It’s a whole new year, and that means a whole new set of half-hearted promises we impose on ourselves that we’ll keep for about two months. But hey, no one’s going to say you didn’t at least try.
Here are 11 suggestions, from writer to writer, for your list. Heck you might even feel the need to keep some of these for the year!
1. Read More
I can only imagine the groans this point has already elicited. Admit it, you’re groaning because you know you should do it. Instead of picking up a copy of Seth Godin’s new book, consider something unfamiliar like dwelling into some philosophical works like Meditations by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, or what’s widely considered the best sci-fi novel of all-time, Dune by Frank Herbet. The unknown is a gateway to new ideas and the keys to inspirations locked deep in your subconscious.
2. Try out a different writing style
Tired of writing for the meticulous world of finance and banking? Pick up a more light-hearted assignment instead. A new writing style may be just what you need to gain some new perspective and keep your job from getting stale. Who knows, you might just learn something new you can carry over.
3. Don’t neglect your health
Sitting down all day staring at a screen is not exactly the recipe for a healthy lifestyle. And with us being god’s greatest gift to humanity, we owe it to ourselves to take care of our bodies! Working out regularly also boosts your energy levels so you feel less sleepy while typing your next masterpiece.
4. Work on your portfolio
If you’re like me and some writers I know, you’ve been focusing on fighting day to day fires and neglecting your portfolio. Take some time to update your portfolio with your latest work, and start promoting it to potential clients. Or sign up for a certain site that’s made for writers to display their talent, it’s still in a private beta right now, but do get in contact for updates. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in the corner polishing the horn I just tooted.
5. Improve your typing speed
As the old mantra suggests, time is money so do it fast! Make the effort to work your moneymakers with some typing exercises. You’ll maximise your time, take more jobs, but more importantly impress girls with your nimble fingers. This site should get you up to speed, or you could just play The Typing of The Dead.
6. Start on that novel you’ve always dreamed of
We’ve all had that great idea we’re sure is going to make us the next JK Rowling, so get to it! Use this new year as the push you need to start your magnus opus. You could even start small by working on your Twilight fan fiction where Edward and Jacob discover new and uncomfortable feelings for each other.
7. Make friends with other writers
Yes, we know no one will ever come close to your literary prowess, but it’s still a good idea to meet other writers and talk about your ideas. Writing can be a test of willpower at times, and you’ll need some good friends to push you and understand your plights. Besides, writers tend to make good drinking buddies. If you need a place to start, we host monthly workshops for writers, or you can also hit up these meetup groups.
8. Stick to a timetable
Writing in this day and age affords us more distractions than ever before. You’re probably guilty of taking a “5-minute break” that ends up being a 3-hour cat video marathon on Youtube. But it’s a new year and it’s time to change. Work out a timetable that suits you best, and schedule breaks in between. Reward yourself with cute kitten videos after an hour of earnest writing to instill a more consistent work ethic.
If you need some help with this seemingly impossible task, the Pomodoro app will keep you in check with alarms and customisable schedules.
9. Go the extra mile with your work
We could all stand to read through our articles one more time, fact check another nitty-gritty detail, and glance through another page of your google search results. Your job is to provide the best possible content, so work for it! Find new ways to provide value, and your readers and clients will love you for it.
10. Quit stalling
Sometimes the hardest part about writing is just starting. Take that out of the equation. Stop thinking about the perfect introduction and just work on the parts you’re already confident with. Start typing, get into the flow of things, and more often than not, the answer will come to you.
11. Invest some time learning Boolean search techniques
Your google search results page may sometimes seem crowded and overwhelming, but you can really trim those results and get what you really want by using proper search techniques. Here’s a handy guide to get you started.
Happy New Year!
Well there you have it, eleven good writing habits to start the new year off. Feel free to share any of your resolution ideas in the comments, and check out our website for more writing resources in the future!