Seven Questions for Your Writing Journey in 2020

Frederick Meyer  |  February 6, 2020  | 

In our view, writing should not be a popularity contest, a struggle for validation, or a competitive sport.

Instead, writing is a personal journey: an ongoing exploration, personally meaningful in ways and for reasons that are unique to each one of us, and with destinations that we ourselves choose and venture toward.

In this article, we propose a structured way of asking a simple question: Where do you want to go on your writing journey in 2020?

What is a Writing Journey?

Your writing journey is your own process of ongoing exploration and growth within your writing.

When you travel along your writing journey, you are accountable—not to someone else’s definition of success, but to exploring and growing as a writer in the ways you find meaningful and fulfilling.

When you travel along your writing journey, you are accountable—not to someone else’s definition of success, but to exploring and growing as a writer in the ways you find meaningful and fulfilling.

The purpose of is to support each person’s writing journey: to create a community of writers who are connecting and deepening in our writing in the ways that matter to each of us.

Make sense? Wonderful! The questions below can help you map out your own writing path, through 2020 and beyond.

Seven Questions for Your 2020 Writing Journey

Please go through each of the questions below in any way you like. You may get the most benefit if you consider each one a writing prompt—open a notebook or a blank document, and then for each question:

  1. Read the question, once or twice.
  2. Take a deep breath and try to feel into what comes up.
  3. Whenever you’re ready, do a short free write, either timed (1 to 5 minutes) or until you feel you’ve said what you want to say. Don’t worry too much about editing, just try to get your thoughts and feelings out.
  4. Move to the next question.

1. Why is writing important to me?

Start at the broadest level: what is writing to me, and what makes it an important force in my life?


  • Take a step back. If an easy answer pops into your mind (“Because I have a manuscript to finish!”), you may just want to sit openly for a few seconds, take a few breaths, and see if something deeper comes through.
  • Most likely, your reason for writing will be something you can feel. If you write poetry to connect with the beauty and strangeness of the world around you, you can probably feel that impulse when it comes to mind. If you’re writing a memoir to record and honor your family history, you can most likely feel that too. Our deep motivations tend to be feelings, and being in touch with those feelings puts us on solid ground.

2. What are my vision and goals for my writing?

Based on my broadest motivations to write, where, overall, would I like my writing to go?


  • Your vision may be more general—a feeling, like the pride of accomplishment, or the feeling you get when something you write really connects—or it may be more specific, like having a certain number of works published in a certain way.
  • Your goals are “vision you can measure.” That can be almost anything—not just pages written, manuscripts submitted, and so on. Maybe you’d like to eventually complete a novel trilogy, or you’d like to be someone who writes one poem per week that you really like, or someone who journals regularly for the next five years, or who is finally brave enough to share a short story with your spouse.
  • Don’t treat these goals as obligations—things you can judge yourself over or fail at—but simply as possible answers to “What, specifically, would fulfilling my overall vision for my writing journey look like?”

3. Where would I like to go in my writing journey in 2020?

Based on my overall vision and goals for my writing, where would I like to go with my writing in 2020?


  • This is asking you to envision goals for your writing in 2020. Again, a goal doesn’t have to be only in terms of pages written or works completed. Maybe by the end of 2020 you’d like to feel you’ve made major progress in writing rich, three-dimensional characters. If you have a clear sense of what “major progress” would feel like, then that’s a great direction for the year!
  • Rather than thinking “What should I do?” think, “What would I like to do?” and make that your goal or goals. Again, this is about visualizing a writing journey that will be fulfilling and enjoyable for you, not about judgment or obligations.
  • Try to come up with realistic goals for the year: don’t plan on overcommitting yourself. Life will be busy in 2020 just like it was in 2019, at least until they finally ship us our robot butlers.

4. What commitments will I need to make in order to make this progress along my writing journey?

To explore my writing in the way I wish to in 2020, what will I need to commit to doing?


