Friday Speak Out!: Your Writing Goals: DARE to Reach Them , Guest Post by Katrina Robinson

Friday, December 09, 2011
Your Writing Goals: DARE to Reach Them

by Katrina Robinson

Most of us have the same yearly ritual. We march into the New Year armed with a lengthy list of resolutions. In January we join fitness centers and buy the latest fad contraption guaranteed to tone our bodies. We plan to write the next bestselling novel and sell at least a dozen articles. However, after a couple of months, the determination begins to wane. Our exercise equipment is buried under a mound of clothes and we need a GPS system to find our way back to the gym. We haven’t written a word in weeks and stacks of writing reference books are gathering dust in a corner.

Resolutions are big on New Year’s Eve, but it’s hard to make them stick around for a lengthy stay. Still, we can use these tips to have a lasting committed relationship with our goals, instead of an empty one-night stand.

Details: Keep it Concrete
Unfortunately, vague and lofty aspirations stay vague and remain out of reach. It’s important for us to make our goals concrete and specific. National Novel Writing Month is a good example of a concrete goal. We will write 50,000 words in a month. (Even if we regret 49,995 of them once the month is over).

Association: Create a Support System
It’s important to find or create a group of like-minded individuals. Additionally, social networking sites make it easy to befriend or follow those with similar interests. Writers can “follow” an array of literary professionals on Twitter, and entering terms like “writing contest” or “seeking submissions” in the search function may result in new opportunities.

Realistic Steps: Start Small and Build on Little Victories
Our goals are like marathons. If we start out too fast or too strong, we may burn out before the halfway point. If we stay on track we will get to the finish line eventually, even if it takes a long time and a lot of baby steps. Instead of forcing ourselves to finish a chapter, we should try to finish a page. Then keep going.

Etch it Out: Write it Down and Keep it Visible
Many motivation experts extol the virtues of writing down our goals. In addition to writing down our goals, we should keep them in sight. We can frame our goals. Then we can place them on our desk or on our wall – looming above us and challenging us to keep writing. For those of us who are severely dedicated, we could even devise a contraption that would cause our framed goals to fall on us if we stop writing. No pain…

So, let’s all accept the DARE by following these steps. Then, we can celebrate a long-term stable relationship with our goals and move beyond a short-term fling.

Two Questions: What are your writing goals? What strategies do you use to keep them?

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Katrina Robinson is a freelance writer from Virginia. Her publishing credits include articles in V Magazine for Women, poetry in Enchanted Conversation (the Beauty and the Beast issue as well as the Snow White issue), and a story in W.W. Norton’s Hint Fiction Anthology. Currently, she’s attending the Creative Writing and Publishing Arts Program at the University of Baltimore. Follow her on Twitter for information geared toward writers and readers.


Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Katrina Robinson said...

Thanks for the comment! And thanks to WOW for publishing my post! Two of my writing goals: To submit at least one piece (to a contest or paying market) each month and to free-write for at least 10 minutes a day.

Hope Clark said...

My work with FundsforWriters is pretty set in stone with its weekly deadlines, but my fiction takes diligence. I don't broadcast the deadlines I've set for myself, however, because I've read that broadcasting goals and deadlines takes some of the momentum out of our mission. I just don't want to sabotage anything!

Hope Clark

Katrina Robinson said...

Hope, thanks for sharing! That's a great point! Let me add that your weekly work with FundsforWriters is amazing and inspiring.

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