by Jenny Hansen

We’re two weeks into the new year (and a whole new decade!) and I know plenty of writers who made some lofty resolutions. Here at WITS, we keep it simple and stick to one word to guide our writing journey in the new year.

Frankly, one word is about all I can handle at the beginning of January.

The holidays have usually left me breathless. Someone in my family is often sick over that holiday break (this time it was everyone). My house is predictably a raging mess in early January.

But I can do One Word.

I don’t know about you, but I print the One Word post out. I tack my paragraph up somewhere noticeable in my house. I make a drawing out of my word. I ponder it.

It’s still a work in progress but I kinda like it.

But here we are mid-January, with 2020 stretching before us — the Good, the Bad, and the Election. Ugh. I’ve caught my breath and there are goals to be outlined, and dreams to be chased.

If you are a writer, published or unpublished, I’d guess you’re hoping this New Year will be one that builds your career. So, let’s do this!

I challenge you to make at least one concrete writing goal for 2020.

I’ll start you off with ideas from one of our early WITS contributors, wise-woman Charlotte Carter. She wrote almost 60 books before she passed on and she knew how to get the work done.

Charlotte’s advice for writing success.

1. Make writing a priority. It’s way too easy to get off track if you don’t stick to your guns. Family and friends make demands on you. A good movie opens at the local theater, you promise yourself that you’ll get back to your writing schedule tomorrow. Don’t count on it!

2. Spend time with other writers. No one understands a writer’s fears, failures and successes like another writer. Not even your mother.

3. Don’t let the business get you down. Nora Roberts says, and I believe her, that it was hard to get published when she started writing. It’s still hard. Get used to it.

4. Develop a presence on the Internet. Editors do check authors’ blogs and websites. But remember Resolution #1 – don’t spend all of your writing time fussing with your online exposure and forget about your career goals.

5. Improve your craft. Attend workshops and conferences, take classes online, find a critique group that will encourage you and help you to grow. This is part of making your writing a priority.

6. Keep yourself mentally and physically healthy. Yep, you do have to exercise, spend time with friends and family, and find ways to fill your creative well.

7. Read. A lot. Both in and out of the genre you’re writing. I guarantee that won’t be a burden.

Now it’s your turn, WITS Readers! Instead of One Word, what is your One Thing? A class you’ve dreamed of…a story that won’t leave you alone? Perhaps you’ve been waiting to tackle a different genre or start a blog. Share your One Thing with us down in the comments!

Here’s to making one of your dreams come true in 2020…

*  *  *  *  *  *

About Jenny

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Facebook at JennyHansenAuthor or at Writers In The Storm.