1. There have never been more opportunities.
Sure, traditional publishing is a madhouse these days; but the confusion over where to publish and how has a lot of writers pursuing unique paths with much success. Freelancing, self-publishing, and crowd-funding are transferring power to the writers’ hands.
In particular, Google algorithm changes this year have proven – in case there was ever any doubt – that content really is king.
So from blogging to copywriting, free reports to press releases, your writing could make all the difference for a small company trying to carve a space for itself online.
2. Research has never been easier.
Internet research has become a way of life for most writers, but 2013 brought incredible features to make the process even richer.
For example, now you can track Earth’s changes over time, or access over 1 million public domain images and illustrations released by The British Library on Flickr.
Or you can send yourself alerts about your productivity – a 2013 feature available through accountability apps like RescueTime.
3. You have unprecedented access to a worldwide writing community.
Over a billion users log onto Facebook every month. Twitter, one of the great equalizers, now has over 230 million users. Writers forums continue to thrive online. And everyone who’s anyone seems to have a personal blog, Tumblr, or website contact form. With the push of a button, you can contact any writer anywhere, from Broadway playwrights to that cute guy you met at the NaNoWriMo meetup.
Speaking of meetups, it’s also easier than ever to schedule events and find like-minded writers. In May, Meetup.com surpassed 100 million RSVPs to over 10 million meetups.
That means writing no longer has to feel quite as lonely: Odds are, you not only have access to a great writing group in your neighborhood – you have your pick between a few.
4. There are still so many stories to be told.
Some things never change: 2013 brought oppressive regimes, spy sagas, and political turmoil. Corruption in both the private and public arenas can still inspire skilled writers just as it has for centuries. Recent privacy controversies, for example, could be a gold mine for science fiction writers.
And with the power of crowd-sourced material like YouTube, you can gather inspiration from just about any situation, in any part of the world, from any point-of-view. For free.
5. Because you have to.
Even with all the productivity tools in the world (see above), there will still be Candy Crush and a million other distractions taking up everyone else’s time.
But not you.
Others will talk about writing a lot. They’ll say they’ve always wanted to start a blog, or they’ll tell you over the dinner table that they could publish a novel if they just tried.
But not you.
Writing isn’t just a hobby for you – it’s everything. When you get depressed, you look back on your day and realize it’s probably because you didn’t get in enough writing time.
You have to write. It’s in your bones – as much a health goal for 2014 as losing weight or going to the gym more often.
Perhaps you don’t write as often as you’d like, or you haven’t joined a writers group, or you don’t update your blog enough. But you write. Because if you don’t, you aren’t you.
You have to write in 2014 because you have no other option.
So write your heart out, and happy New Year.