So, if the thought of 2021 is enough to make your heart plummet, you’re NOT alone … After all, 2020 was an epic binfire of extraordinary proportions for most of us!
But don’t sweat it, Bangers. As ever, B2W has got you covered. Here’s 10 simple writing resolutions for 2021 that will get you off the starter blocks this year. Let’s go!!
1) Write off 2020
First things first … If you started off last year with loads of writing positivity but weren’t able to meet your goals due to the pandemic, you are NOT failure. Sure, annoying people still smashed it out the park last year, but they were the exception, NOT the rule.
So, forget about 2020. Don’t think ‘I’m behind on last year’ or anything like that. Instead, concentrate on that clean slate for 2021 … (yes, even if your goal this year is the same as last year). W00000t!
2) Have Fun
We still have a few days of the holiday season left, so make sure you enjoy it. But even beyond these last moments, make a resolution in 2021 to get inspired and HAVE FUN! Too many writers think writing has to be a massive slog all the time. Ugh.
3) Call Yourself A Writer
I have had it with you so-called ‘aspiring writers’ out there! If you are writing, you are a writer. Remove this word from your social media bios! Start 2021 as you mean to go on!
4) Learn About Target Audience
Too many writers think their stories are ‘for everyone’, but no such audience exists. Knowing more about whom your writing is specifically FOR is key to getting what you want … whether that’s a publishing or production deal, an option, an agent or something else.
There are lots of ways of finding out more about target audience. One way is by by learning about business and market research. There’s loads of great, accessible articles about this online. I particularly like Linkedin as a source for this.
There’s also some very good books and courses about publishing and the film/TV industry now that cover this subject. Here are some of my favourites …
- Business Models For Filmmakers by John Sweeney
- Everybody Works In Sales by Niraj Kapur
- Understanding The Business of Entertainment by Gregory Bernstein
- From Pitch to Publication by Carole Blake
I also cover some of this in my Script Reading course, especially with reference to film investment.
Alternatively, take your lead from veteran author John Steinbeck. He talks about identifying ‘your ideal audience member’ and writing your story FOR them. Try it.
5) Read More
Every screenwriter knows they should be reading screenplays … Every author knows they should be reading novels. It’s something we all mean to do, but let go by the wayside because we’re busy.
Yet reading popular books and scripts from our genre is priceless in developing our craft. Check out this fantastic explanation why from Tumblr below.
You don’t have to overload yourself. Commit to reading 1 script or 1 book a month in 2021. That’s just 12 scripts or books. Double dare ya!
6) Share Your Writing
Hiding your writing away means you don’t develop your craft … PLUS it also means you don’t create relationships with your peers. You never know where your writer friends will be five years from now. So ensure you share your writing in 2021. If nothing else, you will make new writer friends. What’s not to like about that?? We all need people who GET IT in our lives!
7) Make Some Money
If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that EVERYONE has skills they can monetise from home. Some of us may want to make that our job, others may want to do it as a side hustle.
So why not make a resolution to do some freelance writing in 2021?
OR maybe you feel you want to work WITH writers by providing a service for them. Here’s a few ideas off the top of my head …
- Become a script reader
- Make websites for authors and screenwriters
- Become a sensitivity reader
- Offer life advice and coaching
- Create graphics, banners and other social media pix for writers
There’s LOADS more. Whatever it is you want to do, earn money doing it!
8) Find Your Voice As A Writer
The industry wants to find writers who ‘have something to say’. They also want writers whose individual style is obvious on the page (whatever that style happens to be).
So make 2021 THE year you discover WHAT it is you want to say … and HOW you are going to say it. Find out more on how to do this, HERE.
9) Get Visual
Too many writers – both screenwriter and author – think writing is all about DESCRIBING. Personally, I think this is the ‘wrong’ word because we end up with acres of words we just don’t need.
Whether we’re writing screenplays or novels, I’ve always thought we should get VISUAL. It’s stood me in good stead over the years. Here’s some info on how to do this …
Top 5 Scene Description Mistakes Writers Make
8 Ways To Jump Start Your Novel’s Description
How To Write Great Openers That Grab The Reader
1 Wrong Belief That’s Killing Your Scene Description
How To Write Tight & Visual Scene Description
5 Top Tips On Visuals For Your Novel From Hollywood Blockbusters
By the way, everything I know about novel visuals I learned from screenwriting. True story!
10) Set A ‘Concrete’ Goal for 2021
Lots of writers don’t get what they want because they don’t set what I call ‘concrete’ goals. In other words, they have a vague hope or wish to do something but don’t nail it down.
For example, if you want to write a novel in 2021, here’s how to make it concrete …
- I want to have written the first draft of my novel by September this year.
- In October, I want to get notes and feedback from beta readers.
- I want to have rewritten, edited and polished my novel based on that feedback by the end of December.
- I want to begin submissions to agents in January 2022.
For more on concrete goals, check out How To Set Meaningful Goals And Stick To Them.
Thanks for this. It’s priceless.
Glad it helped!
Can I make a suggestion for ‘5 Read More’?
Add a book (or script) or two from outside your genre – without going into details I read a war story script and one scene inspired a scene in a WIP, I took a war story trope (I’ve seen enough to recognise that) and slammed it into a horror story with a twist.
I love reading and writing in the horror, sci-fi & fantasy genre, Wuthering Heights is one of my favourite novels. With Cathy & Heathcliff you get a master class in how to write a selfish character (Cathy)and an absolute mofo of a character (Heathcliff) AND keep the reader engaged and even inspire a little sympathy for both.
GREAT addition! Mixing up tropes is a great idea, plus I love Wuthering Heights too.