One of the biggest pitfalls of writing is being unrealistic. Planning to write your novel before you go to work each morning, or resolving to read the complete works of James Joyce this year, may be a smidgen ambitious, especially in the gloom of January.
This year it’s all about realistic resolutions. Here’s what we’ll be doing to keep our writing fresh in 2016.
‘I’m going to write better by reading more. And not just more of the same. It’s easy to get caught in a reading niche, whether that’s reading endless streams of design blogs or nothing but Victorian novels bought in secondhand bookshops. So this year I’ll be seeking words from all spheres. Snappy blog posts, long-form articles, feature pieces, news journalism, fan fiction, thrillers, mysteries, sci-fi, romcoms or poetry. Lay it on me – I’m all ears.’
‘I’m going to try to shake things up by broadening my vocabulary and breaking old habits. Picking up on the Back to Basics Feed I did about my grandpa reading the dictionary every day, I’m going to do just that – and even start a vocab book of words and phrases I like from everything I read, see and hear. Just like school but as relevant now as ever!’
‘There were some words I got attached to in 2015. Don’t get me wrong, they were nice ones like ‘beyond’, ‘curate’ and ‘cacophony’. That’s why I went back to them. But sometimes you need to mix it up. So I’ve vowed to limber up my mind – the poor thing’s been doused in too much Prosecco over the festive period – and freshen up my lexicon. First up, Sockdolager (a decisive end to a statement).’
‘I’m planning on exploring the intersection between what David Ogilvy (one of the original Mad Men) called, ‘the killer and the poet’. He figured that advertising needed poets as much as killer copywriters. The best professional writing sparkles with unformulaic magic and the best poetry draws from a deep understanding of form. Marrying the lessons learnt from both is my mission in 2016.’
‘I’m going to try to use more active language this year. I think too much time spent writing to make a point has left my go-to tone of voice a bit static and stubborn. Time to loosen things up and get the readers’ minds moving.’