We all know that it is most productive to shave down our writing goals to the top three, maybe four for the first half of the year. We understand that too many goals will lead to frustration because it will interfere with our productivity and set us up for failure.
We are all professionals and we also know that it takes action to make our goals come true but often our actions may not line up with our goals. How this happens is simple, life gets in the way.
So my advice to you and mainly to myself is to re-evaluate goals vs. action steps. When we do this we can change our productivity and ultimately the results of all our writing efforts.
This is what to look for when analyzing goals and actions. Ask yourself :
- Are your writing goals specific, measurable, and attainable?
- Do your action steps move you towards your goal?
- What actions can you delegate or even delete?
- How much of what you do is busy work that may actually be disguised as procrastination? ( Bingo.... A light bulb just went on in my office space)
Honestly we only have so many hours in any given day. Being flexible enough to allow life to happen but controlling how we spend much of our time will make our actions align with our goals in a more productive way.
Blogging for instance may not be the best use of time if you have nothing ready for submission. Revising the first paragraphs of a beginning story trying for perfection when you don't have a well rounded character, a conflict important to the reader, or any idea where the story might fit in the market place may make having the perfect beginning paragraph worthless to your goal.
My goal is to be a published children's writer. But I also want to publish magazine articles. My third goal is to make money with my writing. Blogging for pay is an action step that lines up with goal number three. Researching and writing on my children's book is an action step for goal number one. Researching for articles in the quilting arena fits my second goal. Creating new blogs that don't directly relate to the three goals would be non-productive at this stage and clearly for me allows me to procrastinate so I am deleting those for the time being.
This is how I see myself in the middle of month two of 2013. I need to realign my actions with my goals. How are you feeling about your actions and your goals? Whether you are an expert author or just beginning your writing career, it is never a waste of time to re-evaluate where you are going and how you are going to get there. And whatever you do, keep writing.
Terri Forehand writes stories for children, health related articles for a variety of blogs, and is the author of The Cancer Prayer Book and The ABC's of Cancer According to Lilly Isabella Lane. Living in Nashville Indiana with her husband she finds the beauty of nature there gives way to procrastination. Visit her blog at www.terri-forehand.blogspot.com or her website at www.terriforehand.webnode.com