In January, I defined my writing intentions for the next 12 months with a dedication that could not be doubted.
By February I felt overwhelmed. Pole-axed to put it more definitively. It’s not that I don’t know how to set smart goals, in another life I was very successful at it. So why did I suddenly get the wobbles and feel weak at the knees?
I blame the time I was born. I’m a Pisces and as dreamy as they come. But my goals weren’t just pie in the sky. I knew that if I put my mind to it, I can achieve them.
As a writer, I am accountable to myself. Most of the time, it’s just me. Alone. Who cares if I make it or not? After all, there are hundreds and thousands out there who just want to write. I successfully met my goals in a previous life because I was accountable – my job depended on it.
I completed a progress sheet to review my current drafts. I was astounded to find that I had a total of 395,330 words written over seven projects – over 1000 pages! An ‘aha’ moment. I was accountable, to the drafts I had written, to the characters that want to be heard, to the stories that want to be read. I couldn’t let them squander in a no-mans-land of writing desolation. Could I? With a sense of renewed life, I leapt into action before it vanished.
- In my writing group I set up a ‘Commitment Cabin’, where I’m going to post my weekly goals. The big things I want to get done. For me, weekly goals seem to work better than daily because one day is never the same as the next. All I do is transfer daily goals – time after time – which can be discouraging. Defining them for the week allows some flexibility. Fellow group members have already spurred me on and have set up their own cabins. However, I do set daily tasks – the smaller steps to achieve the weekly goals.
- I tweet on a regular basis to build up a presence as part of my author platform. In addition I’ve started to tweet twice a day about what I intend to get done – the tasks -and what I did get done. This doesn’t take much time and it doesn’t matter if no-one in the Twitter-sphere cares. It’s creating a sense of accountability.
- Finally, I’ve resurrected this blog after letting it flounder. I’m hoping that it will reach out to other writers who are maybe floundering as well as readers. At the minimum it will provide with an opportunity to write and contribute to my weekly word count!
A writers life is a lonely one, it’s hard to keep focused and it requires a good slug of self discipline. I’m sure I shall find other methods to help me stay on course… in fact I’m thinking of inventing a virtual editor, someone who will bang the desk and shout about missed deadlines. I’ve already named her, Josephine FitzSimonns and boy is she going to get tough!
How do you stay motivated and on track?
Next Week: I will share the key Writing Tools that help me