Here’s another minimalist poster with a message I love (and need to keep in mind personally):
It’s always tempting to compare yourself to others and to want the success they’ve had, and to want that RIGHT NOW. I’m guilty of it, too. But one of the best moves I ever made was to start JOURNALING five years ago. Five years ago, I said I was really going to “go for it” with my writing. I’d give myself 7 years; if nothing happened, maybe I’d pursue passions in other areas.
If I didn’t journal, it’d be easy to forget the little successes I’ve had along the way. Some of my writer goals always include production–write this many poems, this many short stories, and that many novels this year, for example. Reading great examples and learning the craft is just as important. I can see how the pieces I’ve written have gradually gotten better and better. Contests were a big step for me–getting my work OUT THERE. I’ve had the pleasure of winning a few too–PNWA poetry, Pulp Literature poetry (Magpie Award), SIWC poetry AND short story (Storyteller Award)–and placing in others, including several Writer’s Digest contests and the Grasmere Publishing Children’s Fiction Novel contest (in the top three…so far!). Other goals involve platform and networking, because, even though I’m a Leo who enjoys attention, I’m a natural writer introvert too (a constant battle with myself). Creating www.fighttowrite.com was definitely a part of that.
Thankfully, something HAS happened with my writing over the years, even if I don’t have a traditionally published book out on the market yet. Small steps. The writing is improving; I’m writing in genres I’ve never touched before (one of my students, Claudia Malinowski, is the person who got me started writing short stories!); and I’m seeing some success.
Without a doubt, part of that is because of another habit I’ve acquired: penning a PILE of writing goals at the beginning of every writing year (my writing years are from October to October…I know, kind of strange, but it works). I’ve written them in the front cover of every journal I begin, to keep them in front of me.
Tomorrow, on fighttowrite, I’ll do something I haven’t done before–make them public. I’ve come up with my writing goals for October 2014-October 2015, and I’ll post them so you can see the kinds of targets I set for myself (and it may help you get a new good habit too…).
Start thinking about what some of your writer goals are. Think short-term, medium, and long-term. Don’t be afraid to dream the big dreams too, just make sure that you don’t ONLY think of those. Tomorrow, after I list my current goals for my upcoming writing year, it may give you more ideas, so make sure for the TRY THIS tomorrow, you have your favourite journal and favourite pen or pencil handy!