  • Think broadly: the answer is probably not simply “write 500 words a day.” Maybe you need to set up a writing space in your home. Maybe you need to make sure to attend your family reunion, and to bring a notepad and a recorder. Reading regularly in the area of writing that you’d like to grow in is a great commitment to make. And so on.
  • Do try to be specific, if you can, in terms of the size of these commitments. How many sci-fi novels would you like to read in the process of writing yours? Make sure that you’re not overcommitting yourself, beyond the point of your exploration being fulfilling and enjoyable to you.

5. What obstacles will I face on my writing journey?

To explore my writing in the way I wish to in 2020, what obstacles will I need to work with?


  • Be honest here! Writing is full of obstacles big and small, internal and external. Looking at them openly and nonjudgmentally is a very healthy and even healing process, if we’re used to hiding from them and wishing they’d go away.
  • Try to consider both practical/external and personal/internal obstacles, as most of us face both.
  • To get you started: we all experience practical obstacles including limited time, competing priorities, unexpected life events, knowledge gaps to fill in (how to craft a poetry collection? how to plot out a novel? etc.), and many others. How do these play a role on your writing journey?
  • For many of us, our personal obstacles are rooted in self-doubt (am I and is my work “good enough,” “talented enough,” “original enough”?) and uncertainty (“will I be read,” “am I doing this right”?). We also experience natural fluctuations in discipline, motivation, and enthusiasm. How do these and other personal challenges play a role on your writing journey?
  • Don’t be hard on yourself! Looking at our obstacles is a way to open to them and to ourselves, and to work from a basis in reality—not to judge or condemn. These obstacles put you in the company of the exactly 100% of writers who are dealing with them too.

6. What will I do to work with these obstacles?

How will I plan to work with the obstacles I’ve identified as I move along my writing journey in 2020?


  • The idea here is to try to have a friendly plan for your 2020 writing journey that acknowledges that things are challenging sometimes, and that has some built-in approaches for accommodating those challenges when they arise. “I will never doubt myself and my writing” would be a very bad plan to make. “When I am doubting my writing, I will relax and look for support and guidance in a community of other writers” would be a great plan to make.

7. What first step can I take now?

Given the writing journey I wish to take in 2020, what first step can I take right now?


  • This part can be fun! If you want to start writing love poems this year, why not write one, without judgment? You can keep it as a milestone of your journey for the year. If you want to write a Western screenplay, why not dig out the cowboy boots from the garage and remember how they feel to walk around in? Again, this whole thing is your own journey, and even though it’s difficult at times, you should also find it fulfilling, creative, and fun.
  • Along with the fun, now is a good time to put in motion steps that will help your writing journey develop momentum and structure. If you really want to read a book on character development, now might be a good time to order it, so that you’re building a chain of actions that start today and take you forward from here.

Next Steps After Asking These Questions

If you’ve gone through this exercise, you should have a lot of wonderful raw material to craft a fulfilling 2020 writing journey. You may want to go through what you’ve written down, and begin to design specific plans and commitments for the next weeks and months in any way that works for you.

Again, look for a mixture of “diving write in” with some first steps you’d enjoy taking right now, and also beginning to look ahead and build a sense of steady, enjoyable progression into your year as a whole.

Wishing You a Wonderful Writing Journey in 2020!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this exercise. Again, the main takeaway is simply to be friendly to yourself. Your writing journey is yours to travel. If you’re learning, enjoying yourself, and deepening your experience of what makes writing meaningful to you, then that is, very literally, the whole point.

If our online writing courses can help you along your journey, we’re delighted. And, as always, please contact us anytime to let us know how we can help your writing journey, in 2020 and beyond!

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Frederick Meyer

Frederick has been with since 2019. He studied literature, creative writing, social sciences, and business both as an undergraduate and in graduate school. He has also worked as a copyeditor, writing tutor, web developer, and spiritual coach. Frederick's writing interests are poetry, short fiction, and especially spiritual nonfiction. He strives to create a welcoming environment for all writers, wherever they're coming from and wish to go.


  1. Evelyn Krieger on January 5, 2020 at 9:35 am

    These are excellent questions for every writer no matter what stage. I’d add a quarterly review, as well.

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