New Year's Writing Resolutions: These Are Ours, Now Show Us Yours

Writing resolutions for 2012

It's a new year, and you know what that means: Time to make resolutions that we will abandon in a month!

Seriously though, this is a good time to take stock of what we've accomplished in 2011 and decide what we want to focus on in 2012. So in the spirit of the season, here are writing resolutions from the LitReactor staff. Check 'em out, and share your writing resolution in the comments. This way, we can all hold each other accountable. 

Dennis Widmyer

To sell a feature script in 2012.

To write more and stay focused on one project at a time, till it's done.

To read more classic literature.


Phil Jourdan

I'm going to work on building my author platform more seriously. Right now, there are two or three constantly popular articles on my site — I want to increase traffic to those articles and to keep generating interesting content. Caleb J Ross, the author of the LitReactor January Book Club selection, alerted his readers to a book called Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz. It's a great book, and it breaks down the important steps towards growing a fan base. By the time my book is released this year, I want to have a solid plan; and I'm going to stick to it. The internet has changed things and you can't rely on just being "discovered" without having put the needed effort in.

By this time next year, I hope to have managed to write something completely different from what I'm used to working on — maybe a thriller, or a sci-fi novella, or something. It doesn't need to be published. What it needs to be is interesting to an outsider like me.


Brandon Tietz

Get contract signed for Vanity

Finish writing Good Sex, Great Prayers and have it sold by June

Read Infinite Jest

Publish six shorts that pay cash--not 'notoriety'

Shave Chuck Klosterman's beard off


Rob W. Hart

Query out my first novel. 

Produce something every single day, even if it's jotting down a few quick notes on a work in progress. 

By the end of this year, have a workable draft of my next novel, five completed short stories, and Josh Bazell's autograph. 

Prove that Brandon Tietz is really a family of badgers in a human suit.


Hanna Brooks Olsen

I resolve to write with more emphasis on quality of content, rather than clickability of matter what my editors say.


Richard Thomas

My resolution for 2012 is to find an agent, not just for my second novel, Disintegration, but for all of my work moving forward. In lieu of an agent, I'd love to sell Disintegration to a cool, professional small press that cares about its writers and knows what they're doing. I resolve to keep pushing with my short stories, especially the ones that I wrote for my MFA thesis. I have a secret novella project in the works as well, and I hope it finds a good home. I'm also trying to start my third novel, Incarnate, a bit of dark magical realism (about 6,000 words in), and I've kind of lost the thread that binds it together, so I hope I can find it. I plan on wrapping up my MFA in June, and once that is done, I hope to find a teaching gig someplace close to me here in Chicago. Above and beyond those monsters, I just want to have fun, support other writers, and read as much as possible. I have great communities supporting me here at LR, as well as The Nervous Breakdown, The Velvet, and Write Club, so I feel very lucky.


Taylor Houston

This year I resolve to spend as much time writing for myself as I spend writing for other people.


Jason Van Horn

My writing resolution is to find a story, stick with it, and not pinball around like I have ADD whenever writing gets tough or a new idea rears its head.


Erin Reel

I resolve not to add to the already abundant and exhaustive publishing 'how-to' advice blog writing that is keeping writers from writing unless it is absolutely necessary.


Ed Sikov

I'm going to get my latest book - a comic novella with cocktail recipes - into some form of publication come hell or high water. It's just too goofy to fail. I must make someone in a position of authority see this and act upon it.


John Jarzemsky

I will write more. That means I will try to write every day, but not kick myself if I just can't do it, or if I hate what I write, or if I don't finish everything I start. I don't want to make excuses for myself, but I don't want to put myself on the cross when I have a bad writing day either.

I will read more. More newspapers, more articles, more new novels, more classics. This is one of the best and easiest ways to stay sharp and informed.

I will not convince myself that I'm not a writer because words don't always flow freely from my brain to the page. In the words of Harlan Ellison "If it were easy, everybody would do it."


Joe Daly

I will publish at least two blogs a week on my personal web site for the entire year.







Joshua Chaplinsky

I resolve not to overextend myself by saying "yes" to everything, which is why I let Rob handle this post. Sucker!






Keith Rawson

To get back into the habit of writing every day. For the past three months I've really been slacking.

Now let's get to work. We only have 352 days until a geomagnetic reversal destroys the human race.

To leave a comment Login with Facebook or create a free account.


Keith's picture
Keith from Phoenix, AZ is reading Growing Up Dead in Texas by Stephen Graham Jones January 3, 2012 - 8:06am

To get back into the habit of writing every day. For the past three months I've really been slacking

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine January 3, 2012 - 8:09am

Shame on you, Keith. This should have been in the post next to a picture of that pretty face of yours.

Keith's picture
Keith from Phoenix, AZ is reading Growing Up Dead in Texas by Stephen Graham Jones January 3, 2012 - 8:12am

I think I was out of the loop on this one. You can always copy it into the post. I guess?

