2017 is upon us. Many welcome the new year with open arms, a smile, and a succinct: "Finally!" The end of the year - especially after the holidays - is exhausting. At this point, most of us are ready to wash off the past year and ease into the new one, which can make writing motivation ever more the elusive creature. For other writers, however, they are eager to begin a new project alongside the fresh start.
Keeping up with a writing project - like any New Year's resolution - can be a chore. A new year can often mean new obligations, new priorities, or even the old ones catching up to you. In these times, it's important to keep the project at the forefront of your mind.
Give yourself daily reminders. Post it notes placed in the areas of your home that you frequent - the kitchen or bathroom, for instance - are a good start. It's a type of positive, auto-suggestion where you suggest a behavior to yourself. Followed often enough, it can become a habit.
Have more time? Dedicate a certain part of your day exclusively to writing. To remind yourself in the beginning - until it becomes routine - perhaps set an obnoxious alarm on your phone so you never forget. The alarm is a small way to keep yourself accountable.
If accountability is a problem along with motivation, utilize your writing community / writing friends. Group together - support each other - and set daily or weekly goals for each other that you have to meet. Working with others can be a difficult task due to scheduling, which is why I favor a weekly goal where you can set aside one day a week to come together and share your hard work.
On a larger scale, when you are not the only one writing, the expectations may vary person to person and that's okay. One person may have a personal goal to write two chapters a week. One person may wish to write one chapter and read a published book. Another person may be working on a different medium - say, poetry - and have specific, numeric goals for how many poems they would like to draft or finalize in that time-span. Another member could still be in the planning stages of their project, discovering just what it is they want to do and how they would like to go about doing it.
Every writer has their own unique life with their own set of priorities and expectations; it's natural for each to have their own goals.
Please, share your thoughts with us below! How do you like to start the new year? With a fresh start, or finishing something not-quite-so-new? And if there is any writerly topic or subject you would like to see discussed, please don't be shy!