Writing Wednesday: 12 Monthly Goals for 2016

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January – Challenge Your Creativity

January is International Creativity Month, so why not start the year off by trying something new? Get creative this month by working with a new genre or style of writing. Even if you don’t make a permanent change as a writer, delving into a new realm for a bit will help you expand your reference base and maybe even leave you with some new skills!

February – Write Your Loved Ones

Inspired by Saint Valentine, February is InCoWriMo (International Correspondence Writing Month). Hone your personal writing style by penning some thoughtful letters to your loved ones. Be sure to actually mail the letters – everyone loves getting mail!

March – Have Some Fun

After a long winter, focus on fun this month! March 20th is International Day of Happiness, so put your mood first and celebrate what makes you happy. If writing is beginning to feel like a chore, this is a great excuse to get outside and free your mind, allowing you to get back to work with renewed creativity. But that doesn’t mean writing can’t be the fun activity, of course! Our Writing Wednesday: Exercises to Boost Your Mood is a great place to start when looking to combine personal happiness with the craft of writing.

April – Express Yourself Poetically

In the United States, April is National Poetry Month, so let’s follow their lead with this month’s goal. If you are already a poet, make a point to try out a new style. But if you are normally drawn to prose or non-fiction, challenge yourself go out of your comfort zone this month. From haiku and acrostic to odes and elegies, there are more than enough forms of poetry out there to keep you busy all thirty days.

May – Read One Book Each Week

May challenges us to “Get Caught Reading,” so visit your local library (or your personal bookshelf) and try to get four books crossed off your reading list. Don’t be caught without a book on hand this month!

June – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Home to World Environment Day and World Oceans Day, June is definitely an eco-friendly month. This month, focus on trying to reduce your consumption (does every single draft really need to be printed?), reuse what you can (the back of that sheet of paper is still good!) and recycle whatever is left. Who knows, maybe this means that abandoned short story can actually be worked into a new novel.

July – Meet New People

The world’s population reached five billion on July 11, 1987, and World Population Day has been celebrated on that date every year since. This July, challenge yourself to think on a broader scale when developing your characters. Take a trip (even if only mentally) to a far corner of the globe for inspiration and add some new customs or flavours to your writing.

August – Give Your Brain a Workout

It’s been shown that using your non-dominant hand every once in a while can help keep your brain active and stave off the of symptoms aging and dementia. This month, in honour of International Lefthanders Day on August 13, try out some fun mental exercises to keep your writing muscle strong! Check out our Writing Wednesday: 5 Easy Exercises to Boost Your Brain Power to get started.

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September – Educate Yourself On Your Rights

On September 9th, 1886, the first international copyright law was agreed in upon in Bern, Switzerland. In that spirit, take some time this month to get educated on intellectual property and copyright laws. Protect yourself before seeking publication so you know that you will receive credit for your words, and to be sure you are not unintentionally infringing on anyone else’s copyrighted work.

October – Give Back to Your Community

October is International School Library Month. Encourage a love of reading in the younger generation by helping to promote literacy and education in your community. Try volunteering to read to children (or the elderly!), participate in a school fundraiser or donate your old books to a children’s school to help everyone have access to books and reading!

November – Write That Novel

No surprise here: November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and so this “write 1000 words a day” challenge is our goal. It may sound overwhelming, but the NaNoWriMo community is incredibly supportive and has great resources to keep you encouraged throughout the month (see our Writing Wednesday: 5 Ways to Keep Up Your NaNoWriMo for more).

December – Work On Your Passion Project

According to the UN, December is Universal Human Rights Month and is the perfect time to reflect on what truly matters. What are you passionate about? What social issues make you excited, angry or confused? This month, focus on the “bigger” issues in your writing and you may just enter 2017 with clarified perspective.

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