Writing Goals for 2016: Plan for Publishing Success

Finished Books Must First be Started!

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Prioritizing Writing Projects

Writing can be a frustrating profession. Either we writers sit and agonize over so-called "writer's block" or we sit paralyzed as dozens of ideas swirl around all at once. I am almost always experiencing the latter.

The "Top Three" Strategy

This year I plan to focus my mind on just three priority projects at a time. You can join me by carefully considering what three projects are your top priorities for the upcoming year. Then tackle them one at a time. As a project is completed, cross it off the list add a new project to the "Top Three" -- then just keep writing. I'd welcome your comments on how this strategy works for you, as I will share my own progress with regular updates to this hub.


My Top Three Writing Projects for 2016

First, I plan to finish my writing curriculum I've been testing this academic year with homeschooled students in a co-op. My hope is the book will reach far more students than I could ever personally teach. My approach is to teach writing naturally by making students write real stuff (e.g. friendly letters, book reviews, acrostics, and paragraphs) instead of doing textbook exercises. I also read to them from the works of great writers so they can learn by example. I'm excited about kids learning to write, so I've prioritized this project.

Second, I want to turn my book outline (done on a vacation in 2013) into a finished book by spring. The outline has just been sitting all this time and my cover has already been designed. Now is the year to get this book written, edited, and published! I've let it age long enough.

Third, I plan to complete a book about my knitting design process. I am designing a sweater as I knit it and writing about how I do it, from preliminary sketch to schematic to knitting samples to finished product. A sub-goal under this project is to learn to take better photographs for my book illustrations.

Waiting in the Wings

After I accomplish my top three, I have more projects waiting to make it onto the priority list:

  • A screenplay I have conceptualized (stewing for three years or so)
  • More knitting patterns after testing (ongoing, lifetime project)
  • A book of humorous memoirs. (not yet outlined)

Side Note: Do Some Housekeeping

Yes, writing is a messy business at times. Take a little time to clean out your desk drawers (maybe you will find a long lost manuscript!) and clean up the hard drive on your computer. Get some nice new pens or pencils if the smell of a sharpened pencil inspires you. Replace an uncomfortable desk chair with an ergonomic work chair. Even buying a new notebook for jotting down ideas on the run can be a catalyst for more and better writing.

Don't clean too long, though. Writers need to write, so get going putting words on pages as soon as possible!

Share Your Goal

What is your top writing project for 2016?

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10 comments

Gawth profile image

Gawth 23 months ago from Millboro, Virginia

thanks, I needed that!!


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 23 months ago from Victoria, Australia

I've been doing the same thing! Making a list of what to finish writing and what to publish next year. It's a great idea and helps to prevent procrastination. Have a great Christmas.


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 23 months ago from North Carolina, USA Author

Merry Christmas and a productive New Year to all.


seraphic profile image

seraphic 23 months ago from Canada

I have been collecting data for a book I have been picking away at for a few years... hoping to finish it in 2015. Thanks for the inspiration and guideline... I sure need it!


awaqas1 profile image

awaqas1 23 months ago from Gananoque, Ontario

Great hub Kschimmel, You seem passionate about your goals which is a great start, you have plans on achieving them which make your goal realistic at a conscious and subconscious mind. You also seem to have Action oriented mindset which is a must in writing.

Another thing I really like is what you mentioned about creating a clutter free and inspiring environment for yourself which also helps.

Everyone who has plans for writing just keep one thing in mind, at the end it is writing which you are concerned with so if you can't seem to get to it, its best to just put your head down and, WRITE.


girlpower profile image

girlpower 23 months ago from eugene oregon

this short hub really made sense, to put down the three top projects and try to stick to them, i have so many half finished projects and outlines for books and books that are from twenty years ago that i just need to type up off of handtyped pages. Thanks for helping me get going.


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 23 months ago from North Carolina, USA Author

I should also apply this to my knitting projects. Since I often write about knitting, I have to prioritize sample knitting for a book over experimental knitting, for example. The Top Three is the only thing I've come up with that helps me settle my fidgety mind. I can set aside numbers 4-200 knowing that eventually they will make it to the list of 3.

I hope y'all will share your progress here so we can read one another's FINISHED work :)


Iris Draak profile image

Iris Draak 23 months ago from Boise, Idaho

Good tips. And best of luck in the upcoming year on your goals! :)


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 19 months ago from North Carolina, USA Author

I have to confess I'm not making the progress I'd like. Many family distractions--good and bad. Time to get back on track!


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 9 months ago from North Carolina, USA Author

Just changed the dates to reboot this project for 2016. Last year was wild--oldest son adopted triplets, assorted health issues in extended family and immediate family. Still here, though, so I keep moving :)

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