Give guilt the boot
When we’re still filled with festive cheer and the stress of the day job is a distant memory, it’s easy to set rigid writing goals. Sticking to them when reality bites is a whole different matter.
So, in 2022, I’ve decided NOT to set a daily word-count goal, or even to commit to writing daily. The chances are, I’ll still write most days because 1) I love it, 2) I feel genuinely sad when I’m not writing. But if work or life gets in the way sometimes, I won’t be beating myself up about it.
Instead, I’ll write my socks off whenever I can, and I’ll stay focused on big overall goals (like writing a sequel and pitching a non-fiction book). Then I’ll get there in whatever way I can, no matter how scrappily.
Fill your notebooks
Notebooks are there to be written in. (Yes, even the ones with the fancy hardback covers and gold sprayed edges.) This year, I refuse to be intimidated by the beauty of a notebook, and neither should you. It’s your words that make notebooks valuable. Fill them. Fill them. Fill them.
Be the writer only you can be
In 2022, I’m going to try really, really hard not to compare myself to other writers, or read their books and come away thinking things like, ‘Their words are so beautiful, I wish I could write lyric poetry…’
Instead, I’ll cheer and champion every writer’s brilliance (something I try and do already). Then I’ll get back to being the chaotic, daft and generally bonkers writer I already am.
It’s easy to dismiss your own writing style, especially if it comes easily to you. For ages, I thought ‘well anyone could write like this, everyone else must be choosing not to.’ It’s only really since early reviews have come in for my debut middle grade book, Small! that I’m starting to think that my particular brand of storytelling might actually be my strength.
Whatever your writing style, I hope you embrace it in 2022. I’ll be right here to cheer you on.
(PS if you fancy reading a bit of bonkers MG, you can pre-order Small! with the lovely Rocketship bookshop.)