Writing Habits for the New Year

My goals for 2020 are to grow as a writer, and I’ve made several commitments throughout the end of 2019 to help set me up for success. I’ve set my focus, my intentions, and my structure to help me accomplish those writing goals.

How to Set Your 2020 Goals

If you’re thinking about writing goals and how to shape 2020 into your writing year like me, think about some of these challenges and habits to get you out of your comfort zone.

Write for word counts

If you want to make a habit out of writing, you have to show up consistently. Set an achievable word count for every day and go after it. Start small and work up from there. Maybe the first month you shoot for a minimum of 100 words a day. It’s super achievable and will help you establish a habit. After that, see if you can increase it by a little. Reflect every month and see what is challenging yet achievable for you.

Write for time chunks

If having a set number of words to reach each day is daunting, think about setting up segments of time to write. Start with 10 minutes and don’t let yourself be distracted. After a month, see what you’ve accomplished. Set a new time segment for the next month and schedule it into your day so you don’t miss anything.

Write something that scares you

Often I think we want to reap the rewards of what we write. We want to hit that publish button, we want reads, we want interaction. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. Think about something you might have wanted to write, but aren’t sure you want out in the public. Write it, but don’t write it for anyone but yourself. See what it feels like to get it off your chest. Use that challenge to grow and find new avenues to explore.

Write something ridiculous

For once in your life, don’t take yourself so seriously. Write something completely insane. Write something funny, even if you’re the only one who thinks it’s funny. Write something out of character for yourself. Send a character on a dumb adventure. Just have fun.

Write a new genre

If you like to write fiction, test out some non-fiction. If you stick to historical romance, write science fiction. If you’ve never built a world before, do your research and find a way to make one happen. Branch out and see what you can learn about writing in a new genre. See if you can use those lessons in your typical writing genre.

Write what you don’t know

Find something new you want to learn about and learn out loud. Take others on the journey of what you’re learning (be that a new topic, a new genre, a new medium). Teach them what you’re discovering about the subject. Find new things to explore.

Write an old story

Is there a project you’ve been putting off? Maybe something you started but never quite got the hang of? Go back and revisit that project. Start fresh or work with what you already have. After some time away from the project, maybe you’ll have new ideas that you can apply. Maybe you’ll see something you missed the first time around.

Write about what you read

I’m not saying you have to do book reviews or copy other articles you read, but you should be taking notes. Highlight the passages that give you insight or information. Keep notes on the pieces of work that make an impact on you. Take what inspires you and turn them into great ideas for yourself. Communicate that information with yourself or with others.

Write without limitations

Break some rules. Find a way to head swap without confusing the reader. Change up the point of view in your story to give fresh perspectives for your readers. Find a rule that you know well and break it. Discover a new way to present information that hasn’t been used before.

Write to publish

Maybe you choose to publish something this year. Choose a piece of your work and spend time and energy making it the best thing you can. Send that work out to publishers. Or, if you prefer, self publish your work. There’s no shame in creating art that you market and publish yourself. There are amazing tools out there that put your writing under your control.

Write your blog and website

If you’ve always thought about creating a blog or an author website, now is the time! There are great platforms out there that you can start for free. Get your name out there, write about what you love, and find a following! People want value, so make sure that’s what you’re giving in whatever form you choose.

There are plenty of goals you can create around writing. Break them apart into manageable chunks then reevaluate those goals every few weeks or every month. That way you can adapt as necessary and ensure success in the new year!


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