The new year is a common time to set resolutions aimed at improving one’s life or skills or both. Should I quit smoking? Should I set a deadline for finishing my novel? Should I chuck it all and head for Costa Rica? Should I start a serious commitment to my bucket list?

Bill Burr does a wonderful bit on letting go of his religion. It wasn’t a big thing for him; he compares it to that moment in curling when the curler is on one knee sliding slowly down the ice with the stone’s handle in his hand and then almost mystically he just lets go. .

For me, now that I’m over my forty-year-plus notion of writing “literary fiction,” my only real resolution is to write every day—not just any old writing, but some solid work on fiction. Not “literary fiction,” though, because I’ve let go of that stone and I’m going back to the start to get another. Maybe it will hit the mark.

Like many, I draw inspiration from those who are doing the work, and I’d like to share my top five favorite blogs on writing. Honestly, I can handle the demands of writing, but it’s the commitment to marketing that saps my will. These guys help with both:

DEAN WESLEY SMITH

Definitely a “dean” of every day writers. How does he keep up that schedule? It doesn’t matter, though, that I can’t keep up with him. It’s enough to be introduced to Heinlein’s rules and the techniques of pulp fictionists and the Myths of Publishing and more good advice about plain old-fashioned persistence.

FICTION UNIVERSITY

Janice Hardy does a wonderful job of poking my brain with a stick every day to make sure I remember to think a little before I write and then to zone in when I do. Even if you don’t want to try every technique offered, there are always some intriguing ideas to try out or concepts that need refreshing.

LIVE WRITE THRIVE

Like Janice Hardy, C.S. Lakin has a way of bringing me down to the nuts and bolts of craftsmanship. And that’s what I’m about: learning the craft and pleasing the reader. Because …

THE CREATIVE PENN

Keeps assuring me that with persistence, in both the writing and the marketing, I can one day feel like I will actually succeed, whatever that means to me personally. In most ways, I already have. In fact, if you are not defining “success” as a journey rather than a destination, then you’ve probably missed the point. Where can you find that point?

DEREK SIVERS

No, Derek Sivers doesn’t write about writing. He writes about living, doing it well, and enjoying what you are doing. And isn’t that success? If your writing isn’t crucial to your life, then why are you doing it?

Maybe that’s the first resolution for the new year: Discover what you love. The people. The activities. The methods. Then you can define success on your terms, not society’s. That’s what being an indie author is all about.

So that’s my list, although I loosely follow a couple of dozen writing blogs.

The Five Best Blogs for Everyday Novelists

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