Every year, we sit and write down our resolutions and goals for the new year ahead of us. This time, however, we’re not only embarking on a new year, but we have an entirely new decade in front of us. There is no better time to dream bigger dreams and accomplish your biggest goals. Here are twenty ideas for writers to add to their 2020 New Year’s Resolutions list:

  • Develop a new mantra.

Oftentimes, the biggest struggle writers have is thinking of themselves as an actual writer. So, begin working a mantra into your daily, morning routine. Example: “I am a writer, and I will regularly devote time to my craft.”

  • Switch up your genre.

The best way to stretch your abilities is to expand your writing into a new genre. If you typically write science fiction, try historical fiction instead. If you are more comfortable writing fiction, work on a nonfiction project.

  • Focus on research.

The pre-writing process is just as important as the actual writing process. Spend time developing characters, researching the information that will lend credibility and necessary facts to your writing. For example, if you’ll need to write a scene set in a courtroom, understanding court procedures will be beneficial.

  • Quit something that isn’t serving you.

Not every idea needs to be finished. If you’re no longer excited about a book project, put it away or quit it altogether. Then, re-devote your time to a new project.

  • Read more books.

Writers who read become better writers. Set a goal to read at least one book per month and read across different genres. Read books by your favorite author and make notes about what you particularly like about that author’s writing. Begin to incorporate those items into your own writing.

  • Keep an inspiration journal.

A blank page can be intimidating, but an inspiration journal can help reduce some of your anxiety. Use your journal to write down sentences or dialogue that randomly come to your mind, favorite quotes, character profiles, and more.

  • Learn something new.

Have you always wanted to take a cooking class or learn to paint? Using your mind in new ways can spark your creativity.

  • Create a data back-up plan.

There’s nothing worse than losing your work and not being able to recover it. No one ever expects their hard drive to crash or that they would lose a flash drive, so develop a back-up plan that includes saving your work to multiple places. Then, decide how often you want to back up your work and stick to the schedule.

  • Build your presence on social media.

In this day and age, social media is incredibly important for all writers. Not only does it provide an opportunity to market your work at no cost, but it’s also a great place to connect with readers and gain new ones.

  • Focus on self-care.

To be the best writer you can be, you need to be the healthiest version of yourself. Your sleep health, exercise, water intake, and diet all impact your writing.

  • Make friends with other writers.

Find a writing group in your area or connect with other writers through social media. New writing friends can help keep you on task, help you revise your work, and offer a place to turn when you hit writer’s block.

  • Get something published.

Submit a short story to a magazine or online journal or self-publish your book. There’s no better feeling than seeing your work and knowing other people will read it.

  • Set a schedule.

The best way to work writing into your life is to schedule it and make it part of your regular routine. Even if you block off one hour per day, that’s still seven hours of writing each week. Do you know how much writing you could accumulate during seven hours of writing? Even if you only write 500 words per hour, that’s 3,500 words written per week.

  • Write something that scares you.

Step outside your comfort zone and write something that scares you. It’s not something you need to publish or share with anyone, but knowing you were able to put it down on paper will be a huge accomplishment for you.

  • Build a website.

Give prospective readers, literary agents, and acquisitions editors a place online to learn more about you, your brand, and your writing.

  • Take a writing class or attend a writing conference.

All writers can become better writers. Classes and conferences are great ways for writers to expand their writing skills, learn how to better revise their work, and improve their self-editing skills.

  • Start a blog.

 Regularly publishing your writing on a blog helps increase traffic to your website, expands your online reach, and positions you as an expert. A blogging schedule can also help you get more comfortable with a daily writing schedule.

  • Revise a draft.

The revision process is more important than writing your first draft because it’s when you rearrange material, fill in plot holes, and make overall improvements to your story. Make time to revise your work and don’t rush it.

  • Ask for help.

Whether you need a critique partner, beta readers or full book editing, it’s extremely important to ask for help. Writing may feel lonely at times, but it takes a village to make a book really great.

  • Finish your book!

If you only add one writing goal to your list of New Year’s resolutions, make it this one. At the minimum, write the first draft of your novel this year.

What writing goals are you including in your New Year’s resolutions?