Make this year the year you achieve your writing goals


writing goals, writing resolutions, how to get writing done, how to finish bookWill this be the year you achieve your writing goals? Every January, many people commit to write. Some keep it up. Others don’t. If you’re setting out to write for the first time, are starting a new writing project or have failed with your writing resolutions in the past, here’s how to make this year, the year you conquer them.  


How to achieve your writing goals

The reason why so many people fail at their writing goals is because they go about setting them in the wrong way, affecting their motivation and their ability to do what they’ve committed. I know this well. I’ve had terrible writing years and great ones. Many of the authors I’ve featured on Literary Lightbox tell me they’ve been through the same.

Along the way, I’ve discovered the secret to setting writing goals successfully regardless of how little time or money you have available.

By the time you’ve finished the five steps I’m sharing with you below, you’ll have built a dream to keep your desire to write burning, realistic goals to keep you focused and a sustainable routine to help you achieve your writing goals this year…

Step 1: Look at your current writing practice

To know how best to move forward with your writing, you first need to look at what you’re doing now or have been doing in the past. How often have you been writing? Have you been working with a goal in mind? What’s your confidence like? What’s tripped you up? What’s helped? Look at your writing from all angles. Understand your strengths, weaknesses and be honest.

Step 2: Move forward

If you’ve failed with your writing goals in the past, forgive yourself. Emotions like guilt, fear or anger won’t help you and could sabotage your progress this year. So, let them go. Don’t make excuses though. Be truthful about what got in your way so you’ll know what to do differently this year. If you’ve succeeded with your writing in the past, celebrate and hold onto that feeling. It’ll help motivate you going forward. Now, commit afresh to your writing. This year is a new opportunity for you as a writer.

Step 3: Have a dream

Start this year with a dream that fills you with fire so it will burn inside you even on the toughest writing days or when distractions come calling. Knowing what you truly wish from you writing will give you a destination and the motivation to get there. Make sure your dream is achievable through. You need to believe you can make it happen.

Step 4: Set goals along the way

Breaking down your dream into goals or steps will make it feel more achievable and you should get the sense you’re progressing throughout the year. Have some that are easy to achieve and others that will stretch you. Be specific. If you’re aiming to complete a book, think about the scenes, chapters or techniques you’d like to master along the way. Keep to what you can control. You can’t force a publisher to buy your book, for example, but you can ensure your writing is the best you can make it and create a submission package that shines.

Step 5: Design the writing practice that will get you there

A sustainable, regular writing practice is key to achieving your goals and your dream.

Look back at your current or past writing practice one last time. What’s working that you should continue? What’s holding you back that you need to address? What new things would you like to introduce into your writing practice? Think about how often you want to write, the time of day and where you’ll do it best. Do you need an outline or is free style better?

If you need more time to write, how can you create it? What activities could you take out of your schedule? What distractions could you minimise?

If money’s an issue, research the many free or low cost opportunities that might be open to you. Subscribe to newsletters so you’ll get notified about upcoming ones.

Then, keep writing

These five steps really work if you take the time to work through them fully, are intentional with your goal setting and you commit wholeheartedly. Remember that goal setting is just the start. Once you’ve set up your year right, it’s crucial you do the writing you’ve promised to do so this year can become the year you get to where you want to be.

Keeping going with your writing can be tricky so, as well as ticking off your goals along the way, build in breaks and treats. They don’t have to be calorific if you’ve also committed to a healthy start to the year. You could go for a walk somewhere beautiful, go out with friends or take yourself somewhere new. You deserve it.

I’d love to hear how your writing’s going so far this year. What are your writing goals? How are you setting out to achieve them? Why not post a comment so we can have a chat about it below?


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    By: Loretta Milan

    Loretta Milan is the founder of Literary Lightbox. She works as a professional writer and also has a novel in construction. She is a graduate of the Faber Academy and Curtis Brown Creative’s three-month novel writing programme. Her writing is fuelled by too much tea.

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