Making Your New Year Resolution for Writing Happen


Welcome to the second post of the new year and the first full writing tips post of 2023! Last week you read the January Newsletter and I hope you’re looking forward to the two sequels I mentioned to some great stories. And at the end of December 2022, I went over some ways you could prepare for the new year. Some of these topics may repeat themselves, but I hope you can see the necessity of repetition. As my old Drill Sergeants used to say, there are two methods of learning: mindless repetition and blunt force trauma (which usually translated into endless push-ups or the 10-count push-up). Luckily, as writers, our blunt force trauma is usually only rejection letters, but the mindless repetition of writing is something we’re all familiar with. So this week let’s break down that process a little more and get you ready to reach your New Year Resolutions!


Crawl phase is like your baby step phase, and I don’t care how long you’ve been a writer. You’ll almost always begin here with a new project. The crawl phase can be your research or preparation stage. This is where you build your characters, plot ideas, and story structure. Often this is where you may read a craft book on a specific topic you want to focus on for this story: character, plot, structure, setting, world-building. Here is where you take things slowly and work through each idea.

Like physically crawling, this part of the process can feel you’re dredging a riverbed preparing a fresh route for the ideas to flow. So set up a strategy for your crawl phase. Select books, fiction or non-fiction, to have ready for reference or review that will help develop your story, characters, and setting details. Map out everything you can in whichever mapping format works best for you. This can also be called outlining. Take it as slow or fast as you need to, but remember to keep it to the basics of writing and storytelling before you start on the next phase.


Your walk phase is your first draft. This is where you put into action everything you prepared in the crawl phase. You will probably spend more time in your walk phase than any other, as your focus is to get the story down, not perfect. The challenges you’ll most likely face in the walk phase are procrastination, writer’s block, or lack of inspiration. I deal with these no matter what kind of writing I do. But when you hit these road blocks, use the preparation from your crawl phase to write one sentence related to that topic and section of the story. Then, there’s a possibility another sentence might appear in your mind. I can’t promise it will work every time, but preparing yourself for those moments makes a massive difference.

The walk phase is also a private phase. Much like Stephen King recommends, write the first draft with the door closed. I’ll use the analogy of the book being your baby. In the early stages of its life, you do everything to protect it, and you control the input. Think of how it would feel if you let someone else, not-related, hovered over your shoulder and told you how they would raise the child. A little frustrating. So keep that door closed. Write and work through your ideas the best way you need to. And if you spill the beans to a spouse, or close friend, try to ignore their confused gaze as you word-vomit your story into their lap. If you survive to this point and complete your first draft, then you can move onto the next stage.


The Run phase can be the most challenging for some, but is the most important for every writer. Expanding on the elements of fiction you’ve already hit, cutting out unnecessary parts of your story, and editing fall under this part of your run phase. Everyone’s approach will be different, but I found that working on the listed aspects in that order is the best. I can hear you now, Ken, you haven’t even published a book, but as I’ve been developing my writing skills, I’ve found this my best practice. For now. Looking at the elements of fiction keeps your perspective on the large picture of the story. You’ll find the things like figurative language, pacing, story shape, setting, and characterization.

Cutting out the unnecessary parts of your stories may feel like killing your darlings, but you must make some sacrifices. This can range from cutting a POV (Point of View) to killing off a beloved character or subplot.

Then the self-editing phase is the most maddening phase as you try to find all your minor errors, have friends point out the errors, or totally miss them until you publish your manuscript. Take your time with your edits and watch for your crutch words. I like to use ProWritingAid to help me because they have many tools to aid in your writing. Use whatever tools or references in this portion of the run phase that fits your writing level.


Breaking your process down into phases is one way to help your writing process. Your benchmarks may vary, but the importance comes from knowing your benchmarks. The best practice works best for you, but use the above as guidelines for the aspects you consider at each phase. The crawl, walk, run model can apply to many aspects of your writing. I’d like to believe you can also apply to other forms of writing outside of fiction. Let me know! In the end, respect your process, know your stopping points and what you need to do for each, then keep writing, no matter what. I hope this helps improve your process as you work on knocking out those 2023 resolutions! Thank you for reading, and as always, keep writing, keep learning, and stay fresh, my nugs!

Previous: Setting New Years Goals/Resolutions 2023

Next: A Year of Honing Your Craft

One thought on “Making Your New Year Resolution for Writing Happen

  1. Pingback: A Year of Honing your Craft – Myers Fiction

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