“If you wait for inspiration to write you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” ~Dan Poynter
We are almost through October! So the question we have for you is: How are you progressing on your writing goals and resolutions from January? Are you on track with where you wanted to be or have you fallen behind? If you’re on track, congratulations! If not, no need to feel down about it. Even though there are only three full months left in 2014, you still have a third of the year to achieve your writing resolutions. You can catch up to make sure that by the end of the year, you have accomplished your writing goals just in time to make new ones for 2015. We’ve come up with a number of surefire ways to help you get back on track with your writing goals.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~Aristotle
As we discussed in our post at the beginning of the year, Five Writing Resolutions You Can Start at Any Time of the Year, most people like to have some sort of clean slate or definitive start date, which a New Year can bring. However, the really remarkable thing about positive change, like committing to writing, is that it doesn’t have to wait. It can happen at any moment. Even right now! SO get going!
- Define your writing goals – Before you get started, you need to determine what it is that you want to achieve. Do you want to finish that novel that you always wanted to write? Do you want to start the process of self-publishing your finished book? Whatever it is, define it. As we mentioned in the previously mentioned post: “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.”
- Be specific about how you are going to achieve your writing goals – In order to successfully incorporate good writing habits into your daily routine, you need to set your parameters. What time of the day are you going to devote to your writing? What space will you use to write? By creating specific guidelines to achieve your goal, you will make it much more likely that you will stick to it.
- Modify your writing/working environment – If you haven’t been able to commit to your writing while sitting at the kitchen table, find another place to do it. You should be free from distractions. Create a special place that you can dedicate as your writing place. Maybe it’s the coffee shop down the street or the library – make it a place that you will associate with your creative work.
- Find an audience – For most people, one of the most important things about setting goals is finding someone else to help you be accountable. It can also be helpful to have people who you can bounce ideas off. Find someone or a group of people who you trust and whose opinions you value and don’t be afraid to share.
- Get started already! – Oftentimes just getting started can be the most difficult piece of achieving your writing goals. We can easily get stuck in our heads, thinking about the goals that we want to achieve, but for some reason it’s hard to actually take that first step. We get stuck on the big picture. Setting up specific, small chunks of work that you can achieve easily can help you feel like you’ve accomplished something. And you’re one step closer to your larger goal. Take a tip from Nike and just do it!
- Keep a notebook handy at all times – This can be a physical notepad or your phone or tablet, something that you can record those random thoughts that might occur when you’re at work, sitting at your child’s soccer game, working out at the gym, or when you wake up in the middle of the night. We always think that we will remember, but most of the time that great sentence or piece of dialogue that pops into our heads will get lost when you get occupied by the next thing. Don’t let ideas fall by the wayside. You never know when inspiration will strike! If you don’t write them down, they’re gone.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself – We all have a lot on our plates in our daily lives. There probably will be a day that you just can’t get to work on your daily writing. This can be discouraging. But don’t let that knock you off track. Just start again tomorrow.
- Reassess your goals and outcomes – After a few days of working on your writing goals, you might realize that they’re not working. Don’t be discouraged. You may need to make some adjustments so that you can achieve success. As we talked about before, oftentimes breaking things down into smaller chunks of work can help you be more successful. It can also help to keep you motivated to keep going.
Do you have tips that help to keep you motivated to achieve your writing and creative goals? If so, we’d love to hear them!
SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print, and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!