A Guest Post by Nancy Kay Grace
January brings the opportunity to create new goals for the next year. Writers need to take the time to think through what they want to accomplish in the upcoming months.
Last year I had the writing goals of launching my devotional book The Grace Impact, submitting magazine articles, and posting regularly on my blog. I wrote down these goals and kept them on my desk, which brought clarification. With the end goal in mind, I identified the necessary tasks to accomplish them. This generated a time line for action, which was a crucial step to shift my attitude; I moved beyond “Someday” thinking (“Someday I’ll submit an article” or “Someday I’ll write a book”) to take definite actions to reach those goals.
I learned more through the book launch than I anticipated, including expanding the use of social media and guest posting. I’m grateful to have had several magazine articles published online and in print. Although some of my submitted stories have not been accepted, the action of writing them has improved my skill and understanding of the process.
5 Strategies for Setting Goals
1. Be specific about what you hope to accomplish in your writing. Take the time to think through these questions:
How often will you write a blog post? An editorial calendar can help keep you on track toward your goal.
If you’re working on a major writing project, what steps do you need to take to complete it? If you are in the season of content creation, how will you nurture your creativity? If you are in the editing season, how will you encourage your spirit to persevere?
2. Plan to network with other writers, either online or face-to-face. Critique groups help sharpen your skills; conversations with other writers bring encouragement.
3. Select publications where you can submit articles or guest posts. Research the writer’s guidelines write the submission deadlines on your editorial calendar.
4. Identify conferences or workshops to attend to increase your knowledge of writing and the publishing world. The connections made at these events are valuable, as there is always someone further down the publishing path that you can learn from.
5. Continue to learn about social media. It is important for authors to increase their online visibility, but it can be overwhelming. Focus on one or two social networks and be consistent.
If setbacks should occur, re-calibrate your goals and persevere, keeping the big picture in mind.
It is worthwhile to take the time to think through your goals as a writer for the new year. Take the next step toward progress. Even small steps build confidence to press the “submit” button.
Nancy Kay Grace believes in taking the next step to make progress toward a goal. She enjoys speaking at women’s conferences and writer’s workshops, and is author of The Grace Impact. Nancy’s Internet radio show, Living Life Unedited broadcasts every Thrusday at 4 p.m. CT on the CWA Radio network. To sign up for her GraceNotes newsletter and learn more about Nancy, please go to www.nancykaygrace.com, facebook, and twitter.