Jan 13, 2022

See the original post on Beyond Bylines.


Anyone else struggling to get going after the holidays? It's hard to believe we're now entering our third calendar year since COVID-19 graced us with its presence. Many of us are still feeling overwhelmed and likely burned out. It's not the best mindset to begin the year.

But setting some goals for the new year can be a great way to get off on the right foot. Whether you're back in the office or still working from home, working for a large publisher or starting your own freelance journey, these resolutions for writers can help freshen up your writing.

1. Add more diversity to your sources

Improving the diversity of sources in your stories allows you to present a more fair and complete picture and ensure your story is relevant to your audiences. If it’s not a company initiative, make it a personal one. NiemanLab offers four tips for improving your source diversity:

  • Broaden your definition of what makes an expert.
  • Build relationships before you need sources.
  • Let them know what to expect.
  • Practice cultural competence.

Tip: Need to connect with subject matter experts for your next story? Fill out a ProfNet query form to get matched with relevant sources.

2. Try a new medium

Creating content in a different way can help you see the story from a new angle, appeal to a different audience, and learn a new skill. Switch it up this year and make (or guest-spot on) a podcast. Have a post that would be best with some sort of visual element? Use one of these tools to create an eye-catching video or infographic for your social media profiles or blog. Always write long-form posts? Have fun with a shorter listicle, Q&A, or how-to article.

3. Use a new tool or app

There’s an app for everything, right? Make a goal to try out a different app or online tool to help make your day-to-day easier. Check out this list of our favorite tools, which includes options to help with brainstorming, social media, multimedia creation, organization, and writing.

4. Write something different

Feeling burned out with writing about COVID-19, politics, or Facebook? Give yourself a break and try writing a story for a different beat. If that’s not an option, get creative and use writing prompts to get practice with writing short stories, poetry, or even a nonfiction novel. It could be a nice way to flex those creative writing muscles, which maybe haven’t seen the light of day in a while.

5. Refresh your workspace

The pandemic taught us that switching up our work environment can be a welcome change. If you’re working from home permanently, make a goal this year to reconfigure your desk, work from a different room several days a week, or try working outside. If you need to get out of the house, work from a local café or test a coworking space. Sometimes even changing the sounds in your space can have a positive impact. This site has a massive library of background noises to boost your productivity and transport you somewhere else.

6. Take a social media break

At this point, who isn’t burned out on social media? If you’re making goals this year that revolve around your mental health, make a resolution to set aside some time when those social media notifications won’t be a distraction. Whether it’s certain times of the day, days of the week, or even taking an extended break from social media (if doable with your job), quieting that noise can be hugely beneficial.

7. Let that project go

Sometimes you need to realize that a project just isn’t for you anymore and it’s time to say goodbye. But don’t consider it a failure. Occasionally, the story just doesn’t come together and it’s best to move on to another project.

8. Attend a workshop or conference

It’s easy to get stuck in our ways and get too comfortable. Attending a workshop or conference can be a great way to learn skills in a new area, network with industry experts and fellow writers, and improve your writing. The good news is there’s a conference for just about everything – and many now offer virtual options if travel isn’t in the cards (or budget). Plan ahead and check out these upcoming events for journalists and bloggers.

9. Upgrade your tech

A new monitor, keyboard, or mouse can make a bigger difference than you’d think. If your monitor’s been straining your eyes, your chair’s been hurting your back, or your mouse has been hurting your hand/wrist, it can negatively impact your mood and work, not to mention your health. Make a goal to splurge (if you’re a freelancer) or put in a request with work to upgrade your workstation.

10. Work the climate crisis into your writing

You may not write for a climate or environment beat, but in some way or another, the climate crisis is sure to impact the industry you cover. Publishers are boosting climate coverage and the content is attracting more interest from advertisers, so it needs to be on your radar. Make a goal for 2022 to look at the bigger picture and factor in the climate crisis and its effects into your content.

Looking for Environmental, Social & Governance news? We’ve got you covered.

Need more inspiration for the new year? Read our team's resolutions for 2022 and get ideas for bad writing habits you can change.

Read more from the Cision Media Blog, including the latest media moves, upcoming events, and more.