My 2024 Writing-Related New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year is just around the corner! It rings with a certain fresh start that can’t be captured at any other time of the year. I look forward to this time because I always find myself inspired to work harder, smarter, and really put my mind to the tasks I want to accomplish. Posting these online for others to see – and potentially having people follow along – keeps me accountable, giving me extra motivation to complete these goals. I hope that my goals might help inspire you in your writing journeys!

#1: Finish the first draft of my novel.

I’m sure that this resolution sits on the top of many writers’ lists. Finishing a draft, especially the first draft of a first novel, is more than a little intimidating, but I’m determined to make 2024 the year I accomplish this goal. To help make this project more manageable, I will be breaking down this process into small steps. As a plotter, I need a clear and detailed outline, complete with character arcs and worldbuilding information, before I put words to the page. I’ll go more in depth on this in a later post.

#2: Read one book a month.

Since I’ve completed my master’s program in fantasy literature, I have really missed having a structured reading schedule. I want to continue reading newly published books in the genre I write in, which will help my craft. However, I don’t want to narrow the content I consume to only fantasy, so, I will be alternating between fantasy and other genres. This will spark my creativity and imagination in a different way – becoming exposed to other tropes, plot devices, pacing, and writing styles that could bring a fresh perspective to both my writing and the fantasy genre as a whole. I’ve started on this goal a bit early, as I am currently working through Ken Follett’s bestselling historical fiction novel, The Pillars of the Earth, for the month of December. I am really enjoying it so far.

#3: Submit to a short story competition every quarter.

While I haven’t finished a novel-length draft, I have finished several short stories. In order to keep myself motivated to continue fine-tuning this skill, I plan to write and submit four new short stories to writing competitions or literary magazines this year. I’ve never submitted any of my work for publication before, and this would be an exciting way to share my writing.

#4: Find a writing group.

Now that I aim to complete my first draft this year, I’m going to need lots of feedback on my ideas. I’m very shy about sharing my story, but I want to become more confident and open. When I took creative writing classes during my undergraduate and postgraduate studies, I had a built-in writing group who I could count on to read and provide feedback on my writing, and I absolutely loved hearing their thoughts and opinions on it. Unfortunately, many of these people moved away, or have gone on to pursue other jobs and now have no need for a writing group anymore. I tried attending several meetings of two in-person writing groups in my area this year, but I didn’t quite click with the members. I also have a part-time job, and so my schedule conflicts with their meetings. So, I’d like to branch out and try perhaps some smaller, online writing groups. Or… perhaps… I might form a new one… 

#5: Make new writer friends.

This goal is in a similar vein as the resolution above. With social media, it is now easier than ever to meet people from around the world who show interest in the same things you do. I follow many authors and aspiring authors who share their writing journeys on their platforms. I believe that a writing community fosters positive results and general improvement – I experienced that in my creative writing courses. These writer friends could be a part of my writing group, providing advice and feedback, or they could simply be friends. Perhaps we collaborate and host a book club one month, or maybe we attend a literary event in our area together. Whatever the case, I’d like to get to know other people who are on the same publishing journey I am, in a personal way rather than just simply watching their vlogs on YouTube or reels on Instagram.

Being a writer is, most often, a solitary endeavor. No one has insight into the inner workings of your mind until you write your thoughts down. And even then, there are still some steps before your story reaches your readers. For 2024, I want to make sure that while I’m accomplishing my goals, I’m also not trying to attempt this journey alone, and that I have surrounded myself with a support system to lean on when the going gets tough. 

Overall, I’m looking forward to what the new year will have in store.

Keep writing!

📜 ~Fen