Showing posts with label tips for writing groups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tips for writing groups. Show all posts

Friday, December 27, 2019

'Tis the Season to Set Goals

One of the members of my critique group suggested that we have a separate meeting in January at one or our favorite coffee shops, away from our usual critique sessions, for an informal discussion about our goals for 2020. And to arrive with our goals in writing. Throughout the year we can check in with each other, see how we’re doing.

Yay. This method can work the way successful weight-loss programs work: by making ourselves accountable to someone. Why not do this for our writing? As a veteran of years of goal-setting and goal-breaking, I find myself excited and motivated by the prospect of putting my goals in writing and sharing them with my critique partners. This way my projects have an excellent chance of progressing, maybe even being completed.

Here’s what I plan to take to our meeting:
  • A 35x24 white board has sat in our garage gathering dust for years. I rescued it, cleaned it off, bought a brand new set of dry erase markers, found my old eraser, and propped it up in my office. The months are listed on the left, projects on the top; goals filled in now and will be updated throughout the year.
  • My goal plans were born on paper, typed up and ready to post on my goal board for the world to see. For my first book, about to be published, I typed up part of my marketing plan (the more detailed plan is kept in a three-ring binder), and to save space, I labelled its parts in phases. At the meeting I can explain the phases from my typed-up version, and throughout the year, as I go along completing my goals, I can erase them from the board and cross them off on paper.
  • Most of the goals I’ve set are short-term, aiming toward the long-term drop-dead goal.
Take a Step Back to Leap Forward
Another member found a terrific “Best of My Year” set of questions we can ask ourselves about how we did in 2019, which were recently posted on Emma D. Dryden’s blog, and can be found here:

What excited you this year about your art or writing?

What are you grateful for in the progress you’ve made in your art or writing and your goals?

What did you do this year to propel your story forward and/or to propel your career forward?

What did you do to invest in your art or writing?

What did you do to invest in yourself?

Emma’s last words:
Bring it back to you and your creativity.
That's what matters most.
Hard to do, I know, but worth it.
You're worth it.
(And separate from social media if you have to!)

Let's make a date to meet back here in December 2020 on my monthly post date, the 27th, and see how much we've accomplished. If we take the time to set our goals, put them in writing, and follow through with them throughout the year, I predict we will be pleased--maybe even ecstatic--at what we've accomplished!
Introductory image courtesy of: Pinterest
Biggie 2020 goal: Use less paper!
Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 150 articles for adults and children, and several short stories for children. She has recently become editor of the New Mexico SCBWI chapter newsletter, and is working on several projects for children. Follow Linda on Facebook.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Benefits of Belonging to a Writing Group

Do you belong to a writing group? If you do then you may know the benefits of being part of a group of people with the same goals as yourself. If you haven't thought about the need to become a member of a group you might consider these benefits.
  • Writing is a solitary activity and belonging to a group forces you to relate to real people rather than the characters in your mind. Whether it is in person, by an online web cam, or within an online group who email back and forth, it will help keep your mind and your writing fresh.  You will gain feedback from a real person and return your opinions in an exchange that will help you improve as a writer. It will give you  a sense of belonging to these members and help you to be accountable for your writing and your goals.
  • An active writing group can offer critiques and suggestions when your manuscript seems to stall. An outsider can give an objective view of what is taking place in the story and shed light on making your characters come alive.
  • Being in an active and positive writing group is a way to network, find writing connections, and share contacts in the publishing world.
  • A writing group can help market your work and in return you will do the same. It is a win win for all active members and can lead to collaboration on future projects.
Making the most of a writing group is a big responsibility but well worth the effort. Be active, do your part to critique and participate in a timely manner, be respectful of the other members and their work, and share in promoting and networking. Keep communication open. Be honest if you cannot uphold your responsibility for a period of time and be dependable. Your commitment will ensure the success for all group members and that can only improve your chances for writing success.

Terri Forehand- Author of The Cancer Prayer Book ( )

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