2014 Resolutions for Writers

If you’ve gone astray, lost your drive, or feel like giving up, the promise of the new year can fix all that. Here are a dozen resolutions to put you on track. The rest is up to you.

by Hyphenman on Jan 04, 2014

Words can speak louder than actions. But it’s actions that can give volume to the words and make them heard. Now’s the time to try.

1. Start With a Clean Slate

Welcome 2014 by finishing what you began in 2013. Wrap up any dangling projects before you undertake new ones. The old ones have dangled long enough.

2. Follow A Schedule

Write whenever you can on whatever schedule you can maintain. Don’t let the momentum slip away from you. If all you can do is scribble a few notes while on a bathroom break at work, that’s at least something.

3. Create Achievable Goals

Don’t fantasize about what you hope, wish, and pray you can accomplish. Set realistic and reachable goals. Then reach them.

4. Keep Marketing Foremost

Think about marketing while you write. If you think about it afterward, you will have written [CONTINUED] a book with no place to go.

5. Walk on the Wild Side of Marketing

Marketing requires the same creativity that you poured into your book. To develop a viable strategy, you’ve got to think outside the box. Then think outside that box.

6. Do Your Own NaNoWriMo

Borrow the idea behind November’s National Novel Writing Month and then improve upon it and make it your own. Instead of giving yourself one month to produce crap under fire, for example, give yourself a more reasonable six months to one year to produce a quality result that people will not only want to read, but, just as importantly, want to buy.

7. Acquire the Software You Need

Shop for whatever software programs you need as a professional writer. Or at least start saving for them. If you’re going to self-publish, for example, you need Adobe Acrobat. (That’s because every printer uses the pdf format from which to print and bind a manuscript. Adobe Acrobat, which you can buy for under $200 on eBay, is the most flexible and easiest to use. Get the pro, not the standard, version.) Every writer needs StyleWriter software to weed out errors, check for spelling mistakes, guard against clichés, avoid the passive voice, and more. If you’re a non-typist, use voice-recognition software like Dragon. (Prices vary widely from the cheap to the ungodly.)

8. Update Your Dictionary

If your hardcover dictionary is more than five years old, replace it. Two of the best are the New Oxford American Dictionary (published in 2010) and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (published in 2011). If you don’t own a hardcover dictionary, please close this page and surf elsewhere.

9. Don’t Neglect Exercise

You need to exercise your brain when you’re writing, and your body when you’re not. If your job requires you to walk, that’s not good enough. If your job requires you to lift heavy weights in three sets of 10 repetitions, that is.

10. Consider a Graphic Novel

If you’ve written a print-format book that’s not selling, you could produce an e-book version of it. Or an audio version. But if you really want to be different, turn it into a comic book, or, if you will, a graphic novel. A picture version just might top the charts. And help sell the word version.

11. Offer Contests & Quizzes

Don’t underestimate the power of interaction. Use contests and quizzes in which the prizes are an e-booklet or e-guide, writing pens, or books, including your own book. At the same time, you’ll develop an e-mail list to send out announcements about your book.

12. Make Your Name Known

Build a name for yourself and a following. Blog. Post on social media. Write reviews on Amazon. Leave comments on highly popular websites. Write guest posts. Don’t be obnoxious, but don’t hide your light under a bushel either.

And there you have it.

I’ve left out the most important resolution of all, however. That is: Write the best you can write. Then make it better. If you set the bar higher than you’re capable of reaching, you have a good shot at grabbing it. All through it, believe in yourself, your talent, and your story.

Go for it.


FINAL THOUGHT: Never lose sight of the new in New Year’s. New Beginnings. New Accomplishments. New Results. And remember the three R’s: Refresh, Reinvigorate, Recommit.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment


By submitting your comment, you accept terms of the comment policy.

Previous post:

Next post: