This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a great group of supportive writers, helping one another through our writing ups-and-downs.
There is also a great Facebook Community for more daily connection! More posts from the group are tagged on Twitter at #IWSG.
Even though I’m a little shocked that we’ve somehow reached 2018 already, I’m excited for it. This year my goals are similar to previous years: more writing, more reading, working on my health. Unlike previous years, though, I am approaching my goals with set-out plans and strategies to help make them achievable.
Since this is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day – I’ll start with looking at my writing goals (reading and health goals I’ll write about later this month). That, right there, is one of my strategies to help attain my goals. I am going to commit to writing about them. Each month I’ll make myself do a goals check in (aiming for the the third Wednesday of the month) on how I’m doing on these goals. For me that low level of accountability can be the extra little nudge I need to keep moving, without feeling like it’s an overwhelming obligation.
For writing my goal is very specific: I want to revise at least one chapter of my WIP each month. Ideally I’d do more, but I know that some of these chapters are going to require complete rewrites, and I need to create an attainable goal. Since I have a tendency to overbook myself and set impossible goals I’m trying to be more realistic.
I also have a few friends who are willing to read what I’m writing, one chapter at a time, and give me some feedback. I’m hopeful that this will give me that little extra push when I just am not feeling like writing, and it will give me an as-I-go sounding board to keep me in check on things. If there’s a glaring issue that shows up in Chapter 2, I’d rather know about it before I get to the place it matters in Chapter 10 than after I’ve completed this entire revision!
Additionally, I got a calendar specifically for keeping track of where I should be in edits – with a lot of space to notes that I need to remember later on or things I need to figure out. Each week I’ll sit down and assign myself minimum times for writing, as well as creating benchmarks to aim for.
The final piece of my plan is to keep reminding myself how awesome it felt when I did NaNo this year. After over a year of not writing I suddenly was writing again. Every day I got a few words – but the days I really set aside dedicated writing time I got a lot done. It wasn’t easy, certainly not, but I stayed well ahead of my goals and really felt overall better because I was dedicating that time to writing. So when I find myself being dragged down in revisions, feeling tired of sitting down at my computer at night instead of just curling up in bed with a book or movie, I will remind myself of November.
This story has been in the works for over a decade. It spent the last year completely ignored, sitting – literally – on a shelf gathering dust. This is the year to finally get it into a form where other people can start looking at it. I don’t want to sit around with no one else reading it for much longer — it’s time for me to start getting ready to really put the story out in the world.
And it’s time to make the space to start working on other stories as well! I did some free-writing the other day during my lunch-break, and the idea held onto me so strongly that I found myself dealing with the challenge of typing on my phone to continue working on it during my evening commute. So I’m going to make an effort to spend some time during a few of my lunch-breaks each week doing free-writes just to keep those creative juices flowing and to keep working those writing muscles.