Discuss: Writing Resolutions

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The new year is almost here and that means you may be making some resolutions for 2014. People like to rain on the parades of resolution-makers, saying that those resolutions will be broken within a month of the new year beginning. That may be true, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making a list of resolutions. Sometimes writing down goals and telling people about them gives them a power. Putting those goals out into the world can give them some air to grow.

I have been compiling a list of resolutions/goals for the past few years. Do I stick to every one I’ve ever written? Of course not. But, if anything, they’re an admonishment for me when I fail to follow through and maybe that’ll finally push me to get something done. I don’t know about you, but writing-related resolutions have been on my resolution list ever since I started the yearly ritual. For me, writing is something that I can always be improving upon. I’m never where I want to be in terms of writing, unfortunately. This year I have more writing resolutions on my list, mainly having to do with the novel I began this November and others that I’m planning in my head. The big goal is simple, though: write!

This year I have some tools to (hopefully) help me keep these writing resolutions. The first tool is an offshoot of my NaNoWriMo writing group called “the accountability group.” Basically, we make our writing goals known to the group and then meet each month to update each other on what we’ve been doing. I’m hoping this will create the same kind of dynamic found in National Novel Writing Month, which always pushes me to write more than I do in the other 11 months of the year.

The other tool is a technique called “don’t break the chain.” This technique entails crossing off each day on a calendar when you perform your agreed-upon task. If you say that you want to write for an hour every night, then once you’ve done your writing for the day you can cross off the day on the calendar. The idea is to keep on doing this and to create a nice, neat chain of x’s on your calendar that you won’t want to break. I’ve been afraid of this technique in the past, for whatever reason, but I want to try it out this year.

How about you? Do you have any writing-related resolutions for 2014? Do you have any resolutions at all? If so, what techniques do you use to keep yourself on track? Share in the comments!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

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