At this time of year every writer will be thinking ahead. Indeed many people, writers or not, will be thinking about what they want to happen in this fresh New Year full of opportunities and the unknown. The sceptics of setting goals and resolutions are predicting that
many of us will fail by some arbitrary date in Mid January. Well, I’m not going to listen to them. I’m known for setting far reaching goals for my writing and – I’ll be honest – not fulfilling them all. This year is no different, apart from the fact that I have never felt more committed, for reasons I’ll come to later.
I’ve made a visual image of my goals and as you can see, the Daisy Chain Publication Plan is the first of them. I have five Works in Progress sat on my shelf and my plan is to revise, edit, polish and publish them this year in ten weekly intervals. Ambitious? Certainly. Impossible? I don’t think so. There are three key essential things I have put in place to make sure that this year I am more prepared than ever to make these things happen.
Motivation: In November when I was struggling to find a way with my writing I purchased the motivational Writember Workbook designed by the wonderful, talented writer Faye Kirwin. This not only gave me the tools to help me get my act together but more importantly taught me how to create and maintain the daily habit of writing. I can highly recommend it. I write, edit or revise three pages (about 900 words) every day.
“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”
― Thomas Jefferson
Self Belief: I rediscovered The Morning Pages through The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. The book systematically asks you to examine certain area’s of your life, in order to understand your path and relationship with your creativity, and if you’ve a mind, your ‘God’. I don’t, have a mind of God, but that doesn’t matter. The messages are still the same. There are lots of exercises which can be completed through the journal though I use it for whatever is on my mind when I wake. I’m now on day one hundred and eleven. It’s like meditation. It sorts out the mess in my mind, freeing me up to concentrate on writing.
“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.”
― C. JoyBell C.
Focus: I’ve always believed that I’m good at multi-tasking. I’m a woman, right? Goes with the territory. Truth is I’m not and I don’t think many of us are. I do one thing at a time. I clear my desk of all the crap that I like to surround myself with and set down to the task in hand. I usually set a timer of around 25 minutes to remind myself to get up and stretch and I still tackle the easier things first. But I’m getting things done much more quickly and efficiently than before. The record I keep in my diary shows me that.
My change in attitude has also been influenced, sadly, by loss. Losing three writer friends last year in quick succession and unexpectedly really made me examine my life. And now, with my Dad suffering with severe health setbacks I’m determined to make him proud. He’s always been a strong supporter of my writing.
More importantly, I’m doing this for me. To improve my craft not only in writing but producing the final product. A book, or a back library of books, and I know I can only get better at it.
I’ll be tracking my progress, making my self accountable to this ambitious goal (and I do have five others!) here on Louise Charles. And I’ll be recording the ups and downs on My Writer Within – where I ramble on a regular basis about my writer behind the mask.