New Year’s Writing Resolution

It’s the first weeks into the new year, and a perfect time to make one resolution about your writing practice. Remember, only one.

Begin by thinking about your writing. How often do you come to the page? For how long? How many pieces have you been able to complete in the last six months? Do you have a designated writing time?

I have a feeling that reading my short list of questions, many of you began to squirm. Even I have to admit that I don’t sit down to write often or regularly enough. And I can’t blame the holidays. I’m very understanding about writing getting pushed to the sidelines during vacations or celebrations. But I have to admit, it’s been a while since I sat down at a predictable and fore-ordained time to put words on the page.

I too have become a bit lax about creating a regular writing window–a certain time each day, when I’ve promised myself that I’ll sit down to write. It’s not that my writing has stalled, or that I haven’t completed the posts I intend to write each week.

It’s more that my larger writing projects—a few essays I’m in the middle of, as well as my new book—haven’t gotten the attention they deserve lately. For the past months, everything else I have to do has gotten in the way.

Luckily, I know a solution: I can commit to sitting down to write every morning by a certain time. From past experience, I know that’s the only way to make certain I get my writing done.

I understand why this works—not only for me, but for most of the writers I work with. In the first place, making this commitment means I’ll be writing much more frequently than I have been. I won’t begin writing only when I remember that I have a blog post to complete. Instead, I’ll write every single day. And I’m bound to get a lot more words on the page when I do.

Even more important, by showing up at my writing time regularly, I’ll be honoring my commitment and my desire to write. As a writer, I know there’s little more important than doing what I love and am supposed to be doing.

And most important, by setting aside a certain time to write daily, I create a writing window that opens at that time each day, making it all not only that much easier for me to write, but providing me the mental and emotional space to do so.

You’ve probably figured out that with this post, I’m hoping to achieve two goals: first (but not necessarily in this order), I want to re-architect my writing window for the year. And next, I hope to inspire my readers to honor their own desire to write.

So, as I said at the beginning, pick one writing goal for the year—whatever you feel will support your writing the most—and draw up a resolution to work toward that one goal for the next month, at least. After that, once you see how well this is working, at the end of the month, you can re-inscribe.

Here’s to a fabulous year of writing!

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