Many of us will be setting New Year's resolutions to become better. Better eating habits or a better exercise routine are pretty common resolutions; for some of us, our resolution is to become a better writer.
Studies show that only 8% of resolutions are actually followed for the full year. Less than 25% are followed for 30 days (note: the average time to form a habit is 66 days).
If you want to become a better writer, you must really take the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ to heart. The thing is, even though practice makes perfect, your writing doesn’t have to be perfect. Write something every day (even if it’s only a hundred words or about a fly that flew into your coffee in the morning) and publish it on your blog of choice; you’ll feel accomplished and your writing will drastically improve over time.
Also, please don’t feel silly or like you’re taking up space. If you’re publishing your writing on something like Medium, people can choose to read what you’ve been writing and they can choose not to read it- you’re not forcing anyone to read what you’re writing, nor are you taking up space that someone else could use. You’re just putting your ideas out there and, believe it or not, people may really enjoy reading them.
Okay, good, we’ve got resolutions out of the way. Now, what are you going to write about?
- Ten songs that made your 2020 and why- alternatively, you can write about an album that made your 2020 if it’s easier
- Your first memory and what you think it says about you
- Something the horrors of 2020 taught you
- You’re in total control of the world for a year and can decide what to do, irrespective of the cost or any political woes that may arise. What things are you going to implement? Why?
- A popular TV show you don’t like and why. Make it as controversial as possible, for funzies and explain fully what made you dislike it.
- What does love feel like to you? When have you felt it?
- A letter to tomorrow. What do you want to happen tomorrow and why? Do you think tomorrow is a nice person? What do you want to say to your destiny in a few hours?
- Your #1 pet peeve of 2020. Why does it piss you off so much? Where did you see it most?
- An issue you think needs far more attention, awareness and concern
- A TV series you think everyone should watch and why
- A book you think everyone should read and why
- Someone comes into your house, puts a gun to your head and tells you that you must move to another country. You can go anywhere, it’ll last for five years and all of your living costs will be taken care of. Where do you move? Why?
- A recurring dream, or your most memorable dream, and what you think it says about you
- You wake up and realise that in a Metamorphosis-style twist of fate, you’ve turned into Jeff Bezos. You’ve got £136b ($182b) to splash- how do you spend it?
- Your most unpopular opinion (bonus points for how controversial it is). Explain your reasoning behind it
- A review of where you live. Doesn’t matter if you live in the middle of nowhere or a bustling metropolis- each have their benefits and their downfalls. Give your opinions, the pros/cons and why you like/hate living there
- Write about an emotion you’re feeling as if it’s detached from you. The happiness, grief or loneliness you’re feeling is suddenly sat across the room from you. What are they wearing? What do they look like? What are their mannerisms?
- An analysis of your favourite film scene and why you love it so much. It doesn’t have to be super serious or beautiful, maybe you really like the marriage scene from Shrek. Really dig into it, like you’re a media student. What colours are there? How is the scene framed? Who’s in it? Read between the lines
- Write a short story or article based on the last text or WhatsApp message you sent. Doesn’t matter if it’s as mundane as “yeee”- maybe you’re a lone adventurer walking along desolate streets screaming ‘yeee’ as you go. How would people react to you? Why are you screaming it? What has led you to where you are?
- The things you were grateful for in 2020
- Your favourite piece of art and why
- Pick a colour you’re currently wearing and write a letter to them as if they are a person. It doesn’t have to be beautiful or poetic, just write to them and let you know why you’re wearing them
- A social media trend you detest with every atom of your being and why
- Go out, look at the surroundings of where you live and describe them like you’re a poet in love. Not all of us can live next to verdant, rolling hills with watery blues marking the sky- try and describe the bins outside of your house in the most gracefully ridiculous way possible
- Analyse a common saying that has never made any sense to you
- Write about a tradition in your culture and why you love/hate it so much. This also doesn’t have to be super serious, I’d probably write about Britain’s extreme love of pubs
- Invent a few sayings you think should be common and explain why
- Three things you wish you knew/understood at the age of ten
- Look in the mirror and describe yourself like an author would describe you. As hard as it is, try to be objective- you may slowly gain an appreciation for features you’ve never liked
- Write about an injustice that boils your blood. Doesn’t have to be super serious- for me, I’d probably write about my dislike of Thomas Edison in how he stole several inventions from Nikola Tesla
- What you’ve learnt during January and any goals you may have for February 2021