I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions. The only resolution I've ever successfully kept is not to make resolutions in the first place. That way, I never disappoint myself.
But, if you want to do something with your writing and your blog, and you've got the attention span of a gnat on crack like I do, you will need to set some ground rules for yourself. I've been brainstorming over the last several weeks to come up with a list of ideas that should keep my writing and my blogging going strong throughout the year. This will be no mean feat since I've got a degree to finish, a job to find, and then will have to juggle both in the process of continuing to blog and write.
With that in mind, here are my writing and blogging resolutions for 2012.
1. Set a schedule, and stick to it. This doesn't mean that you can't rearrange or adjust the schedule as necessary, but make a promise to yourself that you will set a schedule and keep it. For my writing, I'm setting aside an hour each morning when I get up to sit down at the keyboard and write non-stop. As for my blog, I'm going to implement a posting schedule, probably Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I'll have more details on that soon.
2. Get organized. Don't just come willy nilly to the keyboard and say "I'm going to post a blog today". (I'm so guilty of this, thus my sporadic blog entries.) Have a game plan in mind for your writing and your blogging. I've set aside an hour each day to write, and I have projects that I will use that time for - like the novel that I started during NaNoWriMo in November and couldn't manage to finish. I've also got a game plan for my blog posting schedule. Wednesdays will be specifically for guest posts. If you are interested in guest posting here, leave me a comment down below and I'll be in touch. Fridays, I'm considering a "Weekend Workshop" feature that will be specifically geared towards writing. I haven't decided for sure what Mondays will be yet - again, I'll have more details on that soon.
3. Take advantage of scheduling your blog posts ahead of time. Okay, so this is a blogging specific resolution. I've dabbled with it in the past on this blog, and it really does come in handy. This is one tool that you can use to keep your blog schedule on track, and get ahead of the procrastination curve. Having blogs scheduled to post on specific days and times means that you don't have to be right on top of the computer when your blog posts. You could be at work, asleep, writing something else, or in my case, probably studying.
4. Network! It helps to surround yourself with other writers and bloggers to keep yourself motivated. I use Twitter and Triberr, and have joined other online writing communities which I plan to make more time for in the coming year. I've got plans for a Facebook page for my writing and this blog in the near future, and I'm also planning on using Google+ more in the coming year. Whatever you do - don't let networking overtake your writing or your blogging. It's very easy to get distracted when you are networking. I speak from experience.
5. Read as much as you can, whenever you can. And by reading, I mean books, blogs, magazines, newspapers - anything and everything that you can get your hands on. Stephen King has famously said "If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time, or the tools, to write." I wholeheartedly agree. My writing suffers when I don't take the time to read, and vice versa. I'm going to spending a lot more time curled up with my Kindle in the coming year.
6. Set goals. One of the reasons that NaNoWriMo is such a successful writing campaign is that it gives writers a finite goal to achieve, that being to write a 50K word novel in 30 days. You don't have to go to that extreme, or you can go beyond it. Having a specific goal to reach for is important, and when you achieve the goals that you set, it makes it easier to set new ones and achieve those as well. Make sure that you set goals that you can and will achieve. I have a problem with shooting for the moon right out of the gate and then losing momentum because I've overwhelmed myself with the big picture. Start small, and work your way up from there.
These are all pretty basic ideas, and should be common sense to any writer or blogger, but, like I said - I've got a very short attention span. Being a writer isn't easy. It requires structure and self-discipline, and a lot of self-motivation.
Hopefully, with these resolutions, 2012 will be the year that I revolutionize my writing.
What are your writing resolutions for the new year?