Writers’ New Year Resolution

- by Lina Gardiner

It’s a new year and most of us have some sort of plan for 2014, depending on whether we write by the seat-of-our-pants or we’re big-time organizers. I’m guessing these methods, or lack thereof, gravitate to organizational skills in other areas, as well.

What works for you? Do you have the year laid out? In your mind? On paper? Do you schedule time to write, to blog, to network? Or, do you work when your muse strikes?

It’d be interesting to note the differences in working style and productivity. It makes sense authors who treat their writing time as business hours are more productive and therefore, most likely, more successful… (Good thing you can’t see the guilty expression on my face right now, I’m a card-carrying pantser)

There have been chats on social media about organizational programs for authors, programs that plot and keep every scrap of information characterized, color coded and catalogued. Ways for the planners of the world to organize themselves. That kind of planning might seem over-taxing for pantsers. But, I have to wonder — who gets more work done? Probably not the pantsers. At least not in the organizational aspect of their day. But does it make a difference when it comes right down to writing?

It’d be an interesting survey.


  1. I try to do up a list at the end of each year. Last year my goal was to self publish my first contemporary novel. And I got to check that off the list as done! This year one of my goals was to hire an agent and as of last week that got checked off my list. I like to have a general idea of where I’m going, what projects need to get finished, who I’m going to submit to and what sort of marketing I need to be doing for the year. I try to break it down because if I don’t it becomes very overwhelming. So while I like to think I’m a bit of a panster, perhaps I’m not!

  2. Like Tracey, I create a list of annual goals. Typically, that’s a New Year’s Day activity. I review it quarterly. Every Sunday night, I set my weekly goals, and I keep the list (printed on pretty colored paper!) on my desk all week and use it to set my daily goals. Sounds anal, right? But when it comes to actually writing, I’m mostly a pantser – or an organic writer, as I prefer to call it. My muse seems to thrive in an environment of freedom set inside a world of structured goals. Does that make any sense? Knowing that the structure is in place lets me feel in control, which then gives me the freedom to relax and write without worrying that there’s something I’ve forgotten or something else I should be doing.

  3. I’m working on a mammoth historical set in a time that requires intensive research, so I must plan ahead to integrate the history and make it come alive. The goal is to finish before summer, and I’m chewing up the story bite by bite. I love stopping to do research and coming back to the story refreshed with new ideas.

  4. I’m an organic writer. I can plot a novel, but then I know what happens and am not interested in writing it. At the beginning of every year I do one bit of planning, I check out what books are due when and plan my year round them. As I write for three UK publishers, I have to keep a careful eye on my schedule.

    This year started with me a bit behind schedule (not my usual status) because we moved house at the end of last year and that interrupted my writing big time. So my first resolution for 2014 had to be to write two books before the end of June, which will catch me up to the delivery of manuscripts schedule.

    I’m not looking past that yet and I’ve made a good start on the writing, by being very focused. So why am I spending precious time writing comments on the Ninc blog? Because Novelists Inc is full of lovely, interesting people, who force me () to enjoy their company.