• In 2019, You Will!

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Inspiration     Comments 16 comments

    Happy 2019, WriteByNighters! I feel like this is going to be our best year yet. Are you feeling the same?

    And what better way to kick it off than to talk about what we want to accomplish as writers and readers.

    “Resolutions” can be an intimidating word; if you prefer not to, don’t use it. Goals. Wants. Hopes. However you phrase it, I want to hear what you’d like to achieve between now and December 31.

    Our tradition has been to ask you to complete the following sentence:

    “In 2019, I will _______”

    But “will” is edging into resolution territory, so this year, let’s try something new:

    “In 2019, I _______”

    Use “will” if you’d like. Or “want”; “need”; or anything. Let your mind take you where it will. Either way, complete that sentence and then let us know your results in the comments below.

    Throughout the year we’ll check in on your progress. But without, you know, badgering you about it.

    And just to grease the skids, here’s my own:


    In 2019, I want to establish a writing routine of some kind. It’s not rare for me to go several weeks at a time without writing. I’m not going to pretend that writing every day is in my nature, but is it really that difficult to write three or four days a week? Even if sometimes it’s only a few lines.

    Practice what I preach!

    In 2019, I want to finish both books I’m working on, but I’m not going to say I will. It’s not a resolution, or even a goal; it’s just something that would be nice. Something to aspire to, but not to the point where I’ll be disappointed with myself if it doesn’t happen.

    I do want to get back into publishing in some way. Unless I’m forgetting something, my last legitimate byline was a book review that ran in the Texas Observer’s December print issue. That’s December of 2015.

    After that one ran, I decided to take a break from reviewing, maybe forever. And I think that’s still where I am with that, but I do miss seeing my name in print… and endorsing paychecks received for my writing. I have a couple of chapters from my nonfiction book that could be turned into essays. So maybe I’ll toy with that idea. Or come up with something entirely new.

    Either way, in 2019 I want to publish again.

    As for reading: The only books I read in 2019 that moved me in any significant way (besides books I reread) were Lincoln in the Bardo and Last Night at the Lobster. So in 2019, I want to read more books that move me.

    A lot of that is just luck of the draw. But volume could be a factor, too. I read forty books in 2018, but nine of those were during a Hardy Boys/childhood phase. So I read just over thirty adult books. I’d like to do better than that this year. And by doing so, increase my odds of finding new books that tap into me in the way Lincoln and Lobster did.

    And, as always, I want to keep learning how to be a better writer, a better reader, and a better writing coach.



    WriteByNight co-founder David Duhr is fiction editor at the Texas Observer and co-host of the Yak Babies podcast, and has written about books for the Dallas Morning News, Electric Literature, Publishing Perspectives, and others.

    WriteByNight is a writers’ service dedicated to helping you achieve your creative potential and literary goals. We work with writers of all experience levels working in all genres, nationwide and worldwide. If you have a 2019 writing project that you’d like a little help with, take a look at our book coachingprivate instruction and writer’s block counseling services. Join our mailing list and get a FREE writer’s diagnostic, “Common problems and SOLUTIONS for the struggling writer.”

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    Hans De Leo

    In 2019 I will start a novel review group of authors that are trying to improve their skills as writers. This is a necessity if I want to (self) publish my second sci-fi novel. in 2019. I’ve put a lot of work into the manuscript already, but need to get eyes on it that will be brutally honest about what needs improvement. I will make a reading plan. So far I’ve selected books by scouting for deals, a method that hasn’t worked well, and I couldn’t tell you how many I’ve read in 2018. It wasn’t many. I will do… Read more »

    Barbara Mealer

    In 2019, I want to get my email list started. I do have a plan and am working on getting it all together by the end of this month. I want to learn Tai Chi which I’ve started as part of my getup and move initiative. I want to publish at least two, preferably three books this year since I missed it last year. I want to read at least six books on writing and at least one book a month for enjoyment. I also want to have at least the drafts to four new books completed and three others… Read more »

    Barbara Mealer

    My books are Getting into Character, Plot and Structure with doing all the exercises, Writing fiction for Dummies, The First 5 pages, The Story Equation, Eat that Frog, Word Painting, Story by Robert Mckee,. I’m also completing Dr. Stanley Williams’ The Moral Premise, the video course. You can get the book if you want. To me, you need the basics if you want to write well. I’ve already read The Snowflake Method (which is good), Story Genius, How to write Dazzling Dialogue, On Writing by Stephen King, Elements of Style plus a few others. I’ve also taken the Master Classes… Read more »

    Katherine Turner

    In 2019 I will take a course at the local University to improve my craft. I will write and publish three short stories in magazines recognized by a Sci-fi & Fantasy writers organization, and then join that organization. I will attend a least one writers conference. I will find an agent for my novel. (The latter is wishful thinking.) I will make my wishes come true this year. Good luck to everyone. My your productive wishes come true in 2019.


    Here’s another list to nail to my wall:
    1) Complete a 1st draft of my novel.
    2) Be well into the 2nd draft of the novel before the end of the year.
    3) Continue work on three collections of short stories.
    4) Start the research required for all four of these projects.
    5) Keep living, keep experiencing, keep feeling, keep thinking, keep processing.


    In 2019 I intend to move forward with publishing my first novel and my first non-fiction book (both completed), and finalize the organizing details of my second novel, which have changed over the last months, so I can start writing it. I will also finally put an author website together. Onward!

    Mike R.

    Short and sweet: Find an agent–>Sell my book–>Get it published.

    david william lemke

    There’s all the stuff I want to do for me; read 50 books, writing, painting, woodworking, golf, tennis, pool, archery, swimming, chess and a few more, things I have to do; yard-work, housework, re-do the bathroom, (tear out walls, lay tile, replace kitchen cabinets, get the snow blower running, activities that bring life in balance; more exercise, meditation, Qigong and relationships with friends and family. Everything takes time, money and energy. If I do more me stuff, it leaves less time to play “Magic, The Gathering with the kids. If I go on expensive vacations with the wife, we run… Read more »

    david william lemke

    I usually read around 50 a year on average. GoodReads has a reading challenge. Last year I shot for 50 but fell short, reading 29 GoodReads is a good way to keep track of what you’ve read and are reading and lets you make and read other reviews which might help you with deciding what to read.

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