Going to Lose Ten Pounds Worth of Words: New Year’s Writing Resolutions

Every year, we resolve never to suggest New Year’s writing resolutions to our clients and readers. And we are not doing it this year either. But out of curiosity, we have taken an informal web survey of New Year’s resolutions for writers; there are lots out there.

Most suggest pretty much the same things: setting aside time for writing, doing a bit every day, keeping a journal, and reading books. These I-am-going-to-lose-ten-pounds type of resolutions seem likely to bring on full-fledged writer’s block. Either you write this way or you don’t; tying yourself in knots to change what is natural seems worse than counterproductive: destructive.

More sensible to us is a list by historical fiction writer Kate Quinn published in Goodreads. She cast an editor’s eye on her work and resolved to shorten her sentences, avoid at least one romantic cliche per book, not to let her characters shrug anymore and to avoid redheads. You can see her list HERE.

For memoirists, this list was published last week in “Huffington Post” by Theo Pauline Nestor, who teaches memoir writing:

1. This year I will make myself vulnerable on the page.
2. This year I will share wisdom in my writing.
3. This year I will not shun drama.
4. This year I will seek to illuminate the universal aspects of my story.

Break out the Prozac. Or, take a look at the list of bad resolutions for writers from Bill and Dave’s Cocktail Hour blog. It includes this:

Stop writing this year. Just quit. You can do it. Writing’s an addiction.

Okay, so not that one. If you have any, what are your writing resolutions this year?