As we leave the festivities of New Year’s behind, some people will have already done the same with their New Year’s resolutions. For whatever reason, it can be tough to stick to a responsible plan for self-improvement, let alone in a field of work that is as governed by self-discipline as writing is.

New Year's Writing Resolutions

Most writers do not have a 9-5, an office, a supervisor, etc. keeping them on track. It’s all up to you. So, with that in mind, a screenwriter’s New Year’s Resolutions should be actionable and followed with intent. What needs improvement in each writer’s work-life may vary, but here are some general ideas for goals to keep in mind.

I will put aside dedicated time for work, to take writing sessions more seriously. Most screenwriters who don’t yet rely solely on their creative work for income write as and when they can or feel productive. This
loose method might be a natural instinct, but scheduling can do wonders for progress if you set a firm time for writing every day. Taking your work for what it is; work, and giving the process its due commitment, will produce worthwhile results.

That said, I will remember to live a little. Screenwriters can disappear into their work. Sitting at a desk all day and trying to maintain the headspace necessary to conjure a story can become draining. Everything needs to be done yesterday but denying yourself time away from your keypad all but guarantees you’ll deplete your imaginative resources. Make time to get out and do it often. Find inspiration and renewal in the world outside Final Draft.

I won’t fret over a stumbling block for too long. Writing yourself into a corner or finding yourself unable to think of what comes next often leads to lengthy stretches of frustrating writer’s block. You revise and revise, swapping out bad idea for bad idea, getting nowhere. The next time a dilemma like this comes your way, shift focus onto another creative outlet (preferably another script). More often than not, returning to your troubled project after some healthy distance will yield a fresh outlook on the material, and maybe even a Eureka moment.

I will collaborate more often. Writers thrive on creativity, and not necessarily their own. Finding likeminded screenwriters or inventive friends who can lend a new perspective on your material is a great way to improve revision and make the writing process less insular, as well as keeping your creative juices flowing by assisting on your collaborator’s work. Ideas are valuable though, and it goes without saying that you should find people to share with who you trust completely. Proceed with caution.

Happy 2022, and good luck.

New Year’s Writing Resolutions