Are you stuck on your writing goals? Start writing them down NOW!
When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of being a writer. I am now 58 and up until a few months ago I was still writing with no deadlines. Life has always pulled me in every direction, and one would think I was employed by a circus with my juggling act.
But alas, I have chosen a different path. Instead of just juggling everyone else’s life… I have added another ball in the air: ME. I have a newfound purpose filled with intentional writing and focus driven goals while being surrounded by fellow writers who lift my spirits and encourage me daily on my writing journey.
It wasn’t always that way. I digress; with bitter sound bites along the way. I first started writing in middle school… met a boy, fell in love, the boy broke up and my heart was broken. Writing was healing. I also danced and sang at the top of my lungs to 45 LP Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive on my record player. I continued to write in high school and college.
I had a professor at FAU my junior year who didn’t like my writing. I unfortunately had her for two (4) hour credit classes… I switched my major from English to Business after that semester and never looked back. I transferred back to FSU the following summer. The thoughts of feeling like an inadequate writer have stayed with me.
I have been a closet writer my entire life
I have been sharing bits and pieces of myself along the way, writing on and off depending where life took me. I have asked myself on more than one occasion: “Why Am I Not Writing?” Do you ask yourself that question? Do you know the answer?
To answer honestly, ask yourself what am I doing that is keeping me from my writing? The easy answer was time. The hard answer was what if no one likes my story? The truest answer I can give you is: Who Cares? There is always going to be someone out in the universe that will give you harsh criticism. Focus on the people who are your biggest cheerleaders; those that lift you up and that will encourage you to keep writing. The best thing you can do for your writing is to surround yourself in the company of other writers.
Over the last year I have ventured to workshops, taken classes and have joined a critique group that meets twice a month. I found Prolific Writers on Meet Up last month. It has been an amazing experience so far. I love that it holds me accountable to my writing journey. If I ever attended a Writers Anonymous Meeting I would say: “Hi, I’m Jen. I have neglected my writing. I now have goals with a deadline to keep me moving forward in my journey.”
This is my story. What is your story?
Here are 10 tips to kick start your writing journey
10. Sitting in front of a computer typing away with no friends in sight can be lonely. Surround yourself with a community of writers; in person or online. You don’t need all the answers you just need to show up and start writing. The words will appear as the blank page disappears.
9. Ask yourself the HARD questions. What are your goals? Why are you writing? Set realistic goals to keep you moving forward. daily, weekly, yearly and five-year plan, etc. Set higher goals that will cause you to get out of your comfort zone. When you’re out of your comfort zone your growth as a writer will soar.
8. Make a list of categories: building your author platform, creating your brand, setting timelines.
7. Learn from others. Research other published authors that match your writing style. Follow them on social media. What are they doing that makes them successful?
6. Attend workshops in your area and enroll in classes online. I have found great success with Writer’s Digest University and Prolific Writers Life.
5. Read from other genres and study the words on the page. What do you like about it? Why? Continue to Read. Read. Read. I forgot how much I enjoyed reading GREAT works of literature.
4. You must write even on days when you would rather be doing anything else.
3. Celebrate the smallest successes. Be kind to yourself during the process. Remember goals can be revised as you progress through the year.
2. Don’t be a hoarder. Share your writing with others.
1. As intimidating as it is… set your goals for 2024.
“A goal without a deadline is just a dream.”Gail Vaz-Oxlade
Here are my 2024 Goals:
The main thing I hope to accomplish in 2024 is to publish my first book Secrets Beneath the Surface. Here’s how I plan to make it happen.
- Write 2-3 hours every day.
- Post daily on my Secrets Beneath the Surface Facebook page.
- Continue my author platform development.
- Attend Prolific Writers Life workshops every week.
- Meet with other writers monthly to discuss and critique our writing.
- Join Sage Cohen’s monthly writing group.
- Take Mark Spencer’s Build Your Novel Scene by Scene workshop. (I enrolled in November 2023).
- Keep my writing files organized.
- Read books in other genres (beyond romance and women’s fiction).
- Find an accountability partner. (I already found two; we’re going to start working together in January 2024).
- Continue Writer’s Digest University and Prolific Writers Life workshops according to my goals.
- Find a mentor that I can talk for guidance on my writing life.
- Continue writing my book series: Graveside Visits, Letters from Prison, and Shattered Friendships.
- Explore publishing options for Graveside Visits, Letters from Prison, and Shattered Friendships.
- Celebrate the small victories along the way.
- Plan a book launch party for Secrets Beneath the Surface…YAY ME!
- Research podcasts that might want to have me as a guest.
- Reflect on who has been encouraging to me and send them hand-written thank you notes.
- Develop my author website.
- Review goals every month in 2024. Revise and set goals for 2025.
Keep dreaming. Set deadlines.
If by chance you fall off the writing wagon join a Prolific Writers Life workshop and we will bring you back into the writing bubble!
On your mark, get set…go set your 2024 writing goals!
Please join me on my writing journey. Join Prolific Writers Life and send me your 2024 writing goals so we can hold each other accountable.
Jen found her writing voice at the age of 13 when she met a boy, fell in love, and experienced heartache. Along the way, she has shared bits and pieces of her writing but has considered herself a closet writer until recently. As a 1989 graduate of FSU with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, she explored various career opportunities, but has always considered writing her end game. She is currently working on her first novel, “Secrets Beneath the Surface,” a story she has been cultivating for almost 20 years. Setting goals is a life skill she mastered over the years, and helping others achieve success is in her DNA. Prolific Writers Life has given her the opportunity to focus on her writing, connect with fellow writers, and enjoy the journey in an encouraging, energetic, and positive environment. Jen currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with her husband, Steve.