It is that time of year again; as we celebrate the end of 2012 and welcome the new year, many of us are reflecting on the past 12 months and deciding what we want to do differently in the coming months. As writers, many of our resolutions are geared towards improving our work and helping us achieve our writing goals. Don’t just think about your resolutions; make sure you write them down and put them somewhere you will see them often. This will help you stay accountable. Here are four resolutions every writer should have on their list this year.

1. Get healthy.

We all know the things we are supposed to do to stay healthy: get enough sleep, workout daily, eat fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water. But most of us neglect these tasks when we are working on a big project such as writing a book. Your mental and physical health impacts your success as a writer. You can’t do your best work if you aren’t your best self, so make a resolution to take care of yourself this year and you may just be surprised how much more productive and creative you feel.

2. Read more.

The best way to improve your writing and generate ideas is reading. Don’t just read your favorite author or genre. Expand your horizons. Pick out books that are completely different from what you would usually read. Check out a new author or bestselling novel. Read books for children. Read poetry. Reread classic literature. You can never read too many books.

3. Try Something New.

When most writers think about improving their work, they focus on the actual act of writing or editing or brainstorming, but writing is an art that is created by our minds, experiences, and the world around us. You can’t write about life if you don’t live it. This year, make it a point to try new things. Take a class. Make a new friend. Go on a vacation, and watch your stories improve.

4. Write every day.

This is a classic goal for writers, but it works. If you want to be a writer, you must write. You won’t write your best work every day, but you need to write something. You never know where you might be able to use it later.

I’d love to know, what are your New Year’s resolutions?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.