7 smart things you can do for your writing in 2020

If you can’t quite believe that 2019 is almost over, don’t worry, you’re not alone! We hope you’ve had a great year with many wonderful achievements.

And guess what? 2020 is right around the corner! Which means you can already start planning all the incredible things you’re going to do next year.

Nobody likes to start on a blank page, so to help you with your goal setting we’ve put together 7 great things you can do for your writing in 2020.

Share your work

Sharing your work can feel like the scariest thing in the whole world. It means working up the courage to hand over your writing and potentially be judged on it. Writing for yourself is a great pleasure – but if you want to actually improve or maybe even one day be published, you’re going to have to get it out there. 

Starting with friends and family is always good. But to really push yourself, find a critiquing partner or writers’ group. Being a writer is about developing a thick skin, so be prepared for feedback.

Another way to share your work is to start a blog. You don’t have to put your stories or fiction up online, but it’s good practice to get in the habit of writing regularly. Share your thoughts, your experiences, or your favourite recipes – just write and do it often. If you’ve thought about blogging but you’re not really sure where to start, you should check out our Blogging for Beginners course.

Go to an event

Around Australia, there are many great literary events, either for writers, readers, or both. If you’ve never been to one, then make 2020 the year that you finally go! Writers’ festivals are great opportunities to listen to established authors and meet up with other emerging writers. 

And if you’re a bit nervous about going, we’ve got some tips to help squash your shyness at literary events.

Change your reading habits

If you find that your writing is not sparkling the way you’d like it to, take a look at your reading list. Just like your diet, what you put in affects what comes out. Wait, that sounded way grosser than it was meant to. Anyway, you understand. 

If you’ve been binging on a steady stream of sci-fi, why not mix it up with some historical fiction? If you normally only read classics, try one of the latest bestsellers. And if you usually shy away from YA, add some to your TBR pile. You may not always like a change, but it can really help you to see a new perspective – or even show you what not to write!

Enter a competition

The reason story competitions are so great is that they give you many incentives to finish your work. Deadline? Check. Potential to be read by agents or authors? Check. Publication if you win? Check. A pay cheque? Check. Basically, you’ve no reason not to enter! 

Polish up your best story and submit it to a competition. Make sure you read and follow all the criteria so that your story has the best chance. And if you don’t know where to begin, why not try out our Furious Fiction competition which is 100% free to enter and has a cash prize of $500 every month. See, nothing to lose.

Go on creative dates

What on earth is a creative date? Well, it’s a technique that Valerie Khoo, CEO of the Australian Writers’ Centre, says can transform your life

“Like everything, creativity is something that needs to be nurtured,” Valerie says. “Go to an art gallery or take a woodworking class. Attend a science lecture or go to an origami workshop. Whatever. But do it regularly and do it by yourself; it’s your time.”

Exposing yourself to different creative spaces will open up your mind to new ideas. And at the end of the day, writers are creators of ideas.

Enrol in a course

If you’re new to writing, it is so beneficial to learn the nuts and bolts of the craft of writing. And even if you’ve been at it for a long time, there’s plenty more you can learn. We really believe in the power of courses – we’ve been teaching students across Australia for more than 14 years.

A good course will provide you with essential techniques and a better understanding of your writing. But it’s also a commitment to yourself – you have to show up, you have to engage and, more importantly, you have to write! If you’re not sure where to start, our Creative Writing Stage 1 is perfect. 

Or if you’re already feeling confident but want to take your writing to the next level, check out our Fiction Essentials series. Make your writing shine by focusing on Characters, Dialogue or Point of View.

And if you can’t afford a course right now, whet your appetite with our free weekly podcast, So you want to be a writer. A fantastic way to pick up some writing tips and tricks while you’re on the go.

Set some goals

Finally, now is the perfect time to set yourself some goals for your writing next year. A good place to start is this list! So for example:

  • Find a critiquing partner and meet with them monthly.
  • Attend one literary event.
  • Enter two competitions.
  • Read three books that are completely different to what you usually read.
  • Go on four creative dates.
  • Enrol in five courses – or just one is fine, too. :)

From everyone at the Australian Writers’ Centre, we wish you the absolute best for 2020.

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