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Making and keeping new year's writing resolutions

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Another year has come and gone and a new one will soon be upon us. Along with it comes the ever familiar ritual of making new year's resolutions. As a professional writer, it is paramount to have writing goals in place to work towards that keep you motivated and on track. Without goals, you are simply an amateur writer engaging in it as a hobby. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you are pursuing writing as a career, you have to become goal-oriented.

For the new year, make a list of writing-related resolutions that aim to move you up in your career and strengthen your writing ability. Here are some things to keep in mind when making these resolutions in order to maximize your chances of successfully following through and keeping them:

1. Make them as concrete and specific as possible

Don't just say, 'Write more.' Be more precise; define what that means for you. For instance, you can say: 'Write at least 5 hours a week,' or, 'finish the short story by the end of the month.' Breaking it down into more detail makes the resolution more manageable and clear, and therefore easier to keep and follow.

2. Start early

Although the resolutions are for the start of the new year, begin them in December if possible. This not only develops them into a habit by the time January rolls around since it typically takes one month for something to become a habit if practiced frequently, but it also takes the pressure off when the new year starts and the resolutions suddenly appear overwhelming.

3. Create accountability

It may not be enough to rely on just yourself to follow through on your resolutions, even if you have the best intent and a great deal of motivation. Eventually remaining persistent and having the steadfastness to keep going wear down. Find an "accountability partner" that will help keep you committed to your goals. Share your list of resolutions with this person and come up with a way to remain accountable, whether by weekly emails, phone calls, word count delivery, or some other method.

There is nothing more rewarding to a writer than remaining devoted to the craft and seeing the process through to the end, where you behold your finished piece of writing. But you can't get there without specific goals and a plan of action. Share your writing resolutions for the new year and how you plan to stick to them in the comments!

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