Time to Spring Clean Your Writing!
At the start of another year, we try making new goals for ourselves. By this time of year, we should be checking in to see whether we’re on our way to meeting those goals or if we need to change/restructure them. It’s what I call, “Spring Cleaning My Writing”, and usually involves asking myself the following questions:
What were my long and short-term goals at the beginning of the year? The place to start is checking on what your writing goals were at the start of the year. Have any of them been crossed off? How close are you to meeting each goal? Have you started on any of your long-term goals? Doing this will give you an idea of how to, or even if, to move forward with what you’ve set.
Why did I set these goals? You might have been in a different place along your writing journey at the beginning of the year, which is why you set the goals you did. But things might have changed, either in what your focuses are or in your personal life that might have moved you on a different path. Ask yourself why you set those goals and if they still pertain to what you want to do.
What is my writing focus now? The next logical question to ask yourself is what your focus is now. Is your end goal the same now that it was then? Will the goals you’ve set get you to that end goal? Whether you want to be splashed in the pages of a top-selling glossy magazine or see the novel you’re writing on the bookshelves, make sure your focus is the same. If it’s not, then you’ll need to change a few of your goals to suit your new focus.
Do any of my old goals fit into my current focus? Just like I said above, this is the time to get rid of the dust and clear out the cobwebs. With your current focus in your vision, you now have to determine if those goals are helping or hindering your progress. Take a good look at each of your goals and decide whether to keep, clean up then keep or simply chuck out a goal.
What’s going on around me right now and in the near future? This is a step I often forget to factor in when creating my goals. You need to remember the non-writing goals you have when creating your writing ones because the two don’t always coincide. For example, my kids will all be finished school by the end of June so most of my daytime writing will be gone having them all at home. Therefore, it’s wiser for me to make a bunch of smaller goals from now until the fall when my kids go back to school so I don’t get frustrated or overwhelmed. It’s better to have a few smaller goals or baby step goals leading to a larger one than to cram too much on your pile.
At this point, I re-write my goals with the mental promise to check in with my list again for my next big clean up in the fall. Doing this helps keep me on track, organized and inspired. Of course, life isn’t always predictable and can throw a monkey wrench at us even with a solid plan in place. But doing a little Spring Cleaning in our writing is a great way to keep us moving forward.
Feel free to share your own ways to ‘clean up’ your writing and writing goals.