Saturday, 2 January 2010

7 New Year Resolutions for Writers

1. Write. Every day. No excuses. Nothing cultivates creativity more than developing the habit of being creative.

2. Hone your skills. Use the many resources out there to help you improve your writing, whatever stage you are at. Don't settle for being as good as you are now - vow to be better!

3. Determine your goals for 2010. What do you want to achieve as a writer this year? Be realistic but ambitious. Break these goals into a series of smaller actions and commit to doing them. You don't have to be a slave to your targets, but I find having them definitely spurs me on to do more than I would without them. Give yourself rewards... or punishments if you prefer!

4. Strengthen your web presence - it's a powerful marketing tool and your writing CV. Start a blog or a website, get active in online forums, submit your writing to online zines so if someone Googles you they are sure to find you!
TIP: Poets can build up a free profile at

5. Find a critical buddy. Not someone who tells you 'You look shit in that!' - I mean another writer whose opinion you respect. Their objective look at your work can identify weak areas, plot malfunctions and self-indulgence. Offer to do the same for them! If you don't consort with other writers, try online writing forums - can anyone recommend good ones here?

6. Get organised! You don't have to get obsessed with spreadsheets like I am (ahem!) but sort out a way of recording your submissions etc that works for you.
TIP: I recommend - a free database of markets which you can personlise with your own submissions and favourites.

7. Keep reading! Expand your horizons and step out of the story to read critically more often - what works and what doesn't? How has the author given back story, showed a state of mind, used dialogue.

Have a great writing year! And let me know what your writing resolutions are!


  1. Your comment about the critical buddy made me laugh! I'd just posted a comment on the Writers & Artists blog about how my sister gave me 'What Not to Wear' for a gift once. I enjoyed your posts. You're funny.

  2. Thanks Fran. It's a thin line between critical in a good way and critical in a soul-crushing way, even amongst friends!