2019

Guarantee That You Meet Your Goals in 2019: A Guest Post

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.

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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!

All best,Kayla King.png

A Dream No One Can See

It’s become a tradition each year to choose a word that will carry me through 365 days. There has been CREATE, BELIEVE, BETTER, and last year, there was PERSEVERANCE. And persevere I did. Through 164 literary magazine submissions, 133 rejections (query trenches included) and 16 pieces accepted, including my debut collection of poetry, These Are the Women We Write About, I’d like to think my own perseverance got me where I needed to be!

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But now it’s a new year, which means a new word. Getting here, I once again was a bit paralyzed with fear that I might choose the wrong word. I suppose it’s become another of those superstitious writerly things that I cling to as the days move along. It wasn’t until Christmas preparations took over that I found my word, one which stuck in my bones and felt too perfect to pass up. I ordered three necklaces and a bracelet from The Giving Keys, because I truly love how they strive to help homeless people in L.A., all the while, reminding us of the power of words, and the magic of passing them on to someone else. If you haven’t heard of this company or their mission, I suggest checking them out as they create beautiful products with special meanings.

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Yet, I digress. Upon purchasing these items, I was eligible for a complimentary “classic” key necklace, which would come with a surprise word and color and design. When it arrived, it brought a certain sense of knowing that I didn’t know I needed. My key said DREAM, and I’m not sure it could’ve been more perfect. And now, I have my word.

Dream.

Writing a novel about a world in which dreaming always means death, I have come to understand just how powerful dreams can be. I often dream too big and have said on more than one occasion that my ambition and penchant for dreaming bigger and better will be the death of me. But as a writer, I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.

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As I edit DREAM CATCHERS once more before diving back into the query trenches next month, I cling to the dream of seeing this book published someday. And it’s difficult, I must admit, to be back in this story. I joked that I can’t wait for this book to be on someone else’s shelf someday just so I won’t have to read it anymore. Because it hurts to read sometimes. I’ve exposed too much of myself between those pages, and perhaps this is what will help future readers fall in love with my writing and this story. But for now, it terrifies me to find myself back in that time and place again.

Such is the life of the writer, I suppose. If the words don’t hurt, if what is being written doesn’t scare the writer a little, I’m not sure the story is worth telling. So I’ll tinker with this story once more before sending it out to the next 10 agents on my list. And when I say this will be the year I make this dream no one else can see into a reality, I feel the truth of the words ring through my bones in the way that some of my most authentic writing does.

I’ll keep focusing on this dream. Instead of simply listing my goals for 2019, I’ve separated these things into goals and aspirations; the things I can personally attain versus the things I so dream of coming true. I am taking better care of myself, how I judge my failures and accomplishments, because I have succeeded, even in small ways, and that is worth remembering. And for that I am so proud of myself. Already I’ve had 2 poems accepted for publication, and January hasn’t yet ended.

But as I continue to risk everything: sanity, time, sleep, future stories, etc. for this dream of publishing DREAM CATCHERS, I know it is worth everything in between. And with this knowledge, I will continue to dream too big all the year through, and I hope you will too! To stay up to date with this journey beyond this blog, check out #dreamlikekaylaking on Instagram and Twitter!

All best,Kayla King.png