New Year’s Resolutions – tips for writers

Don’t front load the year by starting all your resolutions in January

January is dark, dreary and wet: generally a better time for editing and planning rather than starting new projects. Brand new projects are best started in Spring when the weather’s a (bit) better and plants are beginning to look green again. NaPoWriMo is in April so if you want to kick start writing new poems, that’s a good time to do it.

Check Submission Guidelines and Competition Rules

This shouldn’t need repeating, but editing an anthology in 2015 demonstrated that people don’t read guidelines. Those pieces that didn’t follow the guidelines were automatically rejected.

Keep Resolutions under your control

You don’t get to choose whether an editor selects your work or not. You can increase your chances of publication by doing your research, carefully selecting which poems you send where and following submission guidelines but the ultimate decision lies with the editor. Rather than resolving to get more poems published, focus on producing quality work or creating more time to write.

Try something new

Have a go at a short story or a blog post, try recording a podcast or making a film poem. The results may not be publishable or worth broadcasting but they will be new learning experiences.

Review

Rejection is a big part of a writer’s life so remember to focus on successes. Rejections are best dealt with by polishing the rejected poem and sending it out again. All editors receive more submissions than they can publish so rejections aren’t necessarily a reflection on the quality of work.

Social media is useful, but don’t let it become a time suck.

Any one up for NaPoWriMo (April 2016)?

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