New Year’s Blogging Resolution

I sympathize with people who think that New Year’s resolutions are dumb, because yes, it’s an arbitrary time/reason to decide to improve yourself. (I also sympathize with the same logic applied to invented holidays–and let’s face it, they’re all invented. Why should you specifically appreciate your significant other on February 14th? Why should you give loved ones gifts on December 25th? And so on.)

But here’s an argument in favor of it: sometimes there’s value in being prompted at a specific time. You don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because the other days don’t matter, but because appreciating your significant other by carving out time specifically for that is often lost in the day-to-day. Being prompted to create some goals and frameworks for improving quality of life is useful because it’s hard to step back, evaluate, and plan, when we’re insanely busy and stressed.

One of my resolutions is to get in the habit of writing more frequently, and part of that is learning to write shorter. When I first started blogging in 2000, this was not a problem. A paragraph-long post felt like enough, if that was what was warranted. Now I feel like I have to write a complete 1500 word essay every time I sit down to write something, and it’s not good for my writing, or my thinking (which I often do via writing.) So one of my resolutions: blog every day on the weekdays, but no posts over 300 words for the first 30 days. (In case you’re wondering, this is 256.)

  • Melissa Arroyo

    Thank you for sharing because I was coming across a lot of posts via Instagram that resolutions have no value. But, they do. One of my resolutions is too write more and since I started my first blog in 2014, I somehow lost my edge and voice. I suppose that my approach to blogging was wrong since I thought I had to write a pulizter prize winning post. I am now brainstorming and jotting down ideas and hopefully soon will be up and running and this time, for good.

    So, again…thank you!

  • Excellent! I’ve only been blogging for about a year now but I’ve struggled off and on about “too long, too much, too soon.” I started by making sure I did something 3 times a week, around 600 words each (that lasted one week). Then I went to twice a week, same length. Now I’m posting once a week but allowing it to be as long as it wants to be … but it’s an ESSAY every time. The spirit of blogging is our thoughts (right?) and our thoughts don’t have to be in essay form!

    Thanks for the gentle reminder … glad I ran across your blog!

  • Dalo

    While I am not sure writing more frequently would be my goal, you absolutely nail it with length. My past posts of a simple paragraph or two introducing an idea are sadly no longer…

  • James Jenner

    Great post, thank you for sharing. I’m brand new to blogging (and writing seriously) and have often felt that my writing suffers as a result of creating longer than necessary articles. If something doesn’t need more, then that’s fine.

  • Bryntin

    Excellent post, I also think comments should be short.

  • Well said! I tend to write long on my blog as well. I’ve learned from having to trim down blurbs and queries that the process of cutting words is invaluable for finding what the important bits are.

  • The Book Chief

    Quality over quantity will always keep the people coming back!

    • Mauricio Hernandez

      I agree with you. It’s better to have 2 or 3 great qualilty posts then posting everyday.

  • Nina

    I completely agree with you. Arbitrary or not, it’s so important to take inventory and evaluate our lives and habits. I have the problem of writing too long and, therefore, not as often as I’d like. I support your resolution.

  • Mark

    Definitely one of my resolutions for 2017 too! I wish you happy posting!

  • Charu Sharma

    I agree Elizabeth, though these trending inventions don’t make much sense to me at times because you can make resolutions anytime, make your spouse feel special anytime but just like birthdays are special and celebrated to remind us to celebrate life, these others are also reminders to keep the flame alive. Otherwise life gets busy and takes the focus off from important stuff.

  • Corin Branch

    I have also been getting in the habit of writing shorter posts. It seems at times it’s a little hard because I have a lot to say but I’m working on it :). Very good resolution. Happy postings!

  • Kenneth Taylor

    This is a good resolution for me to work on as well. (more book reading, less facebook, works for me too)
    As for the holidaze; we changed Giftmas to the month of July a few years back, Thanksgiving became the first day of autumn, Easter… first day of spring.
    It works for us, and the kids love it

  • Hadley

    I too want to blog more and make mine way shorter!! I keep coming up with a new blog name every other day making the last one crap in comparison haha. So another “goal” of mine would be to quit deleting my blog and changing the name.

