If you're setting your New Year's resolutions, having a mid-year shakeup, or simply diving (back) into writing, here are some goals you can set for yourself. Pick one that resonates with you.
Get 10 Or More Rejections
Submit your work to literary magazines, contests, agents, and so on. This could be short stories, essays, poems, or your manuscript. Aiming for 10 rejections means you’ve submitted your work 10 times.
Aiming for rejection might seem counterintuitive, but the goal isn’t to seek failure and cry; rather, it's a strategy to encourage you to overcome the fear of rejection and embrace the submission process.
Write 52 Short Stories
To quote Ray Bradbury:
“If you can write one short story a week—it doesn’t matter what the quality is to start, but at least you’re practicing, and at the end of the year you have 52 short stories, and I defy you to write 52 bad ones.
"Can’t be done. At the end of 30 weeks or 40 weeks or at the end of the year, all of a sudden a story will come that’s just wonderful.”
I can’t lie, I tried this last year and didn’t write even close to 52 short stories, good or bad, but I wrote a good few, and some of them got published! Nice for the ol’ ego.
Write a Sh*tty First Draft
Stop throwing tomatoes at me! By allowing yourself to write without the pressure of perfection, you're more likely to actually finish the novel. Fear of producing a flawless first draft can lead to writer's block or abandoned projects.
Don't Force Yourself
I gave myself burnout in 2023. It was a lot to balance a 9-5 job, running School of Plot, and hitting my target word count. In the end, I burned out and ended up going for months without writing. It would’ve been far more productive to have just cut myself some slack, taken a weekend off, and come back refreshed.
It’s easy to get sucked into productivity culture, and it’s true that writing requires some discipline, but there’s a balance. If you feel burned out or overwhelmed, allow yourself the flexibility to take breaks, step back, and recharge.