Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers Seeking Traditional Publication

"A happy New Year." New York Public Library Digital Collections.

“A happy New Year.” New York Public Library Digital Collections.

As a writer, I have the same New Year’s resolution every year in the past 22 years—to get published traditionally. Some years are more successful than others. In 2014, I signed with my literary agent, whom I admire greatly. In 2015, Lyrical Press published my debut romance book. This time I’m breaking down my New Year’s resolution into five smaller tasks.

If you’re a writer, maybe you can adopt something similar, or share your own New Year’s resolutions by leaving a comment below.

5 Writing Resolutions for 2017

#1 Talk less about writing, and just write. Many writers tend to talk about their work, instead of actually writing. Of course, it helps to bounce ideas off someone and share your thoughts to other people. Just don’t mistake talking for writing. Resolve to spend more time and energy on the latter.

#2 Attend at least one writing course. I’m happy to say I just fulfilled this resolution! Choose at least one course that will help improve your skills and motivate you to either start writing or finish your work-in-progress. There are plenty of online courses and in-person workshops to choose from. My go-to places for online courses are Writer’s Digest and Mediabistro. For in-person workshops and writers’ conferences, everything depends on my budget. I always check out Poets & Writers magazine for a list of events.

Photo by Cindy Fazzi, December 2016.

Photo by Cindy Fazzi, December 2016.

#3 Finish at least one writing project. In writing, it’s easy to be a dilettante. Perhaps you’ve decided to enter a short story contest, so you’re writing short fiction. You’ve enrolled in a novel-writing class, so you also started a full-length novel. Don’t forget about your day job and your family obligations. The good news: You can do all of the above with discipline and by prioritizing your work. Give at least one project your best shot and finish it before December. Why? In order to fulfill the fifth item on this list.

#4 Find a writing critique partner or join a writing group. When you have something worth sharing, it helps to get feedback. You can ask writer friends and acquaintances to form a writing critique group, or choose one as your partner. As for me, I’ve worked with a different writing critique partner for every manuscript. This helps avoid burnout. Other writers stick to the same people for all of their works.  You have to try it to find out what works for you. If you have the cash to spare, you can also hire a professional development editor to evaluate and edit your work.

#5 Submit your best work. Number three is a prerequisite for this, and number four will increase your chances of succeeding with this resolution. So, if you haven’t finished any work worth submitting, keep at it. Resolve to write your best work ever, and submit to either a literary agent or a publisher before the end of 2017. Whether you submit to an agent or directly to a publisher will depend on your ultimate publishing goal.

Happy New Year and good luck!

Wondering where to submit? Read these stories:

2 Small Presses Seek Contemporary Novels and Genre Fiction

2 Small Publishers Accept Unagented Submissions of Literary Fiction and Genres

Small Presses: Two Opportunities for Women Writers

3 HarperCollins Digital Imprints Accept Unagented & Unsolicited Submissions

Small Presses: 3 Publishers Accept Fiction and Nonfiction Submissions

Amazon’s Kindle Scout Seeks Unpublished Novels

Digital Publisher Seeks Manuscripts for New Publishing Platform

Brash Books Seeks Unpublished Crime Novels and Award-Winning Backlists

Inkshares: Is the Latest Publishing Model Right for You?

Small Presses: 2 Publishers that Accept Unagented and Unsolicited Submissions

Photo Credit: Art and Picture Collection, New York Public Library. “A happy New Year.” New York Public Library Digital Collections.


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  1. Thank you, Cindy. This is well researched and incredibly helpful.


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