12 Writerly Goals for 2016

Everyone is making resolutions (or not) as they do this time of year. I used to shun the idea of new year resolutions. I’ve always felt there’s never as good of a time as the now to start doing something I resolve to do. No one needs to wait for January 1st to start.

But January 1st is a great time to start if one needs a date to begin. With that in mind, I’ve given myself a list of Writerly Goals for 2016 which are basically resolutions. Maybe with some adaptation this list will be helpful to you, too.

Happy New Year, y’all!

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  1. Read five books on improving writing skills: Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine; Elements of Style by E.B. White (again); Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland; Self-editing for Fiction Writers by Browne & King; Showing & Telling in Fiction by Marcy Kennedy.
  2. Read five books on indie publishing: Rise of the Machines by Kristen Lamb; Successful Self Publishing by Joanna Penn; Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success by Mark Coker; Self Publishing Books 101 by Shelley Hitz; How to Make a Living with Your Writing by Joanna Penn.
  3. Read 100 Books (that’s about 2 books a week!): Besides the writing improvement and publishing books, I’d LOVE suggestions on various fiction and non-fiction. I’d like to read some from interesting biographies, classic lit, children’s, YA, historical, action/suspense.
  4. Write two books: Not going to publish both, but write two more!
  5. Publish two books: Captive Hope at the end of January and the third book at the end of the year.
  6. Write one new post for the blog (besides #BlogBattle stuff) every week.
  7. Complete children’s storybook version of The Beauty Thief.
  8. Send out a useful and fun email newsletter every month or bi-monthly.
  9. Actively join an amazing writing community: Spokane is chock-full of writers of every caliber.
  10. Look for ways to support and encourage other authors.
  11. Drink More Water (this goal is all over the place. But when I’m writing I forget to drink and eat and whatnot)
  12. Use all critique and criticism in such a way as to improve my writing. Some days this will be harder than others, but I really do think that every word of instruction, complaint, appreciation, or encouragement has been helpful and will continue to be so.

If you have suggestions for great books on writing or publishing, please mention them in the comments section. I’m sure I’m not the only one interested in them. Also, be sure to give some recommendations for good and quick reads for 2016!

Thanks & Happy New Year!


What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. – Zig Ziglar


53 thoughts on “12 Writerly Goals for 2016

  1. I have found that making resolutions for New Years usually set me up for failure. I would make such goals as stopping this, lessening that, and always breaking them in less than two months. So, I stopped making them.

    In this day and age, I just hope to do a little bit better than the previous year, and thus far it seems to be working. I started my first website in 2010 after self-publishing my poetry book, and didn’t update it often at all. I had many comments, but mostly from family. They tried to be supportive, a few of them even bought my book, though I have to wonder if any of them even cracked the spine, let alone actually read anything in it.

    In closing, I would say the only ‘resolution’ I make yearly is to try to do just a little better than the last year, try to make posts at least once a month. This year I hope to make that goal for more of my social media outlets, not just my website or blogs. (Yes, I count the #BlogBattle writings as a post, which helps because I could make a story for the prompt as the monthly goal.)

    As said in AA; “Progress, not perfection.”
    #WriteOn!
    — John

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  2. Here’s a list of writing books that I’ve heard are very good: 20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Tobias Ronald, the Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman, The 3 A. M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction by Brian Kiteley, A Writer’s Book of Days: A Spirited Companion and Lively Muse for the Writing Life by Judy Reeves.

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  3. That’s all you got? Haha just kidding! I’m kind of amazed and speechless right now but I honestly think you’re one person who could accomplish these goals. As for writing books, I really like Bird By Bird written by Anne Lamott and Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques by James Hynes. Your suggestions are great, thank you. I’ll be thinking of non writing books in the meantime.

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  4. That’s quite a list. I got hat KM Weiland book for Christmas, strangely enough! I have a stack of writing related books that I need to read, but then there are fiction books that I need to read, and I just don’t have the time! Okay, calm down, breathing again now. 🙂 Good luck with all your goals. I have just the one. Get my second draft done. No more distractions. Happy New Year. 🙂

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  5. I just wrote a post about how I don’t make resolutions (just like your beginning here) but these are awesome. I love Gail and did not know she had a writing book so thank you. (I’m with you on #11 but #3? Really? That’s just a dream for me.) I like 4 and 5 lady! Best of luck with your resol…goals and Happy 2016! 🎉🍾

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    1. I’ve heard of filtering, but not much. I don’t know if I’m capable as I do enjoy reading slow. haha I’ve never been one to challenge myself to read quickly as I’m always afraid I’ll miss the big picture or the real underlying meaning…the whole reading between the lines thing. 🙂 I’ll have to look into it, though, if I plan on reading 100 books this year. I didn’t even think about the fact that it’s 2 books a week when I jumped in on the challenge! 🙂 How are you feeling? Are you ready for all the changes coming this new year?

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      1. I was interested in it when I was in college! I wanted to be able to read the textbooks. But then I saw a class for reading last year while looking for Homeschool info. I am a lot better thank you! My vision has gotten better and I can eat… Hooray! I am trying to take things one day at a time… But I am looking forward to the new year.

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        1. It might be worth looking into more. 🙂

          I’m so glad to hear it! I’ve been checking in on your blog periodically but not nearly as much as I’d like. I’m always missing you for blog battles! 🙂 But I’m so glad you are feeling a bit better and taking it easy. ❤

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        1. I understand what you mean. Most of the smaller stories I work on are related to Blog Battle, but a lot of them are unfinished story starters that I’d like to come back to eventually. You know, make them into something real. 🙂 Do you think you’ll attempt those two separate rough drafts this year?

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          1. I definitely will work on both rough drafts this year. It takes me about three months to knock out a rough draft for a novel judging from past experience so I should be able to do them both. If you don’t mind me asking exactly what is your blog battle? Is it a series of writing prompts?

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            1. I’m about the same, Steven…3-4 months. Blog Battle is a weekly short story/flash fiction challenge here on my blog. I started it to engage with other writers, encourage each other, and in the process become a better writer. So far, it has been successful. It’s not for everyone, but when you are consistent you make some great writer friends. You’re very welcome to join! http://www.rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/ if you’d like to check it out. We post our stories to our own blogs on Tuesdays and have until Sunday to read all the posted ones in order to vote. 🙂

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            2. Yes, I do. They are helpful in spreading the word about my writing but are also a great place to connect with people over shared interests, which is a useful tool in marketing. Set up an author page on Facebook where people can find you, link to your blog, and where you can post content about your stories, related areas of interest, funny stuff, anything to make you memorable and approachable. 🙂 Twitter is good for networking and also some fan base building.

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            3. Not a one that I can think of off the top of my head. I’m one of those people when asked specifically and directly will unload all kinds of info and advice, but has almost nothing to offer without inquiry. Sad for a writer who wants to help, I know.

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