How to Set the Stage Now for Writing Success in 2024: Five Things to Do During December

30 Nov 2023 | Creativity

Title image: How to Set the Stage Now for Writing Success in 2024: Five Things to Do During December

Maybe you’re finishing 2023 on a high note. You’ve completed the draft of a novel! You’ve published your first book! You’ve won a short story competition! You’ve had your best freelance year so far!

Or maybe 2023 didn’t go quite how you’d planned. You got bogged down in the messy middle of your novel. You struggled to edit your book. You didn’t manage to send your short story in before the deadline. You were a long way from your freelancing income target.

Whether 2023 was good, bad, or somewhere in between, there’s a fresh year just around the corner. Instead of worrying about what you didn’t get done in 2023, now’s the perfect time to set yourself up for writing success in 2024. Here’s how.

#1: Select One “Top Priority” Writing Goal

Many writers have multiple projects on the go at once. I’ve personally got my freelancing career, my Aliventures blog and newsletter, and a number of fiction projects. And I’m not going to tell you to pick just one project to work on during 2024 – I know that may not be realistic.

Instead, I’d recommend you set one “top priority” writing goal. For me in 2023, that was my freelancing. I’ve been really focused for the past couple of years in growing my freelance income, which is now at a higher level than ever before. It’s come at the expense of sometimes-irregular posts on Aliventures, and not as much progress on my fiction as I’d like, but those goals will have their turn in future years!

If it’s hard to commit to a single writing goal for the whole year, how about choosing a “top priority” goal for the first quarter (January, February, and March), or even just for January?

Further Reading: How to Juggle All Your Different Writing Projects

#2: Clear Smaller Projects Out of the Way

Are there any small writing projects hanging around that you could clear between now and the start of January? 

Maybe you’ve got a half-written short story that’s niggling at you. Or perhaps you’ve got several blog posts drafted but you need to edit them and upload them ready for publication. 

You may also have some projects you began working on that you want to gently, but firmly, delete from your to-do list. You don’t have to finish everything you start, just be clear with yourself that you’re done with them.

This applies to bigger projects, too. If there’s something that only needs a little more work to be done, or if there’s a big project that’s far from completion that you could simply let go, then now’s a great time to consider that.

Further Reading: When to Give Up On Your Writing Project … and When to Keep Going

#3: Get Your Writing Space Set Up

Is your writing space a comfortable, relaxing place for you to be? For many writers, that’s a no. 

I’m lucky enough to have a whole room as my home office (admittedly a quite tiny room!) and while it’s comfortable due to my trusty exercise ball to sit on, it’s not terribly relaxing at present. Lots of clutter has accumulated in here due to a couple of our larger rooms being redecorated: I’m slowly clearing it out.

Does your writing space need decluttering too? Or perhaps you don’t have any kind of space at all for your writing. Even a small desk in a corner, or a bag/box of writing supplies that you can easily use at the kitchen table, can help you have a better place to write.

Further Reading: How to Write When … You Don’t Have a Good Writing Space

#4: Talk to People Who Can Support You

Do you have anyone who can support you with your writing goals? That might be a partner, family member, friend, members of a writing group, or a paid coach or mentor.

I’ve started working with a business coach – it’s something I’ve been thinking about for ages, and I’m finding it really helpful to be able to talk openly about my writing goals and get support. My husband and I also spend a little bit of time each weekend sharing our weekly progress on our goals with one another.

Just being able to talk to people who are kind and encouraging can help you to get into a great mental space to succeed with your writing.

Further Reading: The Six Types of People Who Can Help You Achieve Your Writing Goals [newsletter]

#5: Start Establishing a Regular Writing Routine

Do you have a regular writing routine or rhythm at the moment? It can be really tough to stick to a routine consistently – goodness knows, I struggle a lot with that! – but by figuring out a simple routine, you’ll hopefully be able to stay with it at least some of the time.

This year, my goal was to write 250 words or edit for 15 minutes each day – it’s fallen down a lot in this final quarter, for various reasons, but it’s a routine that has worked well for me on the whole, and I’m trying to get back into the rhythm of 15 minutes of editing each day.

What routine might work for you? Perhaps it’s a small daily chunk of writing, or a bigger weekly chunk. You could also do both: I’m aiming for a 15 minute daily writing session then a one hour weekly writing session on my fiction.

I know the next few weeks are likely to be busy ones, with lots of out-of-the-ordinary events going on … but if you can even fit a bit of writing in on a regular basis, that’ll make it easier to hit the ground running in January.

Further Reading: Morning vs Night Writing Sessions: Which is Right for You?

You absolutely don’t have to do everything above. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, pick just one thing that you could do during the next couple of weeks to help you get off to a good start in 2024. Feel free to drop a comment below to tell us what you’ll be trying.


I’m Ali Luke, and I live in Leeds in the UK with my husband and two children.

Aliventures is where I help you master the art, craft and business of writing.

My Novels

My contemporary fantasy trilogy is available from Amazon. The books follow on from one another, so read Lycopolis first.

You can buy them all from Amazon, or read them FREE in Kindle Unlimited.


  1. Elizabeth Ann Hamlin

    Very good advice.

  2. Jill Bautista

    First, great advice. I believe going into 2024, I’m going to be doing Top Priority Writing Goal, and it isn’t one single thing, but more of what I want to accomplish. This year I didn’t do much writing, mainly because I’ve been focused on other things, but during the last three months I’ve worked something out that I believe will help me in 2024, so it’s something I’m looking forward to.

Frustrated? Overwhelmed? Never enough writing time?

Time to Write is a short ebook packed with tried-and-tested tips that really work to carve out more time for writing ... however busy you are.


Pop your email address in below to join my newsletter list. You'll get Time to Write plus other free ebooks, as well as my weekly blog posts (Thursdays) and short newsletters (Mondays) to help you make the most of your writing time.


Note: I will never spam you or pass on your email address to anyone else. You can leave the newsletter list at any time.

Thanks for joining the newsletter! Check your inbox: you'll have a message with a button to click to confirm your email address.