Christmas is days away, and 2017 is barring down like an out of control vehicle on ice. If you haven’t accomplished the writing goals you set in January, anxiety may be crushing you. I’m here to give you hope. There’s still time to end your year on a high note instead of crumbling into a fit of tears whenever you think of your writing goals.
Here are tips to help end your writing year with a bang, and set you up for writing success in 2017.
1. List out everything you wrote in the year whether you completed the pieces or not. You might be surprised to find you did write something, even if it wasn’t as many words as you wanted. Some words are better than none.
2. Compile your list of ideas for stories, characters, or places-anything you jotted down on a piece of paper or in your journal throughout the year. See you did come up with something! You might not have written them, but they’re idea you can use for 2017 so keep them safe!
3. If you made a list of the stories or ideas you wanted to accomplish for 2016, identify what you can finish before the end of the year and set aside a block of time(s) to complete one part. It can be a poem, a character sketch, setting sketch, an outline, or a scene or chapter you started but did finish.
Taking these steps will bring you quick wins, and are a great ego boaster. They’ll also give you a sense of accomplishment, despite the end of the year crunch. Remember, success no matter how small, is still success.
You’re a writer, you don’t need to be organized, right? Think about all the time wasted searching for a helpful writing tips you couldn’t find, the blog post with vital research information or scrolling through your email in box for hours on end? The end of the year is the perfect time to overhaul your organizational skills.
Identify helpful resources
Did you identify helpful or useful resources to help improve your writing throughout the year? These resources can include books, blogs post, and free ebooks you downloaded. You can put your resources in a giant pile and to rummage through as you need them or you can take the next step.
Organize your resources
How many times have you remembered something you read about blogging or creating a character and you couldn’t remember where you put it? Guilty. Why not organize your information into categories and then file them. You can file them paper or electronic depending on your information. If you use both, make sure to keep the categories the same. Categories are: Plot, Characters, Grammar, or Settings. Find a system that works for you.
Sound crazy? I hear you saying, “I’m a writer, what do I need systems for?” While you might not need one if you’re writing a poem, but if you’re writing a book or short story, some considers are: A character interview, how to map out story plot, editing checklist to cover all areas. Systems not only save time, but can improve your writing by providing information and guidance of the best way to write or create a piece of work, along with how to polish and make it shine.
Clear out email
Wait! Don’t close this post. I know your eye started twitching at the thought of going through your email inbox, but clearing out your emails is worth it! The first action to take is:
Remove annoying subscriptions you no longer need and delete their emails from your inbox. Boom! Not only did you just reduce your inbox, but reduced the amount of email you receive daily. Bravo!
Create folders matching your resource categories so emails can be moved into those same titled folders as they come into your inbox.
Review the features on your email to see if you can automatically file/sort emails without you having to think about it.
SET WRITING GOALS
When you looked back, you found all the stories ideas you collected throughout the year. Why not pick one or more if you’re writing poems, to write next year. Decide your plan of action now, so when January starts you hit the ground running with a game plan instead of scratching your head in wonder, or trying to pick from the long list of ideas, paralysis with indecision instead of taking action and writing.
Taking these steps will removes the anxiety associated with setting goals for the New Year. You’ll be ahead of the game and able to enjoy your holidays instead of stressing about what you didn’t accomplish or what goals to set for the New Year.
How are you preparing for 2017?
Join the CayWriters FB Group if you want to connect with other writers online or in person if you live on Grand Cayman.