  • olddirtyprincess

    It seems to me the notion that literary quality can be determined by the length of a piece is in fact arbitrary. Style & substance go hand and hand, therefore what may be determined as “good” is nothing more than the level of attention paid to one’s writing. For some length is a powerful tool used in conveying an ideology. For others it’s other tools like visuals, tone, and style. Let’s not limit ourselves just for the sake of clicks & “likes.” Lets make quality, as writers, the key to creative expression. Beautiful writing can only follow in such a pursuit.

    Clearly you’re a secular person speaking to a secular audience. I’d like to respectfully note that most holidays are anything but arbitrary. Christmas obviously didn’t come from some notion to merely give gifts to semi-grateful people. Even Halloween, which for many is a rather odd tradition, has historical & social context. Your notion that holidays (regardless of purpose) have meaning I agree with. Thank you.

  • Geej

    I feel that we share the same goals for the moment (although I don’t do New Years’ Resolution). I would like to write concisely, but also don’t feel compelled to write a thesis on my feelings nor my life ventures. I plan to write more frequently, even though I’ll have days when I feel like i’m experiencing brain farts when nothing that comes out of my head makes any sense. It doesn’t matter. Writing is always a learning process.

  • Samantha D’Souza

    I enjoyed reading your article. I will try and keep my posts short but sweet too. I am committed to being a weekly blogger at present.

  • Deb

    Thank you for sharing. I agree. Sometimes we just need that little push to get moving.

  • Abhishek Kumar Singh

    Hey there. For some of them sitting out there, new year’s resolution is as dead as desert.
    But it has proved to be a turning point in my life and has resulted in my small dream come true.
    I always wanted to start and write a blog but never thought or was serious about it. The same thing was my new year’s resolution. And my mere dream come true on 5th of january of 2017 when i associated with wordpress.
    Blogging is a great platform to gain knowledge and helps one in becoming an all-round social being.
    The ones who use it sincerely do benefit from it.
    So cheers in the name of 2017 and blogging.
    Happy reading,readers?

  • Stephanie Yoon

    Hi Elizabeth! I definitely agree with you that New Year’s Resolutions these days get a bad hype. I actually wrote a post on my blog at the end of last year about how to actually achieve your New Year’s Resolutions. I wish you the best on your New Year’s Resolution! xo, Stephanie

  • Charmica Kelly-Curry

    I love the New Year’s resolution. I am going to try and commit to one day a week for now, especially since I’m new to this.

  • rolandaP

    “One of my resolutions is to get in the habit of writing more frequently, and part of that is learning to write shorter.” At first I thought this was the entire post and I thought it was hilarious. Nice post.

  • Hi Elizabeth! one of my ¨new year’s resolution¨ is also this one. I’ve only been blogging for about a year and my main issue is that I decided to blog in two languages, English and Spanish, so that makes it harder for two reasons: thinking about writing something with value and then also translating it which makes me feel I need at least one hour to sit down in front of the laptop. So I also think that if I make short posts I’ll be able to post more frequently. Thanks for sharing this post, makes me feel that we are not alone! 😉

  • Jasmine A

    I, too, have decided to start writing more. I never thought about it like this. I think the culprit in my case is PInterest, I get nervous my post won’t be pretty enough or have the perfect opening paragraph or something, but I just need to do it and learn by doing!

  • Evelina Vatzeva

    I like New Years Resolutions and I like any kind of start when you can set up your mindset again.
    Last year resolution was less stress. For this year I think it wil be less excitement for things I can’t change. I like your blogging resolotion, for my blog I’d like to do the opposite – writting once a week but around 1000 words.
    Anyway, good luck for 2017 and see you soon!

  • zsyed272@gmail.com

    I like new year resolution.Hope I will learn to write without paying any cost during learning any amount unefordeable.Let me guide to write.

  • same! have been trying for a while, not very successfully though… also trying to limit myself to one language, not going very good either, haha. good luck to the both of us though!

  • Archivistlady

    I love your succinct reason for celebrating Valentine’s Day.

  • Kudus and good luck in maintaining the endeavor! I just realized that I have been virtually absent from my keyboard in a productive way for well night a month – this was the perfectly motivational post to stumble across. Thanks!

  • Kristina Steiner

    I don’t mind holidays or resolutions. They are like a kick in the ass. And they do make life more fun. Best of luck on fulfilling your plan.