The new year is upon us and you’ve probably already started writing down your goals of things you want to accomplish in 2022. But there’s a little nagging voice in the back of your mind, “how are you going to achieve these goals?” I’m going to give you some tips and advice.
1. Be realistic.
If you are not setting yourself realistic goals, you are never going to achieve them. It’s as simple as that. I have two work in progress books, and the goal for them is to have both more than just bones. I want them to be fleshed out past their planning stages, even if it’s just by a chapter or two. If your goal is to have a completed manuscript by the end of the year, I’m sure you can achieve it, but make sure you have it broken down into bite sized bits. If you usually need more time to plan, write, and edit, don’t make your goal something as big. Make it to have a first draft complete, or something more feasible, a quarter of your book done by mid-year. Making a goal that feels impossible to reach will only wear you down when you don’t meet it in your timeframe.
2. See writers as inspiration, not competition.
I admit, I’m guilty of this too. Other writers are not your competition, you’re not in some race to see who can put out another book first. Other writers should be your inspiration, your motivators. If this writer comes out with a book, pre-order it, read it, mark it up, and use that momentum of being proud of them to fuel your interest in getting back to work on your own projects, so you can be proud of yourself too.
3. Celebrate the little wins.
Say your goal is to write a whole book by the end of the year, come June, you’re not even a third of the way done, and you’re beginning to feel discouraged and ready to quit. Now say your goal is to write a whole book by the end of the year, come June, you’re only a third of the way done, and you celebrate for all the work you’ve done so far. You congratulate yourself after writing out that first chapter, those first few pages of poetry, putting together that art collage you’ve had sitting on the corner of your desk for days. Giving yourself praise for what you did achieve is going to be the best way to keep yourself motivated to continue. A little progress will snowball into bigger progress and it should be celebrated.
4. Make a schedule/Plan it out.
Going in blind never worked out for anyone, I don’t think, feel free to let me know if I’m wrong. Setting up a schedule for yourself, where you have time allotted to sit down and write a couple hundred words or so, will help you immensely with staying on track to achieve your writing goals. Plan out each section, say Mondays will be for writing sprints, Wednesdays will be for editing and revising those sprint pieces and making them fit, or scrapping them, for your project. Make it easier on yourself, not harder.
5. Take a moment and breathe.
It’s stressful, planning and writing and trying to meet those goals. You can start to feel overwhelmed and unmotivated, and if that becomes the case, sit back and relax. Giving yourself those needed breaks won’t hinder you, you aren’t going to regret them. Those breaks will help to clear your mind, give you rest, and have you ready to write again in no time.