It is 18 days into the New Year and as a writer I have a map to follow. Three major goals have been placed on my year long plan and now it is my responsibility to take the action steps to make those goals come true.
My plan is different from last year and the year before and it should be. Yours should be different too. As writers we should be taking what worked for us the past year and making it part of the map for the New Year. We must also delete anything that didn't work well from last year and make a list of new things to try this year.
This is the most difficult part of a new map because to grow and make changes we have to step out of our comfort zone and for me that is just plain hard. It is facing up to the failures and admitting that I need to make changes. Failures become the lessons that promote change.
Here are a few tips to follow when working on this plan.
1. Remember nothing is written in stone, changes can be made every week, every month, every 2 months or whenever you realize that what your doing is not working. But the other side of that thought is to give your plan a chance to work and to see the results before making major changes.
2. Seek advice from experts but follow your heart. Advice is a wonderful thing but it doesn't mean you have to recreate who you are or who you were meant to be. It does mean that sometimes expert advice can be beneficial to what it is you are writing and trying to publish. Seek it and make it work with your goals.
3. Make your goals attainable and measurable so you are not flapping in the breeze and getting no where. Set dates, page limits, word counts, financial aspirations and any other way to measure your actions to meet your goals.
4. Failures are really not failures at all but life lessons that spur us on to be better writers, artists, etc. Don't dwell on them, rather use them to your advantage to move forward and be better.
5. Take classes, find a mentor, learn more marketing strategies, but the key is to keep writing and creating. Don't let the classes distract you from the main part of the plan which is to write.
If you don't have your plan ironed out quite yet, no worries. Take time to review and make some notes so you can get a productive start to the New Year.
Cheryl St. John is the author of Write Smart Write Happy, How to Become a More Productive, Resilient, and Successful Writer Che...
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