As the end of 2014 fast approaches many Authors (and aspiring authors such as myself) are setting resolutions for the New Year in the hopes of being more productive and reaching our writing goals. However, we all know how New Year’s resolutions usually go: a few weeks of dedicated struggle to adhere to your new regimen only to find yourself shrugging off your failure in spring.
Well folks, I don’t want to be that person this year so… here’s my plan, maybe it can help you too.
Let’s do this!
- Use What You Got – As a mom I have to be up early to get my kiddo off to school each day. Once she’s on the bus, if I manage to get myself up and going while she’s dressing etc, I’ve got about an hour all to myself! This is a perfect time to write that I’ve been wasting with surfing the net. Your time might not be mornings, maybe it’s night time or your lunch break at work – it could be an hour or even just ten minutes (check out the Ten Minute Novelist, these folks know your pain) just make it time DEDICATED to writing. Which brings me to…
- Stay On Target – As writers (and avid readers) it’s really easy to wander away from our projects on hand. Don’t let the dishes piling up or that notification noise on your phone pull you away from writing. I promise all those things will be there when you’re done and if you walk away from your computer, the writing won’t happen at all.
- Keep It Real – So I have an hour in the morning, is it realistic I’ll spend that whole hour every day on writing? Probably not, life happens. So, let’s set a more realistic goal, shall we? I’m going with 750 words or 30 minutes, whichever is more. I LOVE using 750words.com
- Exercise – Oh man I’m the worst at staying dedicated to this one and perhaps that’s because I always think of it as part of a weight loss or maintenance plan instead of a mood enhancer! Truth be told when I do go for a walk or ride in the AM I usually feel more energetic and accomplished all day long AND as a result my creativity spikes. Spending even 20 minutes of my hour on a short walk or bike ride will certainly help get me ready for some creative time. Looking for help? Check out sparkpeople.com for free recipes, exercise trackers and more! I ♥ it!
- READ MORE – Nothing keeps my creative brain going like reading other writer’s work! I seriously need time to read. Guess what this girl is doing on lunch breaks at work this year! Leave a link in the comments to your book and maybe I’ll read it in 2015 and review it for the Writing Wenches blog! Looking for more books? Check out these GREAT AUTHORS.
- Workshop – That’s right, join or build a group of crit partners. Not just family or friends who will give you a pass on deadlines or review from a place of love… get a crack group of peers who know your craft and set goals together then, make them. I did a workshop in 2014 and it has been one of the number one best things for making me view my craft as a career and not a hobby. Check out Virtual Writer Workshop – they are one of my new favorite things in 2014.
- Should or Need? – Know that writing every day is something you “NEED” to do… not “should” do. (CLICK TO TWEET THIS!) Say it out loud, say it often, repeat yourself until you’re sick of hearing it… then say it again. If you NEED something in life, you will obtain that goal. If you start out your resolution with “should” you’re already planning to fail. Will I always achieve that goal? I’m sure emergencies and illness will happen but if I know what I NEED (writing), I’m more likely to achieve it. I NEED to write daily in 2015, how about you? Clean up the clutter in all areas of your life, check out this site!
- Writers Block Is Bunk – I said it. You may throw tomatoes now. Seriously though, as someone advised me in 2014, open the phone book and write the names if you must. I promise something will spark your creativity. If you can’t think about the project you’re writing now, write whatever you ARE thinking about… chores not done, another story you want to write, etc. Whatever is ‘blocking’ your mind, get it out. Get it on the paper. You need to slay the dragon if you want to get to the gold. Your time is best spent doing what you can to get past that issue than waiting for the muse to walk back in the room. Write what needs to be written.
- Share Your Goals – I think every resolution site out there says it, because it’s true for a lot of people. If you have a group of friends who will check in on your progress from time to time… TELL THEM YOUR GOALS!
- Reward Yourself – When I reach a goal for the day or the week I need to remember to recharge and celebrate. In 2014 I ordered from Teavana whenever I did a full month of reaching my word count. I think I’m going to keep that up. I also indulged in character blogs for my role play characters – these fun, no-pressure stories are like candy for my creative mind. I LOVE writing them. I STRONGLY recommend any author check out play-by-post websites or even writing fan fiction as a nice break from what feels like “required” writing.
Do YOU have advice you want to share for success in 2015? Tell us in the comments!
Got a book you’d like me to check out in 2015? Share the link in the comments!