Before the clock strikes midnight and 2019 begins, set an intention to become a stronger writer this year using these 6 tips.
When identifying New Year’s resolutions, there are a multitude of personal and academic areas upon which you could focus your sights. Whether you’re an aspiring novelist or just trying to improve as a student or employee, developing yourself as a writer can be a great goal for 2019. Here are six writing resolutions to try.
1. “I will set small, achievable writing goals.”
Identify why you would like to improve your writing, as well as the specific items or tasks you hope to accomplish. This could be the completion of your first novel or the creation of a blog. Whatever your aim, use your large core goal to then form smaller, short-term goals. Setting incremental goals is a great way to ensure your ultimate goal feels more attainable.
2. “I will create a writing routine.”
Setting short-term goals is a fantastic first step, but to be successful, you will need to develop a routine that you can follow every day. Does it work for you to sit down and write as soon as you wake up in the morning? Are you a night owl who only becomes inspired after midnight? Whatever you can see fitting most naturally into your day, make that your routine. You’ll be more likely to achieve your goals if you have a set schedule. You might also incorporate a specific study space into your routine. Having a set spot with all your writing necessities can make it easier to focus and reach your goals.
3. “I will spend more time reading.”
Often, frequent reading correlates with strong writing skills. Reading is an important way to expose yourself to different writing styles, points of view, and ideas. Reading can provide a source of inspiration, and it can introduce you to a variety of writing techniques and strategies. Additionally, reading can greatly expand your vocabulary.
4. “I will be open to feedback.”
Letting other people read your work can result in great insights for you. The key, though, is that you have to be open to their suggestions. Don’t get defensive—listen to the feedback, and consider how it might help you improve. Writing is personal, so it can be difficult to avoid taking criticism personally. But, if you resolve to recognize the value of the feedback—even when it’s negative—you’ll open your mind to new ideas that will help you improve.
5. “I will explore new writing styles.”
You may focus on specific types of writing, whether fiction, poetry, or something academic. However, you can help yourself grow creatively by trying different styles. Research writing prompts, and try varying your writing style. By using a variety of different writing methods, you can become more versatile in your abilities and find new areas you enjoy.
6. “I will incentivize my progress.”
A great way to stay motivated with your writing is to attach rewards to your goals or milestones. These could be as small as rewarding yourself with your first cup of coffee once you finish your morning writing each day, or as large as treating yourself to a new laptop once you’ve completed a major project. Analyze your goals and find creative ways to motivate yourself to achieve them.
Lora Wegman is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.