It's a great time to review your writing goals.

It’s a Great Time to Review Your Writing Goals

In my last blog post on Get Your Writing Goals Done Now, I shared bits and pieces of my story, wrote 10 Tips to Kickstart your Writing Journey and I faced my fear by making my goals for 2024 public. So, what’s next?  

I have always felt that God doesn’t put a dream in your heart unless he gives you the tools to make it happen. I have been writing “my story” for almost 20 years. I have changed the characters, their names, and their storylines. I’ve added a few other titles along the way. I have met with agents and not followed up. I have attended workshops, and I joined a writing group that met twice a month for eighteen months a very long time ago. I was lost in the daydream. 

The reality was that I wasn’t ready to move forward. I was stuck. The what-if scenarios of our imagination have a push/pull effect that either moves us forward or leaves us paralyzed. At some point, you have to determine what you want to do–move forward or stay in limbo. The first step to moving forward is setting a deadline.  

 “A goal without a deadline is just a dream.”

Gail Vaz-Oxlade

I tend to set goals at the beginning of a new school year or at the beginning of a new year. “Waiting for the “perfect” time can lead to procrastination. In fact, research from the University of British Columbia suggests that those who set goals outside the usual times are more likely to follow through because the intention is often more genuine and spontaneous.” (October 6, 2023) 

Set Annual Writing Goals

I set my 2023 goals in October 2023. By the end of that year, I completed 12/15 of the goals I set. I guess the quote above lends credibility to my situation. In addition, I added my 2024 goals, which I shared in the original blog post (insert link here) and 2028 as part of my five-year plan. Part of this process is twofold; did I set goals that were obtainable? Out of reach? To be honest, a little of both. It’s a balancing act between the two. In this part of the journey, you may wonder; will the goals you set move you in a positive direction or are they too broad and give you no direction?  

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Where are you on your writing journey?
  • Is it where you want to be?
  • Have you shared your goals with anyone?
  • Have you been checking off your goals one by one?
  • Are you at a standstill or somewhere in between?

Wherever you are, I applaud you. It takes courage to dig deep for the truth. 

If you read my last blog post and started the process, it’s time to check in on your progress. January has come and gone and if 21 days makes a habit, you should be well on your way. However, we are not all on the same path. I googled 21 days to make a habit. It’s a myth. There are many articles that say otherwise. Google can be a black hole. Sixty-six days was another option. As I scrolled down, I saw an Amazon ad for a 66-day tracker. When we look for answers…companies are marketing products for what we need.  

We can all benefit from marketing, but only if it serves our purpose. My purpose in 2024 was to be intentional. Do you have a word that motivates you? Once you discover that word, your journey will take flight. 

Be Intentional with Your Writing Goals

During the month of January, I was intentional in my actions. Here’s what I did:

1.  Attended Prolific Writers Life sessions all month except the week I was visiting my daughter.

2. Started a new critique/writing group. We meet at Panera. We alternate weeks by writing one week and critiquing the next. I enjoyed critiquing their stories and getting feedback on mine. 

3. Joined a 10-day Writing Sprint with Jonathan Callard.

4. Joined five others from the 10-day writing sprint to create a writing space. 

5. Attended local workshop on Author Platform by Jennifer Swanson.  

6.  Attended educational zoom workshops by Sage Cohen, Craft Talks, Writers Bridge and Dublin Creative Writers.   

7. Read a fabulous book, Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes, and attended my neighborhood book club discussion group. 

8. Pulled former critiques written on my story and decided what to do with their feedback; this was empowering.  

9. Organized my writing files and created new systems to set me up for success.  

10. I began writing again. I joined a 6:30 AM writing session with Dublin Creative Writers. This is true dedication–I am not a morning person…or at least I thought I wasn’t. I usually jump on at 7 AM.  

11. Created a top 10 list each week to keep me moving towards success. 

12. Set up my writing routine for February. 

13. Checked in with my accountability partners every Monday. 

14. Signed up for two writing conferences: one in February and one in April. 

15. Set up an interview for my next book, research needed to complete the storyline. 

16. Reviewed two websites to give feedback. 

I learned a few things last month that I will pass on to you. Don’t get caught up in what others think or where they think you should be. Learn to trust your instincts. Guard your time like you would guard your heart. The heart is the most vulnerable muscle we have. Share it wisely.  

As for this month, I will be breaking old habits, ushering in new ones, and celebrating how much I love to write.  

Remember to treat yourself and others with kindness. Practice self-care every day and love yourself even on the hardest days. Find balance in daily activities. Practice forgiveness on days when you miss a deadline you set. Celebrate when you do achieve your goals. Tomorrow is a new day–an unwritten page. What are you waiting for?  

Click here to join Jen and other Prolific Writers Life members at Words Count writing sessions.

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