By Lisa Dunn
Rock Hill Chapter Co-Leader
I never make New Year’s Resolutions. I’m simply not good at keeping them. That doesn’t mean, however, that I can’t appreciate a good list of “things you should do” or that I’m not always looking for ideas to strengthen my writing.
With full disclosure of the unlikelihood of committing myself to declare any official resolutions, here is a list of resolutions you might make to encourage your writing habit in the year to come:
- Write every day for half an hour (or the time of your choosing).
- Set a weekly word count goal.
- If you are a plotter, try writing a story without a detailed outline.
- If you’re a pantser, commit your story to an outline and stick to it.
- Read a book on the craft of writing.
- Research common literary terms. Aim to learn—and thoroughly understand—at least one new term per week or month.
- Read a classic.
- Read a contemporary bestseller.
- Read three books in your genre.
- Read three books outside your genre.
- Join a Flash Fiction challenge, such as Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields: (https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/friday-fictioneers-2/).
- Complete a manuscript.
- Join a critique group for feedback on your writing. SCWW offers several local options: (http://myscww.org/chapters/).
- Find a beta reader to read and critique your work.
- Revise, revise, revise. Be ruthless with your manuscript. Commit to cutting all unnecessary words.
- Research literary agents or small presses to represent/publish your completed manuscript.
- Submit your completed and polished manuscript to an agent or publisher.
- Enter a poem or short story in a contest.
- Start a blog.
- Keep a journal.
- Interview someone in a different phase of life or with a different background from you. Consider how their experiences and perspectives can enrich your stories and your life.
- Write a short story based off a current news event.
- Write the same short story from two or three different points of view.
- Plot an entirely new story.
- Attend a writing workshop, such as the Rock Hill SCWW Intensive: (http://myscww.org/annual-rock-hill-intensive-workshop/).
It’s your turn now. What resolutions would you add to the list above?
Lisa Dunn co-facilitates the Rock Hill Chapter of SCWW. When she isn’t homeschooling her children, she writes novels for Young Adults. Her first two books, Grit of Berth and Stone and Heir of Koradin were published by Anaiah Press in 2015. The final book in the Chasmaria series, Child of Thresh, will release in August 2016. Samples of her current work-in-progress, a contemporary Young Adult titled Commando Grace, won WRiTE CLUB 2016, an anonymous writing contest hosted by D.L. Hammons. Lisa is on Facebook and Twitter, and blogs at https://waitingforaname.wordpress.com.