"The dandelions and buttercups gild all the lawn: the drowsy bee stumbles among the clover tops, and summer sweetens all to me." James Russell Lowell
It's always in July that I look up from the keyboard and think where has the year gone? Here it is July 18th, that means if you made writing goals for the year you have only five more months to achieve those writing goals...Are you the drowsy bee stumbling among the clover or are you the productive writer who understands that only passion and perseverance will get you to publication? That's not to say you shouldn't be enjoying your summer vacation but don't let the three months of summer pass by without checking in on your progress...
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- Are your goals measurable? Can you tell when you're done? Or does this goal never end?
- Do you have a date for completion? Setting a date makes it measurable, i.e. I will send out seven queries by July 31, 2012.
- Make your writing goals realistic. If you're just starting out it's probably not realistic to think you will be published in The New Yorker with your first short story. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try...but also send your story into other publications.
- Accountability. Share your goals with a writing partner or your writing group. And ask for help if you're struggling getting through a project. Sometimes just talking about a writing project with another writer will give you insight into how to move forward.
- Consider taking a short break. What? Maybe you need a weekend away or a day or two of play to think about the next steps. Maybe a new location can stimulate the creative juices.
- Don't be afraid to reevaluate and rewrite your goals. Maybe in January finishing your manuscript seemed very doable but many things got in the way. A new house. A move. A career change. That's not to say you shouldn't push yourself but maybe you can rewrite the goals so you will feel success at the end of the year. Outline the last two chapters might sound more doable than finishing a manuscript.
- Face down rejection!
Now get back to work!
The Writing Nag