Susan Dennard and Erin Bowman both recently shared that they had been talking about their New Years Resolutions for 2016, and what they want to be focusing on with their writing in the year to come. They both then went on to share short lists of their resolutions for the coming year, and have invited others to do the same. And so, here I am with my #WritersResolutions for 2016!
(*which you should be subscribed to, because she sends out newsletters really frequently and they’re always pretty awesome! And while we’re on the subject, you should subscribe to Erin’s newsletter to, they are monthly and also pretty awesome!)
I’ve mentioned it a few times, but never really gone into detail, but for those who don’t know; as well as being a massive reader, I’m also a writer, though monumentally unpublished. Over the last few years I’ve written a book (as well as a dozen beginnings to books) and I’m currently in the middle of editing it. In addition to that, I’m also in my final year of University, and I’ll be spending the next five months writing my dissertation, which just so happens to be a creative writing piece. So I’ve pretty much got my hands full at the moment, in terms of writing. So, after reading Susan Dennard’s newsletter and Erin Bowman’s blog post, I felt inspired to think about my own writing resolutions for the coming year.
my #WriterResolutions for 2016 are:
1: I Will Appreciate and be Confident with my work more
When I done my first ever creative writing course at University last year, the first class began with the tutor asking everyone to go around the room and say one thing that they wanted to learn from the course. I was pretty close to the end of the group, so as much as I had a lot of time to think about what I really wanted to learn, I was also rapidly losing ideas because the 20 people before me were taking all the good answers! By the time it got to me, I realised that the one thing that I had always struggled with was having confidence in my writing. So my answer that day was “I want to be learn to be confident with my work.”
It’s a year later now and, though I am definitely much better at appreciating the work I do, I still often feel like the stuff I write is absolutely awful and want to hide it from the world. So, in 2016, I just want to keep growing in confidence with my writing.
2: I Will Keep Consistent
Okay, I know I’m not the only writer in the world to not have a great track-record for writing consistently, but you have no idea how bad I can get! Sometimes (like in 2013) I can write 2,000 words every day, no exceptions, but other times (like in 2014) I could easily find myself going weeks at a time without writing a single word. Since I’ve been involved in my creative writing courses, I’ve trained myself to ignore my inner-editor, the part of my mind that made me only want to write if I was going to be writing things that were perfect, and that’s in turn helped me be able to write more, but I can still be pretty bad at keeping consistent.
As I’ll be writing a 10,000 word story for University between now and April, I know that I’m going to have to work every single day, and that’s hopefully going to make my brain instinctively get better at staying on top of my writing.
3: I Will Branch Out More When I read
This last one isn’t particularly about writing, but it’s one of the main pieces of writing advice that you’ll hear from successful writers: to write better, it’s such a good idea to read widely. Over the last few years, I’ve read almost exclusively YA, and although YA is, of course, my favourite thing in the world, I’m trying to branch out and read other things. Adult, crime-fiction, autobiography, memoir. Everything, really. Even within YA; there are a couple of genres within YA (and, by the way, Young Adult isn’t a genre!) that are my go-to. I love dystopian YA novels and fantasy YA novels, but I’m hoping to branch out and try to read more contemporary YA books, maybe even some romance YA books. These genres aren’t my favourite, but to be able to understand the world from different perspectives, it’s important to read different perspectives and experience things that are out of your comfort zone. (Example of positives from reading widely: if it wasn’t for reading Sara Bareilles’ autobiography, I would never have had the idea for my dissertation, which is one of my favourite ideas for a story I’ve ever had!)