Welcome to mid-January! If you are still on top of your New Year’s writing resolutions – congratulations! You are clearly in a minority – according to a study conducted by OnePoll of two thousand people, most drop their resolutions by February 1st, while 68% report giving them up even sooner. According to the study, one in seven people believe they will never see their resolutions through in the first place.
The study cites that the top reasons we don’t stick to our resolutions are lack of discipline (52%) and lack of time (48%). However, there are some ways to combat these issues and stay committed to your goals.
- Given that completing your writing project is a dream and writing is something you enjoy, discipline should not really be the issue. What does take discipline is the determination to stake out time, even in small increments, to work towards your goals. Perhaps the best resolution you can make is to devote time to yourself – establish a regular twenty-minute block or even five to ten minutes in order to get started. How do you find this time? Maybe get up a little bit earlier than the rest of the people in your household. Or stay up a little later or book off one hour on the weekend. One easy fix might be to write for five minutes whenever you have the craving to scroll through social media.
- Give some thought as to what else is blocking you. Does the writing project seem overwhelming? If so, break it down into smaller sections – write the opening chapter, a short prologue, or even one small bit of dialogue. If you sit staring at a blank screen, consider writing prompts – there are many online resources and apps that can provide these. Pick a random prompt and write for 15 minutes. Alternatively, consider starting with five to ten minutes of freewriting.
- To make the writing habit a bit easier, don’t edit! These writing sessions are solely for the purpose of establishing your writing habit and getting some words on a page. It’s not the time to go back and assess the quality of your writing.
- Consider teaming up with a fellow writer. Declaring your goals to someone else can make it easier to stay on track. Touch base daily or weekly in order to keep each other encouraged and accountable.
- If you simply can’t write on any given day, pick up a book about writing. This can inspire you and you’ve honoured the commitment of time for yourself.
Most importantly, be gentle with yourself. Nothing can bring your goals to a screeching halt than negative self-talk. If you’re off to a slow start, start again. No one said resolutions have to begin only on January 1st. And if you need some inspiration, consider our Manuscript Accelerator Workshop. We wish you a happy New Year and all the best for maintaining the momentum you created only a few short weeks ago!