NotMarilyn's picture
NotMarilyn from Twin Cities, MN is reading Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn January 3, 2012 - 8:17am

Similar to Rob, I will write something every day. Even if its just a couple of observations from the day.

I will also finish writing my first novel since 2008, if it kills me. Which it will.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine January 3, 2012 - 8:23am

You know what, Keith? I think I will. Email me real quick if you want to add anything.

Guess that's what happens when I leave things to Rob... :)

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this January 3, 2012 - 8:29am

You should have known better.

Dana Yost's picture
Dana Yost January 3, 2012 - 8:39am

After completing two demanding prose manuscripts in 2011, and getting a publisher's guarantee on one for August 2012, I vow to reverse course this year: To finish my new poetry manuscript — it's geared toward a serious contest so two-thirds of it must be previously unpublished poems. I don't expect to win, but it's great incentive to do some new work. But more importantly, it's the kind work that I enjoy, that I want to do. And that is my larger resolution for this year: Just to write what I enjoy and not worry about expectations. Hell, that's usually when you produce your best work anyway. 

Kirk's picture
Kirk from Pingree Grove, IL is reading The Book Of The New Sun January 3, 2012 - 8:37am

Yeah, I demand Rob send me his mug back! :P

Fabio Deotto's picture
Fabio Deotto from Italy is reading "Sunset Park" by Paul Auster January 3, 2012 - 8:54am

Here are mine:


To get back writing at least 500 words everyday, no matter if I’ll get to trash the 90% of it the day after.

To get my third novel published

To definitely quit writing absentmindly, even if I’m writing boring articles about web 2.0 for work

SomeoneSomethingJr's picture
SomeoneSomethingJr from the oh so heavenly town of Oslo is reading The Right Madness by James Crumley January 3, 2012 - 9:52am

I'm gonna stop procrastinate. Like, really, stop.

Somehow I always get stuck somewhere along the way to my desktop and worn down moleskine notebook; 

I have to finish the last season of Sopranos. (No, haven't seen it yet.)
I've gotta grab a beer with, however.
Dirty laundry. Facebook. Youtube. Gotta hear the latest Girl-album.
Touch myself. Facebook. Check litreactor. Check my hotmail. Eat.

And every single time, right on cue, as I'm looking at some chick I'd wanna do on facebook, or watching Tony have a panic attack or smell my shirts, are they dirty, really?, I always think the same thing; Nah, I'll write tonight. Tomorrow. Got saturday off.

It's quite... pathetic. I've got no discipline. 

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine January 3, 2012 - 9:54am

@Daniel: I think if you cut down on everything except checking LitReactor, you should do fine.

Scott Williams's picture
Scott Williams from Brooklyn, NY is reading 11/23/63 January 3, 2012 - 10:00am

To continue to write a minimum of 500 words a day on the novel, and, when that's done, on the next project.

To finish the first draft of the novel by the beginning of March, and to finish the second draft no later than the end of June.

To reinvigorate the "four lines every day" blog I started back in 2008. It has languished a bit of late.

To post to the main blog once every two weeks.

Plus, the usual stuff that supports the writing: yoga everyday, meditate every day.  Clean up the office to create a better working environment.

Renee Miller's picture
Renee Miller from Tweed, Ontario is reading The Wolf Gift January 3, 2012 - 11:14am

My writing resolution is to just keep on plugging away, no matter how pissed off I get.

Matt Ramsden's picture
Matt Ramsden from Wakefield, MA is reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath January 3, 2012 - 11:37am

To write more. I'm the type of writer who only writes when they have an idea to work with. I need to get into the habit of doing some form of writing every day, be it a short story or an essay or stream of consciousness or whatever. Just write something.

To get serious about my novel S&M. 

To read more classic literature and expand my taste in writers and authors. The only big writers I read right now are Chuck Palahniuk, Kurt Vonnegut, JK Rowling and Suzanne Collins. I want a bigger spectrum of writers to reference and learn from.

To do a reading. I want to generate interest, even if it is among a coffee house full of people. I feel like this will also give me more confidence when it comes to my writing. To have a room full of (predominantly) strangers judge my work will help me in some form. 

Brian Krans's picture
Brian Krans January 3, 2012 - 11:31am

To learn how to promote my books and other writing better without being that guy that has to yell, "HEY! READ MY BOOKS!" As you can see, I'm off to a bad start. 

Darren Cormier's picture
Darren Cormier from Boston is reading Red-Colored Elegy - Seiichi Hayashi January 3, 2012 - 11:40am

To find an agent; to self-publish my collection of Twitterstories by the end of January; to read Don Quixote; to be much more diligent about posting to my blog, reading other peoples' blogs, and helping to promote others' works.

John Padgett's picture
John Padgett January 3, 2012 - 12:00pm

1) Get the Candy Striper Chronicles Published.

2) Get regular advertisers on website.

Become on overnight sensation, and by overnight I mean years and years and years of hard work.

Tara Kreinbrink's picture
Tara Kreinbrink is reading Sacre Bleu January 3, 2012 - 12:16pm

Get another feature screenplay produced.

