some "writer resolutions" I suggest (and some I need to make).

1) Make time to write: Yes, we all have busy lives and many of us have day jobs. If you write "when I find the time" you'll never write. Make time to write. Get up an hour earlier. Forgo an hour of television a day. But do what it takes to make time to write. You want to be a writer, then you need to write!

2) Just keep Writing: Yes, I say this a lot but because I think it needs repeating. We all go through the "this-is-crap" crisis (me, usually about 50,000 words in). But I also say "Your first draft is going to suck, get over it write the damn thing." Just keep writing and fix it in edits.

3) Edit (more): A writer almost can't do too much editing. As I said before, you're first draft is going to be crap. Editing is how you polish crap into a diamond. I try to wait a month and hope I have another work in progress going before I start to edit. The longer you wait the more likely you will see not only glaring errors and bad writing, but subtle errors and sub-par writing that could be improved. I edit twice myself (with at least one week between), then I have it proofread. Then I have my wife read it to me. Then I send it to beta readers. Then I edit it again. Then I submit it.

4) Be more Social: Yes, we are all introverts who would rather spend time with our characters (or someone else's characters) than face people live and in person. But every success I've had as a writer came through networking (i.e., talking to people). Join a writers' group. At the very least see if you can connect with writers through social media. You're going to need beta readers, for one thing. Other writers can help you when you're stuck with a plot problem or encourage you to finish that NaNoWriMo novel.

5) Write Well: In everything you write: Facebook posts, Tweets, emails, letters to Santa, do your best to write it well and with few mistakes. I'm amazed when I see writers on social media use "to" instead of "too." Always always always practice your craft, no mater what you are writing.

That should get you started on the upcoming new year. Well, that and losing weight and cutting out junk food.


  1. Thank you for a simple and succinct resolution list. Nothing fancy and right to the point.

    Regarding writing well, you are so right!! I teach my students such things as 'to vs too', but a lot of grown ups still don't nail it.

    (Just curious, did you spell it 'mater' on purpose or is it just a funny accident?)

  2. It was a funny accident. I'm the typo king and a horrible proofreader of my own work.

    1. That's just funny. :) Aren't we all ... therein lies one of the challenges in this world of immediate publishing.