Marcia Strykowski

Writer’s Resolutions

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oh, to be like Mary Pickford sitting serenely at her writing desk with nary an internet to distract her.

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”– Helen Keller

I haven’t had the best of luck with New Year’s resolutions. For example, that year I decided to give up chocolate and fat, or at the very least, cut way back on them? By 8:15 AM on New Year’s Day, I’d already failed, thanks to a lone chocolate cruller.

As for writing, I came up with at least a dozen resolutions, but then realized I was heading for failure again. I’ve narrowed them down to my top five.

1. Writing for 20 minutes a day might be a good start. This may not seem like a very long time, but believe me I’ve had trouble accomplishing this task many times. Set goals that are easy to achieve.

2. Read more often. Not just the genre you write, but reach outside the box. Maybe choose a book everyone’s talking about (they must have done something right!). Reread the classics that remain popular a century later. Perhaps a book that had special meaning to you before you decided to become an author.

3. Take more risks in your writing. Step outside your comfort zone with either characters, dialogue, or plot. For example, your characters are happily going along through their story, but what would happen if you suddenly threw them a curve ball? Or, say if you always write third person female historical fiction. Try first person contemporary male and see how your story turns out.

4. Stay focussed on what’s important. If improving your craft is near the top of your list, try not to waste valuable time scanning book sales and reviews. Things which depend on others can’t be controlled, so why waste time worrying about them? Less stressful multi-tasking equals more creative downtime. And, hard to believe, but the social media world will carry on without us even if we don’t check it constantly.

5. Give back to the writing community. Have you read a book you loved? Don’t keep it to yourself. Request it at your local library, review it on Goodreads, Amazon, and any other sites you find. Tell the world! One thing I plan to do is to start interviewing my fellow authors on this blog—stay tuned—there’ll be some great ones coming up!

Whatever happens with your New Year’s resolutions, don’t be hard on yourself. Just take a deep breath, learn from your mistakes and try again the next day.

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here are a few other posts to inspire your writing:

Just Do It!

Best Writing Tips 

Guest Author

Writing Groups

Good luck and best wishes for a productive peaceful 2015!

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”–Neil Gaiman


  1. Fabulous post! Happy New Year!


  2. Hello Marcia, I love the photograph of Mary Pickford. She looks beautiful and serene.
    I’m not very good at making resolutions, although I do like your number five – so maybe I will start with that.
    Happy New Year, Barbara x


  3. mirkabreen

    Congratulations on keeping the faith in New Year’s resolutions, Marcia. I lost mine sometime in January many years ago… Best wishes!


  4. Vijaya

    That is a picture of loveliness! I like your resolutions … and I think so often those 20 minutes lead to an hour or more of writing. Thank you for a lovely post and I wish you a very happy, healthful and productive 2015.


  5. Great post. Keeping resolutions simple and short is good advice. I vote for # 4! Love the quotes, especially Neil Gaiman’s.


    • Thank you for your comment, Joyce, and best wishes for a wonderful new year!


  6. Great list of resolutions. Happy New Year!


  7. Marcia, I love your list of writing resolutions, and I appreciate how you set an attainable goal of writing for 20 minutes each day. It inspires me to go longer on something when the pressure is reduced. Success breeds success. Thanks for reminding me of this.

    Blessings for 2015 ~ Wendy ❀


    • Thanks, Wendy. I’m glad the list is useful. I like your comment about success. Enjoy a great start to the new year!


  8. Great things to think about as 2015 begins. I especially like #4. Best of luck, good health and peace to you and yours:)


  9. Ashley

    Happy New Year Marcia. I love that picture!


  10. Bernice

    Thanks, very great post.


  11. Bette Norton

    I love the picture of Mary Pickford serenely writing. Times were more simple then, but the world was much larger. Through the internet the world becomes smaller and there is so much to learn about it. For a writer though, it can be a distraction I am sure. I love your resolutions. For me I try to focus more fully on what is already working for me. To do more in what makes me happy! 🙂


  12. Savannah Hendricks

    Happy New Year! Love catching up on the last few posts. Good luck with your goals in 2015!


  13. I don’t know how I missed this post. Love the list you’ve put together, Marcia. Writing 20 minutes a day and taking risks in writing are two that ring with me. I hope to read 1-2 classics (or more) this year ~ will definitely include a Dickens story, either David Copperfield or Our Mutual Friend. Have an excellent 2015, Marcia!


    • Great idea to add the classics to this year’s reading list. Happy New Year, Claudine!


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