Doing A Little Work Each Day: A New Year's Lesson

Saturday, February 07, 2015

I always make huge New Year's goals for writing and probably too many. Here are a few examples:

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  • Get a new website and blog
  • Finish my YA novel
  • Find an agent
  • Market my books
  • Read more
In just this short list, these five tasks are huge and overwhelming. This is why I have trouble making any progress because being a stay-at-home mom and a writer/editor is often a juggling act, where I don't feel like I have enough time for anything.

This year, I decided to take a deep breath and break big goals into little tasks. So at the end of this year, even if I haven't completely accomplished the BIG goal, I will have at least made progress toward it and be well on my way for 2016.

Here's a specific example that I've been working on in January, in the category of new website and marketing (which actually go together well). My website needed an update, and then in December, my blog disappeared. So, guess what? I was now forced to work on this task of a new website. I asked my parents to babysit one Sunday afternoon; and for two hours, I found a new template and wrote a couple new posts and some pages. I replaced my old site with a new home page and erased some old pages. It wasn't done! I had more pages to add about my books, speaking, and editing as well as widgets to add to the sidebar, but it was a start. I felt so happy when I got home. I couldn't believe the relief I felt from just working toward the goal instead of avoiding it until I had an entire day (which I never have) to tackle a new website.

Then with the new website, I created a new tagline for my work: "Be Unique. Be Strong. Be Yourself." I decided I needed to let the world know about this, so I started posting about the tagline on social media, and I blogged about it a couple times on the group blog I belong to, The Lit Ladies. I also spent a big chunk of time, one day when my husband was off work, creating a newsletter to send to my email list. This newsletter announced a picture book contest I'm having to get people to visit my new site and also the fact that I need reviews on my books. I've had a great response, and I couldn't be more thrilled with how it is all working together.

Do I still need to do more marketing? Well, yes, especially with my YA novel. I need to find teen readers, find speaking engagements, write a sequel, re-do my Tumblr and Instagram accounts, find blogs to guest on and more. But doing something each day is getting some speaking events, some books sold, and some guest blogs/reviews. So, things are starting to happen.

What's my advice for your 2015 goals? Look at how you can break them down into small bits or think of something you can do each week to work towards them. Then give yourself a pat on the back because you are moving forward!

Margo L. Dill is a children's author, speaker, editor and writing teacher. She teaches writing classes online for WOW! Women On Writing. An upcoming class, starts March 18, some might be interested in is: WRITING FOR CHILDREN: How to Get Started and Take Hold of Your Career. Check out the details here:


Anonymous said...

Great strategy, Margo! Every little bit helps!

Sioux Roslawski said...

Margo--Breaking things into smaller doable goals is always a good thing,

Good luck with achieving your goals.

Angela Mackintosh said...

It seems like everyone has been having technical problems lately! How did your blog disappear?

Your new website looks fantastic though. And I love your tagline. :)

DMS said...

What a great way to break down goals!

Best of luck with all of them! :)

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