CONTRIBUTED BY SARAH FOIL
We’re about halfway through January and you’ve probably set big goals for yourself. How are things going so far? In general, only 64% of resolution-makers keep their promise after the first month.
So, if you’ve made resolutions this year to improve your writing career, how can you guarantee you’ll meet your goals? Here are 5 tips to help:
1.) Set Smaller Goals
Is your goal to have your short story or book published this year? That’s great! But don’t give up with the first rejection you get. Set smaller goals that will help you build up to that big goal. Instead of committing to finishing your book this year, commit to finishing your next chapter by the end of the month. Or for finding a workshop or writing group to join in your area. That brings me into my next point...
2.) Find Friends To Keep You Accountable
Having fellow writers to hold you accountable to your goals is a huge help. Having a critique group to submit work to every week, every month, or however often they meet, will make you write more and read more! If you have trouble finding a writing group to join, consider hiring a writing coach (like me!). We can check in with you every week to make sure you’re staying on top of your goals and offer resources to help you achieve your writing dreams.
3.) Don’t Give Up
This sounds obvious, but the biggest part of keeping to your resolutions, is just not giving up. Watch out for excuses you may be making to avoid writing or submitting your story. There’s always a reason not to do something, but you need to remember the great reasons to do your work. Consider making a visual reminder of what is driving you with an inspiring quote from your favorite author or a vision board to encourage you to keep working.
4.) Create A Routine
It takes roughly 66 days to create a new habit, but once you do it, you’ll be set! Commit to writing every morning before you go to work, or during your lunch break. Start sending your short stories to editors every Monday. Once you get in your new routine, taking the steps you need to achieve your goals will become second nature!
5.) Don’t Forget To Celebrate!
It’s hard sitting down to write everyday or sending your work out to complete strangers, so make sure you create rewards for yourself along the way. After 15 rejections for editors or agents, treat yourself to a trip to the bookstore or to the movies. If you manage to finish that chapter you aimed to complete this month, take yourself out for a nice dinner. While it’s great to complete your resolutions, it doesn’t hurt to have a little something to look forward to as well.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you write every day or once a week or once a month. As long as you’re committed to making writing your career, you’ll find the drive to finish your projects and achieve your dreams. Just don’t forget to remember to have fun, too. Good luck!
ABOUT SARAH FOIL
Sarah Foil is a writer, editor, and media manager based out of North Carolina. She has an MFA in Fiction from the Mountainview MFA program and focuses on YA Fantasy. While her current passion project is her YA Fantasy trilogy, which is currently seeking representation, she spends much of time running and managing Sarahfoil.com, a resource for writers and readers of all kinds. She loves encouraging writers to continue to improve through her editing services and sharing her personal writing journey through blog posts and on Facebook and Twitter. If you have any questions about her services, please reach out via sarahfoil.com/contact .
Thanks for sharing, Sarah!