woman writing in a notebook

Writers’ Resolutions for 2021

The new year is officially here, which means writers all over the world are ready to begin a new chapter (literally and figuratively). If you’re looking to reach new heights in your writing, consider taking on one of these six writers’ resolutions for 2021. 


Try out new poetic forms. 

Do you feel stuck in a creative rut? A new year is a perfect invitation to try out something new. Experiment with blackout poems, structured haikus, the melodic villanelle, the golden shoveliambic pentameter, or any other poetic form—the possibilities are endless. If you’re looking for a challenge, you can dedicate yourself to mastering a single form. If you’re hoping to broaden your horizons, consider experimenting with a new form each day. Even if you don’t fall in love with any of your experiments, you’ll still build new skills each time you try. 


Break out of your bubble. 

We all have our favorite poets and poetic styles, but it’s important to branch out and be open to new ways of writing, too. Adding new authors to your bookshelf is a great way to see how others might view the world, and how they use language to reconstruct it. You may find a new favorite, or you may learn a few new tricks and ideas to inspire your own work. 


Join a group.

Reading clubs and writing groups are a great way to keep you on your toes all year long. Whether you’re preparing for an evening of lively discussion or exchanging critiques, you’ll always have something to look forward to. They can also introduce you to new books, authors, and ideas. Plus, you might meet a few new friends in the process. 


Try the timer trick. 

Are you easily distracted? Do you find your mind wandering when you write? If you’re hoping to improve your focus this year, consider setting a timer while you write. You can start out with as little as five minutes and slowly work your way up throughout the year. Sometimes just pressing start on the stopwatch is a great way to trick your brain into buckling down. Once you get into the habit, you’ll be surprised just how quickly time flies. 


Face one of your fears. 

Let’s be real. Writing is scary. Sharing work that feels deeply personal to you can be intimidating, especially when you’re trying out something new in your practice. But don’t let that fear hold you back. Is there a poem you’ve been holding in the shadows because you’re afraid of what people might think? Is there a fellow writer you admire who you’re afraid to ask for feedback? Is there a topic you’ve been thinking about for a while, but you find excuses not to sit down and write about it? This year, don’t let fear hold you back. Make small steps to chip away at the things that scare you. Before you know it, they won’t be so scary anymore. 


Find an accountability buddy. 

Do you procrastinate on your projects? Do you struggle to make writing part of your routine? Consider finding a friend or fellow writer to help hold you accountable. You can set goals together, write together, discuss your work, and check in with each other when life seems to get in the way. A good support system can make a world of difference.