The end of summer arrives for me next Tuesday, when my kids go back to school. This marks the start of the most productive time of year for me, when distractions fade away and I can focus exclusively on writing. It’s a natural time to review the writing resolutions I made at the start of the year and consider adding a few new ones.
One resolution I made that I know I haven’t been able to focus on very well yet this year was to do something every day to improve my writing ability. I envisioned keeping a writer’s journal in which I use examples from writers I admire to help me practice specific skills I’d like to improve, such as writing more elegant sentences, composing crisp dialogue, etc. I’ve done a good job of reading quite a few books about writing this year, which is part of my resolution to improve as a writer, but as part of my mid-year resolution renewal, I want to start studying examples of great writing more diligently and keeping up with my writer’s journal. I will post here soon about how it’s going and whether I find it to be a valuable process.
Another resolution I made at the start of the year was to keep a daily log of my writing progress, including time spent writing and pages written. I kept up with this for a while but fell off the wagon sometime mid-summer. Now is the time to pick up that practice again. I find it to be invaluable for keeping myself honest. It also makes me seize little opportunities to write. When I see that I’ve only spent two hours writing in a given day, I’m much more likely to grab another 15 or 30 minutes here and there to up my productive time. Also, the tracking of pages and time really does boost my overall productivity in a huge way. I’ve found it surprising how much I can accomplish in 30 minutes here and there throughout the day.
My third resolution this year was to have fun with writing. For me, this means not just focusing all my energy on marketable writing projects. I envisioned keeping a poetry journal, because I like to write poetry but rarely do it. I also envisioned working on a few children’s projects meant specifically for my own children, because they’ve never read anything I’ve written. I’ve put some energy into this resolution over the course of the year, but I haven’t been consistent with it. My goal now is to do something fun with writing at least once a week for the rest of the year.
Do you have writing resolutions that you’ve succeeded with this year? Have you done a midyear review of them? How do you track your progress?