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NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS FOR WRITERS
Like a true go-getter, I believe we can start anew and progress towards our goals every single day. However, as life gets more and more hectic (I'm a poet, editor, and teacher with 2 children under 2 years old), if there's any opportunity to step back and refocus my energy, I'll take it! For many people, the new year is the time for putting their best foot forward and reflecting on their personal and professional aspirations. While you might have thought about eating healthier, exercising more, and taking better care of the environment - perhaps you could use some fresh ideas to advance your writing. On the cusp of 2020, I've compiled these author-inspired resolutions that you can add to your list.
1. Attend a writer's retreat or conference
I put this one up top because it's most appealing to me. I love the idea of meeting up at a little cabin in the woods or taking a trip overseas to focus time completely on writing and connecting with other creatives. Depending on your budget and schedule, you can search for a meet-up in your city, country, or abroad. You could even join an online event, though I'd recommend in-person events to avoid distractions.
2. Try writing a different genre
If you're a poet, try writing a scholarly article. If you specialize in historical nonfiction, try your hand at a children's book. Short stories, comic strips, journaling, young adult fiction...there's plenty to explore.
3. Schedule writing time
This year, try to get one of your works in progress completed by scheduling writing time. If someone wants to meet up during your writing time, don't hesitate to say you already have plans. Honor your writing schedule as you would a work meeting or school event.
4. Digitize your writings
I still enjoy writing on paper, but I can't deny the benefits of having my files saved and/or emailed to myself. Paper gets wet, rips, burns... so go through your old notebooks and journals and take pictures or type out your best pieces.
5. Get on a podcast
Whether it's for a work in progress or something you've published long ago, is there a podcast that might be interested in interviewing you? You never know if you don't ask. Outside of podcats for writers, try to find ones that fit the theme of your work. Perhaps you wrote a young adult novel about horses and can get on an equestrian-themed podcast.
6. Use social media to connect with more writers
WriteSpike, Facebook, Instagram, and related sites have plenty of options available to help you connect with writers in the same genre. You can leave comments or write them a personal message. Having a network of writers can help you stay inspired and gain other perspectives on addressing challenges like writer's block.
7. Visit the home or museum of a famous writer
At the top of my "dream big" list is to one day have a museum in my honor to showcase my work as a children's author and entertainer. I visited H. C. Andersen's museum in Denmark and felt moved by his life story and inspired to see how many cultures had adopted his works. Do a simple internet search and find a home or museum that you can visit this year.
8. Write at the library
The internet is a great resource, but it can be hard to sort fact from fiction and far too easy to get distracted. Try writing the old-fashioned way, by visiting a library to find relevant books for your research and enjoying a few screen-free hours of writing.
9. Incorporate an inspirational quote into your daily life
We live in the age of customization, so let's take full advantage of it! Whether it's your own quote or someone else's, add some inspirational words to something you see every day. Examples are a custom coffee cup, bookbag, water bottle, or keychain. I highly recommend looking at options on Etsy.
10. Join a writer's society
Membership in a general writing society or one specific to your genre comes with several benefits. Besides the obvious opportunity to network, you'll likely have access to exlcusive events, subscription to a writing journal or magazine, plus discounts and special offers on resources for writers.
ANDREA HOPE is a poet, editor, and world citizen, whose works have won acclaim in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Her poetry book, TO MOTHER, is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook formats.
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