Be Realistic About Your Writing Resolutions - Five Top Tips

It’s the end of the year and writers all over the world are rushing to make another list of unrealistic writing goals. I thought I would give you a few things to think about before you make that list. 

Do you really want to do this? 

Writing is a lonely and often an alienating experience. 

If you are a party animal who spends every spare minute worrying about your love life, your appearance and the venue for your next night out, you may want to consider if this is really for you. If you are consumed by your family – your spouse, your children, your pets – and your life revolves around making them happy, you may not be ruthless enough to be a writer. 

If you use your social life, your friends, your family, and your job as an excuse not to write, you are probably never going to be a writer. 

Writers have to be selfish. They stand at the edge of society and observe. Even when they are in the middle of an important work commitment, about to have a baby, studying for an exam, getting married or getting divorced, dealing with a serious illness, moving to a new country, moving house, cooking dinner for the family, or looking after a sick child, they write. 

Writers don’t find time to write. Writers make time to write. 

Five Top Tips

If you’ve decided that you’re tough enough, I think you should include these in your resolutions: 

  1. Make time to write every day. Remove distractions. Eliminate internet access. Tell everyone you do not want to be disturbed. 
  2. Give yourself a realistic daily word count. It could be 200 words or 2000 words - whatever works for you.
  3. Give yourself a deadline. Count how many words you intend to write every day. You will be able to work out when your first draft should be finished. Put that on the calendar.
  4. Plot the book before you begin. This is so important and so obvious that I still cannot understand people who say they don’t want a plan. If you don’t want a detailed outline, at least write a synopsis.
  5. Join a writing group that will hold you accountable. 

I would also suggest that you attend a writing course, read two or three good books on how to write a novel, or do research on the Internet before you start. Do not use this as an excuse not to write! Give yourself a month to do this. 

I hope these observations help you to accomplish your writing goals. Happy New Year and Happy Writing!

© Amanda Patterson

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Google+,  Tumblr  and Twitter.  

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate
18 responses
Love getting these posts. Inspires and reminds me what I need to do to complete my set second book in 2015. Thanks for post Amanda!
I know these things to be true! It's good to have that reminder on a regular basis. So simple in concept - often hard to execute. But we must if we are writers. Thanks for reminding us.
Thank you, Dominique and Mahrie.
Sorry Amanda re-proof point 4
First off, THANK YOU! Those of us who wish to call ourselves writers but allow ourselves to be bogged down by everything, using it as a crutch, need to hear the bitter truth you've just shared. It certainly shook me awake. I love your short and sweet advice, very succinct. Looking forward to renewing my objectives going forth.
I REEEEALLY LAUGHED OUT LOUD BUT CRIED JUST A BIT ON THE INSIDE =( LOL BUT I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THIS!! NOW TO FIND THAT WRITING GROUP THAT WILL HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE. ANY SUGGESTIONS/SITES/ONE WAY TICKETS? PLEASE DO SHARE! HAPPY HOLIDAYS! CHEERS
I used to get postings and I have missed them. So glad to be back again.
Yeah! I needed it. We make time... It's so true! Thank you for these words :) And happy new year too! xx
Short and to the point. Happy New Year!
Absolutely true! I spend a lot of time writing, even when I moved abroad I write about my adventures - it's a passion, you know! To grab the pen and just start writing! Greetings, Man With Van Pimlico Ltd.
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