Want to make a New Year's Resolution that you can actually keep, and which might also benefit your writing? Check out my suggestions…
You: are fairly new to the whole writing process.
Resolve to: read, read and then read some more. Read actively, paying attention to voices and styles in other writing. Then write as much as you can, and don’t be afraid to experiment.
You: have been writing for a while but only as a hobby, and want to take things to the next stage.
Resolve to: join a writing workshop and start letting other people see your poetry. Take constructive criticism on board and use it to start polishing up your poems.
You: think you might be ready to start publishing in magazines.
Resolve to: start reading zines and journals and marking out ones that seem right for your poetry. Make sure you feel ready to publish, and then get started!
You: have been published in a couple of places but keep getting rejected.
Resolve to: get to the bottom of why this might be happening, sort it out, and keep trying! If all else fails, read some more poetry.
You: have been published in loads of magazines and are wondering about the next step.
Resolve to: seek advice (from me, if no one else!) about what to do next. Make sure you feel ready to move on from magazine publishing, and start working towards something bigger.
You: have a publication that you want to get ‘out there.’
Resolve to: send review copies around literary publications, along with a sweet cover letter — and don’t forget to include ONS!
You: are having trouble writing anything much at all!
Resolve to: read, read, read. Lower your standards and just write — regardless of whether you think it’s amazing or rubbish, just let words tumble out. Experiment with new styles and forms. Find writing prompts to challenge yourself.
You: want to meet more writers like yourself, but don’t know how.
Resolve to: join a workshop group, or start up your own. Attend poetry readings, and if you feel able to, try performing at them too. Set up a blog and use it to find other writers online.
Or keep it short - make just one Poet’s Resolution for the New Year: Spend your winter evenings putting together & polishing your poetry manuscript, and send it out to a chapbook or book publication competition with a winter or spring deadline
And a short version of my own blogging resolutions - up and out so you can hold me to them.
- Blog daily - no matter how short the post.
- Try out new features and topics
- Learn something completely new about blogging.
- Don't get in a design/layout rut: make changes
- Encourage comments and two-way conversation.
- Respond to all comments.
- Visit more poetry blogs and post comments to them.
- Be bolder