The Writing Resolutions 2023

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I have several different resolutions for the New Year, The two I share on this blog are about writing and reading.

I saw this on social media the other day:

Writing Resolutions gym-café: AI generated collage of a gym and people enjoying coffee

It’s a winning concept! We’ll call it Resolutions. For the first six weeks of the year we’ll run it as a gym with a café, then for the rest of the year switch to running a gym-themed cafe.

Making resolutions is easy; keeping them is the hard part. I’ve found Bullet Journalling helps, especially with the writing. I keep a daily record of my efforts, I track the results monthly and, come year’s end, I tot up the figures. Somewhat to my surprise, this is bookkeeping I can get behind.

For the last three years I’ve had basically the same four writing resolutions, they are:

  • … write daily throughout the year
  • … write, on average, 1000+ words each day over all 365 days.
  • … publish at least one blog post every mid-week to a total of at least 50 posts in the year.
  • … submit at least one item each month somewhere it might be considered for publication.

So, how did I do in 2022?

Writing daily

I didn’t write daily throughout the year. I missed writing at all on 29 days. Still, as I wrote last year, this is a goal of aspiration rather than of achievement. I’m not going to beat myself up about missing the occasional day.

Missing only 29 days is a clear improvement on the 38 days I missed writing in 2021.

London in the rain - the rain-distorted view from the upper deck of a London bus.
London in the rain, March 2022

In 2021 my fallow periods were greatest in June and July. Last year it was in March (6 days) and October/November (11 days) that I missed writing most often. Both times I was travelling – visiting England.

Out of my daily routine, and often in uncomfortable hotel bedrooms when I had the time to write, it was so much easier to not do so. I know I can do better here. It’s a matter of self-discipline – half an hour, an hour, it doesn’t need to be more. Let’s see if I can get to the end of 2023 with fewer days lost to inertia, even on holiday.

Word targets

As last year, I’m only counting words I’ve written digitally. Words I can set the computer to count. (On 56 days of the year in 2022 I only wrote in longhand, so the words I wrote then are uncounted.) I just don’t trust myself to count handwritten words accurately. But then a lot of my handwritten words get quarried into digital texts for future use, so they get counted that way.

Writing resolutions: The author writing in longhand while sitting out in the open air.
Writing in longhand while out and about

Last year I seem to have claimed that I wasn’t going to count copy-written words – words written in my professional capacity as a translator and writer of educational texts. I haven’t done that this year because I’ve written so much more copy. A little more than a quarter of all my writing in 2022 was copy – most of it creating texts for reading exercises for schoolchildren.

2023 won’t be different in that respect. But it will be my final year as a writer of educational texts. I’m retiring from that job in June.

In 2022 I wrote a total of 382,183 digital words. An average of 1047 words written each day of 365. So I kept my resolution here and even went over target!

If I subtract the words written as copy (105,520) that leaves 277,663 and an average of about 760 words/day. But even that is an improvement on last year’s 741.

Blog posts

As I wrote in last week’s entry, the blog post resolution fell by the wayside in the last quarter of 2022. Counting last week’s post, I ended up writing 41 of my target 50 posts. That was largely down to the pressure of having to write so much more copy than usual. The bulk of my commercial writing came in the last third of the year.

For this year’s resolution I’ve cut my target in half. I’m aiming to write 26 posts only, which ought to be doable.


I did better in 2022 than the year before. And if you squint at the results you could even argue that I hit my target. Kind of.

Advertising publication of my poem Smoked

I submitted 13 items in the year. These were poems, flash fictions and short stories. That’s an average of one a month … except that all the submission happened during the first half of the year.

Three submissions were rejected and five have never been heard of again. Four poems were accepted for publication back in the summer, but have since gone Missing in Action. I’ll have to do some chasing.

But one poem – “Smoked”, about my father – was published (in The Poet). So that’s a Hurrah!


So that’s my Writing Resolutions report for the year. Next week: Reading.

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2 thoughts on “The Writing Resolutions 2023”

  1. John, thanks for your annual report. It’s really inspiring to see how exacting you are, keeping track of your word counts and submissions. May the new year bring more success. (And if not, you might want to consider going into the accounting profession. )


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