Happy New Year! We hope you have big plans for 2020, including for your writing. But what can you do to grow as a writer this year? We have five New Year\u2019s resolutions you might want to try. Read on to find out more!\r\n1. Read More Books\r\nWhy not start with an easy one? If you\u2019re worrying about your own writing, it\u2019s easy to forget those unread books on your shelves. But every good writer is a voracious reader, so you need to find time for a little of both.\r\nAnd even if you have a relentlessly busy life, you can always:\r\n\r\n\tTry a short story collection if you struggle to finish full-length novels.\r\n\tRead on your commute if you take a bus or train to work.\r\n\tKeep a book with you for downtime during the day (e.g., while sat in a waiting room or outside school waiting for your kids to emerge).\r\n\tTry switching from paper books to ebooks.\r\n\tListen to audiobooks while you\u2019re on the move (e.g., exercising, driving).\r\n\r\nAnd if you\u2019re already a regular reader, well done. But don\u2019t get complacent! You can always broaden your literary horizons by reading something in a new genre or by a new author. Or you can tackle some of the classics by working your way through a \u201cBooks to Read Before You Die\u201d list.\r\n2. Have a Writing Plan!\r\nKeep starting stories but never finish any of them? Have ideas for books that you never see through? Still planning that novel without putting pen to paper? Then maybe you need a writing plan.\r\nThe aim here is to get into the habit of writing. And this may involve:\r\n\r\n\tSetting a time each day that you use for writing.\r\n\tAiming to write a certain number of words each day.\r\n\tWriting something even when you don\u2019t feel inspired.\r\n\r\nYou can also set longer term goals each week, month, or year. Any if you\u2019re working on a big writing project, such as a novel, you can break it down into smaller tasks (e.g., draft this chapter, edit that draft) and set deadlines for each one. This will give you achievable goals to aim for!\r\n3. Conquer Procrastination\r\nSitting down to write is only half the battle. You also need to avoid getting distracted. And in a world of social media, avoiding procrastination isn\u2019t always simple! But we have a few tips for keeping on track:\r\n\r\n\tBreak down tasks into small, easy-to-achieve steps. Next, work out what you can realistically achieve in the time available and commit.\r\n\tPromise yourself a reward for getting a set amount of writing done.\r\n\tMinimize distractions by finding a quiet, comfortable place to work.\r\n\tUse a website blocker to resist the temptation of Facebook, Twitter, etc. You may want to turn off your phone and any other nearby devices, too!\r\n\tIf you\u2019re planning to write for a long time, schedule breaks.\r\n\r\nIf you can do all this, you should see a boost in your productivity, too.\r\n4. Resist the \u201cDelete\u201d Button\r\nWe know the feeling. The words won't come. You\u2019ve been writing for hours and nothing is right. You\u2019re frustrated. You\u2019re annoyed that you\u2019ve wasted your time. And so you \u201cSelect All\u201d and reach for delete\u2026\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_12973" align="aligncenter" width="250"] You can hear it calling, can't you?\r\n(Photo: B\u00fc\u015fra \u00d6ZCO\u015eKUN\/wikimedia)[\/caption]\r\n\r\nBUT WAIT! No first draft is perfect (that\u2019s why we edit). If you\u2019re not happy with what you\u2019ve written, you can change it later. But you need to leave a bit of time between writing and editing so you can view your work more objectively. And you can\u2019t do this if you\u2019ve deleted it already.\r\nIt may be that, when you get to editing, you still want to delete it. That\u2019s fine! A good cut here and there is often helpful for a document.\r\nBut you need to do this with a level head, not because you\u2019re frustrated, so don\u2019t let your inner-critic get the better of you!\r\n5. Get Your Writing Proofread\r\nFinally, why not treat yourself to some proofreading? Having a professional check your writing is a great way to remove errors from a final draft. And if you ask for a more in-depth editing service, you can even get an expert to help you revise and redraft your manuscript or document.\r\nWe hope any New Year\u2019s resolutions you make this year go well. And if you need anyone to help you with editing a document at any point, Proofed has editors available 24\/7, every single day of the year!