A Writer's Inventory

As the year winds down, many people - I think writers, especially - recount the things they have not yet accomplished, rather than celebrate what they have done. 

So many things influence your life and productivity that are out of your control. It's really easy to be accelerating toward the end of the year and wonder what you got done, and get frustrated for not doing enough.

I say, don't be so hard on yourself. If you are on track to accomplish all of your annual goals by the end of the year, that's fabulous. If life got in the way a little too much, take an inventory of all you have accomplished. You will see you have done way more than you think.

1. Make a list of all of your wins for the year off the top of your head. This can include articles, promotions, completed works.

2. Now, give it some thought and come up with more. If you get stuck, ask peers and loved ones ... people who have your back. They'll know.

3. Make a list of all the new people you met this year. Be sure to include a memorable, personal detail.

4. Look through your connections on LinkedIn or Facebook to add to your list.

5. Make a list of all the events you attended this year. Make notes about the ones you liked and the ones you did not, so you have a reference for the future.

6. Look through your calendar to add to your list.

7. Make a list of everything you have written in the last year. Stories, articles, posts, novels, screenplays, non-fiction books. You can even include false starts. Be sure to include a note on your progress or where and when something was published.

8. Look through your computer files to add to your list.

9. Make a list of every adventure you had this year - the good and the bad. This is great fodder for fiction and non-fiction in the future.

10. Look through the list of all you accomplished. And be proud. I am sure you've done some amazing things, even if there are not all you set out to do.

Remember, you have six weeks left to check things off your list and get a few more wins. Don't be discouraged that time goes to fast. Be encouraged byy all you accomplished. And set yourself up to succeed even more.

What do you think? What is your favorite win this year? What do you hope to accomplish by the end of 2016? Please share your thoughts in the comments, so we can celebrate your wins and cheer you on. 

* * *

Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of Guided Goals and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. 

She is the host of the Guided Goals Podcast and author of Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages. 

Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Karen Cioffi said...

Great list of what to do to realize your accomplishments over the year - those in writing and those that can be used for future writing. And, how to make the most of the six weeks we have left of 2016!

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Karen, It's really easy to get frustrated about what you didn't do. Much better to focus on the positive and move forward, and I think a lot of people forget there is power in doing that.

Terry Whalin said...


Thank you for the wise advice in this article. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Too often we don't step back and evaluate where we've been and where we are headed. There is great insight in going through this process--and especially as the year draws to a close. Thank you.

The Writing Life

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Terry! Indeed!

10 Tips to Help You Become the Writer You Wish to Be

 by Suzanne Lieurance No matter what kind of writer you wish to become, follow these tips and you'll reach your goal(s) much quicker. Ti...