Where are you right now, today, in your writing career? Have you achieved your goals, dreams, and aspirations? Or is there still some work to be done?

Most romance writers, even those with publishing contracts and advances in their pocket, still have goals and dreams left to achieve.

In my experience as a business owner, a writer, a wife and mom, and as a human being I’ve discovered that one thing really works for me and helps me achieve my goals. That one thing is to take consistent small steps toward an end goal.

Here’s an example, my friend Erica has the goal of publishing a holiday romance novel next year. So, every day she writes 250 words toward that book. Now, Erica is super busy. She’s a mom and she works full time so it really does take a commitment to write 250 words a day. But think about this, after 200 days, she’ll have 50,000 words. She’ll have a book, and that leaves enough time for revisions, edits, and marketing before the 2017 holiday season.

If you’re looking to make 2017 your best romance writing year yet, consider these romance writing resolutions and remember that consistency is the difference maker.

  1. Write Every Day – Set a realistic goal and follow through. 100 words a day means you’ll have 36,500 words written by the end of the year. Double that and you have a very full novel.
  2. Submit Your Finished Books to An Agent/Editor/Critique Partner – Get experience submitting and sharing your work. It’ll help you improve your writing and it’ll support you to take your writing more seriously.
  3. Join A Writer’s Group That Supports You – Writer’s groups help you stay connected to your writing goals. They also support you to take your writing seriously and to share your passion with others. They’re a terrific learning environment too.
  4. Create A Writing System – Most multi-published writers use a system. Maybe they write an outline first, maybe they write for an hour every morning. Creating a routine helps you develop that consistency required to achieve your goals.
  5. Embrace Your Writing Voice and Style (It’s What Makes Your Stories Unique!) Love your writing voice and embrace it fully. 100 different writers can all write the same story and each one would be unique if the writer remains true to their voice.
  6. Call Yourself a Romance Writer – Say it with pride!
  7. Launch Your Author’s Blog – Books don’t really sell by themselves. You have to market them and you have to market yourself as an author. Create that blog. There is an abundance of top quality resources to help you get started. For example, the Create an Author Website in 24 Hours or Less On Demand Webinar at Writer’s Digest Shop is only $23.
  8. Promote Your Author’s Blog on Social Media – If you have a social media presence, promote your website. If you don’t have social media profiles, consider creating an author profile so you can promote your book and yourself to potential readers.
  9. Carry A Notebook and Pen with You to Capture Writing Ideas – Never lose an idea. They come at the strangest times and the one you forgot could have been amazing.
  10. Get Organized – Use a calendar, use Evernote, use a planner – whatever works for you, but get organized so you don’t lose your writing thoughts, your research, your promotional ideas and your submissions. Your dreams and goals are too important to get lost in the shuffle.
  11. Enter A Writing Contest (You Can Win Money and Accolades) – It’s awesome to be able to tell an agent or editor that you finaled, placed, or won a writing contest. And if you don’t win, and you won’t win them all, you’ll likely get some valuable feedback on your material.
  12. Learn About Self-Publishing – Self publishing is a very real and profitable approach to selling your books. Learn what it’s about and decide if it is for you. Many authors publish both traditionally and self-publish.
  13. Learn About Writing – As a writer you owe it to yourself and your readers to strive to continually improve your writing skills. Plus, it’s fun to learn. So, read a writing book each month, subscribe to writer’s blogs, or listen to webinars and podcasts. There’s so much to learn.
  14. Find Inspiration – It’s all around you. Identify what inspires you and make it part of your life.
  15. Establish A System for Revising Your Drafts – If you have a system for writing, you should absolutely have a system for revision. Otherwise, it can take forever.
  16. Read for Fun – Seriously, there is time in the day to read a few pages in a book and there are so many wonderful books to read!
  17. Make Your Writing Dreams and Goals a Priority in Your Life – Enough said, right? You deserve to make your goals a priority.

Okay, now there are 17 resolutions here to consider, to make your own, and to embrace into your life. The only person who knows which resolution is right for you, and what is going to help you take your romance writing dreams to the next level is you.

A word of advice…

Choose one resolution. Not three, or five, or all 17. Focus on one. Create a plan to make it part of your life. Once you’ve achieved success say for about three months, then you can look back at this list and choose another resolution.

For example, if I was going to choose to make “writing every day” a habit I’d make sure that for three solid months I was able to write every day. Once I’d achieve that success, I might join a writer’s group or take a writing class and work on another resolution.

I’m so excited for what 2017 has to offer. 2016 had its ups and downs, and taught me to speak up, to fight, and to work just a bit harder for what I believe in. What about you?