A lot of writers I know are really weird people. They are not conventional characters. They are introverted, awkward, and often act like wallflowers in social situations, taking mental notes rather than fully participating.
But the holiday season is the great leveler: even the weird ones have to get together in groups with family and/or friends to eat, drink, and exchange gifts.
But writers also have the chance to do their own version of a holiday tradition: the New Year’s Resolution. This is the one time of the year in the U.S. when it is socially accepted even sanctioned to talk about self-improvement. So why not take this somewhat cheesy and unrealistic tradition of promises and make it a literary goal? Why not recommit to your own writing? Why not do more reading? This is a good way to stay weird, since pretty much everyone else’s resolutions will have to do with losing weight and exercise. Here are a handful of literary suggestions:
- Subscribe to Erika Dreifus’s blog, Practicing Writing, that always lists great writing and publishing opportunities and jobs. Getting her email in my inbox every day feels like a nice swift kick-in-the-butt to get my work out there.
- Win $500 if your fiction, nonfiction, or poetry is selected by the annual contest of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art (full disclosure: I’m on the staff…but I don’t have any sway in the contest decision-making!).
- Writers are sharing their literary resolutions on Twitter. If public shaming helps you keep your promise, write a tweet with the #litresolution hashtag (see what people are already saying here).