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5 Tips to Achieve Your Writing Goals This Year

Updated on January 15, 2023
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Cygnet Brown is a high school and middle school substitute teacher. She is the author of fourteen books and a long-time gardener.

According to the 80/20 rule, 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts. By making a plan, reevaluating that plan, and revising this plan, I can achieve optimal writing success.

So many ideas exist out there trying to take me away from working on my writing. Every day I focus on making my livelihood by writing which is a very competitive occupation. Because the competition is so steep, I realize that I must discover the best ways to make the best use of not just my writing time, but my time in general. To do this, I have to sit down and create some strategies in order to make that happen.

Make a Daily Plan

First, I have had to make a daily plan I ask myself, "What is the job I need to accomplish today?" (Actually, I should say tomorrow because I do my daily planning at the end of the previous workday) – I think objectively about all the jobs that my writing entails and what will be the best use of my time today. What do I expect from today? Is it reasonable to expect that from me today? Is this what I need to be doing with my time?

Once I have created the list, I then sit down and write down everything I want to do. I know that I cannot do everything, so I first look over the list of things that I did not do the previous day. Are these things that I really need to add to the list? Are they items that I really need to do? I look down at the list. I then prioritize each item on the list by giving it a number. One is the most important, two to the second, and so on.

Focus On a Few Goals

When setting short-term goals for my writing business, I know that focusing on a smaller number, say three to four goals, is a better idea than trying to juggle a lot all at once. I do have a larger number of goals that I want to accomplish, but there are only so many hours in the day so it is important to work on a smaller number of projects and work them to completion than to have many half-finished projects. Projects that I have already started that are important, but are not yet done usually take priority over other items on the list.

Plan Quarterly Rather Than Annual Goals

I started quarterly planning last July and I have discovered that this one tip increases my focus more than I realized it would. These few hours spent every quarter helped me identify and focus on the most important 3-4 goals I want to accomplish during that quarter. If I do not complete a goal, it remains as one of my goals for the following quarter. These quarterly goals make excellent deadlines for me to accomplish those 3-4 goals on my list.

Focusing On One Major Project per Month

I further divide my goals into projects that I work on every month. For instance, during the next three months, one of my goals is to finish the second draft of my current novel. That means that my project for this month is to add 10 thousand new words to it. Divided through the month, that means 400 words per day for 25 days this month. It is not a difficult plan, as long as I stick to it.

Create Systems for Success

I have developed some systems that are helping me produce better results every day. Systems are simply routines that develop from good habits. During my quarterly planning sessions, I take time to evaluate the systems I have in place and work to improve them so that I have even more success.

Every morning begins with much the same routine. After my morning hygiene, I sit down and work on one of my writing projects. Afterward, I open e-mails and do a few related ongoing social media projects. I then have lunch. In the afternoon, I work on marketing projects related to book sales. Sometimes I get out of the house and run errands as well during that time. I finish the official work day by determining what I intend to work on the next day. After dinner cleanup, I either meet with friends or colleagues or read a book (usually related to my work.)

Making Adjustments like a Rudder on a Ship

Every day, these five tips help me achieve my writing goals by following these five steps. A rudder on a ship that seems small, but directs the ship to its destination. In much the same way, these five tips guide my own writing to my goals and my destination.

Remember how I said at the beginning of the article that only 20% of what we do accounts for 80% of our accomplishments? It is important that I re-evaluate everything that I do on a regular basis. Every day it is important that I learn how to better utilize my time as a writer. In addition to working on writing better. It is necessary for me to research new and better markets for my work so that not only will I continue to do better work, but also I will be better compensated for the work that I do.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2013 Cygnet Brown


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