At New Year, every writing website seems to be full of people setting writing goals, telling me what goals to set and how to set goals. And then… nothing. Where are the reminders to check in, and the advice for how to stay on track or get back on track? For years, I barely even remembered in April what my goals had been in January.
That was the rationale behind my plan for this month: a spring clean of my writing life. In the real world, sunny April is time to clean the windows and air the bedrooms. And in my writing world, April is time to spring clean my hard drive and notebooks and air my forgotten goals and dreams.
Spring Clean Your Goals
When it comes to process goals, I am not doing too badly. I aimed to participate in ten Book-in-a-Week (BIW) challenges and I have only missed one, so unless I miss any more I will still be on target at the end of the year.
However, when it comes to results, things are a little different. I have been way busier with the day job than I expected to be, and as a result, writing outside BIWs has taken a back seat. Over the next few months, I have booked more weekend days to commit to writing, and I am scaling back the number of writing projects I expect to complete, so that my goals are more manageable with my new responsibilities.
What about you? Are you on track so far, or do you need to adjust your goals, your habits, or both?
Spring Clean Your Projects
Being something of a butterfly, I tend to flit between a lot of unrelated projects rather than focusing on one until completion. This month I have been taking stock of all the projects I have started, and putting them into three categories:
- Nearly there – just needs a quick polish and sending out into the world.
- Needs some serious work, but has potential.
- What on earth was I thinking?
All the Group 3 projects are now in an archive file in case I suddenly find a use for them later, but I am not going to waste any more thought on them for now. Instead, I have a short list of nearly-there projects I can pick up and polish when I have a small amount of time free, and a longer list of big projects, from which I have picked one as the focus of my next few writing days.
Do you have any lapsed projects you could easily revive, or finished ones just waiting to be submitted?
Spring Clean Your Resources
Since finishing my MA in Creative Writing, I have missed the structure and inspiration it gave me for my writing projects. I love NaNoWriMo, but November is a long way away and I wanted a quick infusion of inspiration. I think I may have discovered the ideal shot-in-the-arm for flagging creativity in the form of the NaNoWriMo team’s latest book Ready, Set, Novel!, so I will be working through their exercises in the coming weeks. I have also scheduled for a conference in July, which is always a great boost.
What else do you need in your life in order to meet your writing goals?