Round out number of completed screenplays to 10 (which means writing 3 more this year... well, two and a half at this point)

Read more - nothing motivates my writing more!

EricWojo's picture
EricWojo from Livonia, Michigan is reading The Brothers Karamazov January 3, 2012 - 2:20pm

Continue to edit and polish my novel, Three Condoms for Sarah, and never budge on that title.  :)

Continue to work on the other three novel ideas which have ink on paper already.

Put in an effort to write shorter pieces, experiment with poetry and flash fiction.

Never again drink whiskey with the words "O'Clock" or "Preferred" in the label.

JonnyGibbings's picture
JonnyGibbings January 3, 2012 - 3:25pm

Get back to writing when I get up at 5am (usually check the surf - if no surf I used to write, latley I've been playing Call od Duty on the wii and shooting kids from China). Write less for other people (surf mags n shit) even though I have to find some way to pay for the caravan I smashed a stolen golf buggy into while drunk. Write less drunk (I read it back and it looks like my dog wrote it).

Get on with writing my follow-up book that the publisher has been giving me shit about!

Julie Morgan King's picture
Julie Morgan King from Australia is reading Confessions of a Falling Woman: Debra Dean January 3, 2012 - 4:24pm

To continue with 2011 resolutions: get my stories published and win a short story comp! Unfortunately that means feeding my pathetic addiction to Twitter.

Jason Van Horn's picture
Jason Van Horn from North Carolina is reading A Feast For Crows January 3, 2012 - 7:05pm

@EricWojo - I wouldn't budge from that title. I have no clue what it's about but the name by itself would make me look it up on Amazon.

CrispinXV's picture
CrispinXV from Chicago is reading Damned by Chuck Palahniuk January 3, 2012 - 7:09pm

Do my best to sell my first novel after I learn the release date (hopefully in the next 3 months).  It is so close I can taste it.

Continue writing at least one page a day on my next novel.

Return to my fantasy series and re-submit queries for it.

2012 should be hectic but fun.  Hope you all stick with your goals!!!

EricWojo's picture
EricWojo from Livonia, Michigan is reading The Brothers Karamazov January 3, 2012 - 8:38pm

@Jason Van Horn - At the risk of sounding self promoting, (oh who am I kidding with this), I have some sample chapters of Three Condoms for Sarah in the Workshop if you'd like to get an idea.

Happy reading.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. January 3, 2012 - 9:12pm

1) Start smoking

2) Drink more

3) Exercise less

4) Stop using condoms

5) Lie, Cheat, and Steal

Fuck, I figure if the apocalypse is coming.... I'm willing to meet it halfway.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. January 3, 2012 - 9:39pm

Put together more stories for the anthology I'm working on with the litreactor community peeps and get it published no matter what I have to do, no matter if I have to sleep, kill or chloroform my way into a publishing contract. Go out of my way to promote the anthology, buy webspace if I have to or hand out fliers on the freeway in the middle of traffic during rush hour. Also work on my own writing, short stories mostly for now. I really don't feel ambitious enough to pull off a novel and an anthology in the same year but keep writing my little demonic short stories to tantalize and contaminate people's minds. Also to debunk the 2012 apocalypse myth like Y2K.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest January 3, 2012 - 10:14pm

1. At least 1000 words a day, even if it's shit.

2. Finish the novel I've been working on for the past year and a half.

3. Write without revising as I go.

4. Get Hardboiled Hell published. Waiting to hear back from NoirNation.

5. Finish the short for Alien's Psychosis Anthology.

6. Read more, especially the independants.

Gareth's picture
Gareth from Melbourne is reading Franz Kafka January 4, 2012 - 4:17am

Lot of inspiring resolutions here.  I want to go a little easier on myself if something doesn't get done in my ideal timeline so it will be easier to get started again.  Also to slowly finish whatever I'm doing.

Dean Blake's picture
Dean Blake from Australia is reading January 4, 2012 - 6:08am

Don't get 100% married.

Laramore Black's picture
Laramore Black from Joplin, Missouri is reading Mario Kart 8 January 4, 2012 - 6:47am

Oh look, hijinks!

1. Don't live to see 2012.

2. Double to four packs a day.

3. Put together the "Shock & Appall" anthology.

4. Put together my first novel's rewrite.

5. Write more in my second book.

6. Put together another poetry compilation.

7. Move my site to a privately owned server. ( )

8. Become a super famous journalist on ( )

9. Make some freakin' money and party like a rockstar.

10. Attain sexual harassment charges and a restraining order from Phil.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated January 4, 2012 - 12:54pm

Remove your heads in a sword dueal and add your power to my own! There can be only one!

Wait was this my resolutions as a Highlander or a writer? Sorry I'm confussed.

Corinna Bajocco's picture
Corinna Bajocco January 4, 2012 - 2:35pm

To sell a feature script paying more cash than fame.

To have my NYC book published within february.

To start out with a great incipit the novel  that I'm feeding in my brain.

To read more indie writers.

To discuss Hubert Selby Junior with Jonathan Franzen.