Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy New Year! Setting Writing Goals in 2015

Setting goals for the immediate and distant future is key to continuing on a clear writing path. (We can only call ourselves writers if we're actually writing, right?) I've written about self-evaluation in classes and questions to ask about your writing. Today I'd like to focus on creating a clear plan.

The beginning of a new year is a good time to take stock and set some goals for yourself. Take 15 minutes to half an hour to draft your answers. 

There are five main areas to consider when you plot out your time and plan your writing project:

1. Research & Organization 
2. Drafting
3. Editing & Revising
4. Reading (Craft & Literature)
5. Submiting

Think logistically: What needs to be done? How much time to do you have every day, week or month to work on these areas of your project? Be truthful and honest about what's possible. Allow yourself to set goals that you can truly meet. 

To follow-up, take a look at your goals and your progress every three months or so.

I'm available to help you to set goals and deadlines. I'm also happy to send along weekly reminders and check-ins between appointments. Learn more about my private writing coach services. 

What's your writing plan for this new year?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Pro-tip: Write it Down

Between writing holiday cards and planning your New Year's eve menu, write down your ideas. Title for a new poem? Write it down. Plot twist for chapter five of the novel you've only written one chapter of so far? Write it down. New word you learned that makes you smile? Write it down.

The holidays are busy. Too busy. You may have a few days off from work, but suddenly family is town, the supermarket trip takes an extra hour and you still need to buy wrapping paper. Of course it is the happiest time of the year and you were looking forward to it, but it doesn't mean that you don't want to write, too. You're a writer, after all, and writers write.

Take the few minutes you have while the sugar cookies are cooling to jot down the notes you have been repeating so you can memorize them. You don't have to write in full sentences, but write enough so you'll remember what you meant on New Year's day when everyone else is sleeping and you're up early to fulfill that New Year's resolution to write daily.

Use your phone audio or video recording function. Email yourself. Text message yourself. Keep a notebook in your bag or use that paper napkin. But write it down before you forget. Stop worrying and just write it down.

And then give yourself a break to enjoy your visitors and this time together eating, laughing and wrapping the presents you spent so long wrapping. You can sleep soundly knowing you won't forget anything since you wrote it down.

Next: Post-Holiday Pro-tip: Read your notes.