On January 1st, you may have excitedly drafted a list of New Year’s resolutions. Some of your goals might include learning a skill such as sewing and others might be breaking a bad habit like eating too much fast food.
But what about when it comes to your life as a writer? Obviously, every writer wants to improve, but you might feel stuck on what kind of goals you should have this year. After all, your goals can’t be too broad, otherwise it feels less like a goal or more like a wish overall.
I’ve got you covered: here are four achievable and realistic goals every writer should have. These writing goals are suitable for someone at any level and can help you fulfill your dream of becoming a professional writer.
Slowly Remove Distractions that Hinder Your Writing Time
One New Year’s resolution every writer should have is removing distractions that prevent them from writing. Many of my writing friends tell me that they wish they had the time to write, but they simply don’t or they find little time.
Well, this is the year to prioritize writing. And the way to do that is by removing any and all distractions that hinder your writing time.
You can remove these distractions over time or find a way that works for you to get working on your writing. Here are some ideas:
- Turn off your phone while you write. Our phones are one of most distracting pieces of technology in our lives. Friends might text us, there are hundreds of entertaining videos on the internet, and there are plenty of ways to spend hours on social media apps. Turning off your phone while you write will help prevent you from being distracted by the digital world.
- Find a quiet place to write. Another way to remove distractions this year is by finding a quiet place to write. Whether you design a room specifically for your writing or find a place where you can work for a few hours at a time (such as library, café, or other quiet place), finding a quiet place to write can help you focus on the words.
- Organize your leisure vs. writing time. Another thing that gets in the way of writing is our leisurely activities such as watching television or spending our energy doing something else. Plan to have your writing completed before engaging in various leisure activities.
With this goal in mind, you should slowly be finding more time to write over the course of the year. Utilize some of these strategies and work through conquering your distractions.
Read More Often
One way you can achieve your writing goals is by reading more often. Reading will help you improve over time, especially if you read books in your genre, because you’ll see how different authors use story techniques to build their characters.
However, finding time to read might be challenging between work, chores, family obligations, and running errands. That means you have to make a plan to read more often this year.
Here are some strategies you can take to begin reading more this year:
- Plan to read a certain number of books in a year. Whether that’s a book every month or maybe a few, think about your schedule and plan to start reading.
- Think about what genres keep your interest. Maybe you haven’t been reading more often because the books you pick up aren’t your style. Try finding the authors or genres that you will enjoy the most to help get back into reading.
- Don’t be afraid to try something new. Maybe you’ve read one hundred fantasy novels and the genre just isn’t giving you excitement anymore. Trying a new genre or a story out of your comfort zone can help you get back into reading because it will feel “new” again.
Reading will help you naturally improve your writing voice and allow you to see how other writers in your genre got published. Pick up some books from the library today to help encourage you to read more often.
Make a Project Plan
Another writing goal every writer should have in 2021 is making a project plan.
Every writer has their own goals depending on what they like to do: writing a book, blogging, poetry, script writing, short fiction, and poetry just to name a few.
No matter what your project(s) may be, you should make a project plan to complete this year. Your plan should:
- Be Realistic
- Have SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound
- Be something you hold yourself accountable to
When you make a project plan, you can create an outline that showcases where you’d like to be over the course of the next year. You can set weekly or biweekly goals you’d like to hit as well as the efforts you’ll take to reach them.
This plan will also allow you to think about the overall picture and help you get where you want to be. If you haven’t thought about what steps you need to take to complete your overall writing goals, sit down and critically think about how you can begin working on your dream.
Keep to your project plan and don’t stray from your goals. In one year, you want to be able to say that you were able to successfully develop a project plan and stick to it.
Be Less Judgmental of Your writing
Sometimes when we write, we’re our harshest critics. We oftentimes feel like what we’re writing isn’t good enough and edit our drafts until they’re “perfect.”
However, no matter what level you may be at, you should be less critical and judgmental of your work. Everyone starts at the beginning when learning how to write, which means that you might not be as strong in the craft as you will be in the near future.
Think of it this way:
- Every writer had to learn how to write a story and put together the pieces before they got published.
- Every blogger had to learn how to write for the internet and develop articles that help people
- Every poetry writer had to learn techniques to craft their poems and make them stand out
- Every script writer had to learn how to make a script that people could follow and act out
They say it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, and you can start putting the time in to learn doing what you love today. However, accepting your current skill level will help you reach your goal of becoming a professional writer in the future.
Now I’m not saying don’t take constructive feedback and try to improve, but rather celebrate the level you’re at and take steps to improve for the future. You don’t want to push forward without accepting the successes you have today.
Are You Ready to Write?
Now that you have some goals for this year, it’s time to start writing. Get ready to begin improving and focusing on your future projects today!
FOLLOW GRACEMORYAN.COM FOR MORE WRITING ADVICE
Do you love to write? Here at gracemoryan.com, I’m dedicated to finding and sharing the best writing advice in one easy-to-find place. If you’re an individual who’s looking to improve their writing craft, follow gracemoryan.com for the latest writing tips.