I still have some thinking to do about my broader goals for the new year, but here’s a collection of writing-related things I’d like to start (and stop) doing in 2014.
1. No more stale phrases. No more headlines with the exact same inverted, counterfeit-New York Times structure. Find a new way to say it.
2. Stop bogging down anecdotal leads with too much who, what, when, where and why. Become comfortable with saying it later and letting them wonder for a graf or two.
3. Enter more situations that make me uncomfortable, for the purpose of writing about them.
4. Write less emails, make more phone calls, knock on many more doors.
5. Write for freelance jobs. Write for friends. Write for no reason. Don’t confine writing to work.
6. Blog more. Possibly get more focused about this blog, or start a new one that’s on a focused topic instead of being a catchall.
7. Pitch. Pitch. Pitch.
8. Seek more honest criticism, and respond to it with grace.
9. More verbs, fewer adjectives — while keeping writing lush.
10. In personal writing and in features: More genuine expression. Less melodrama.