I’ve written resolutions on New Year’s Day faithfully since I was 8 year old. And somehow resolutions related to writing have almost always appeared. Some years I needed the writing resolutions more than others. Until I got married, I hardly needed them…I have 65 filled journals to prove my writing was free and unfettered!
Times change. I now have five children, 14 chickens and other THINGS happening in my life. Now my writing seems anything but unfettered. I make writing goals because without them, I don’t write; not because I don’t still love writing, but because the momentum of life makes my choices for me.
Now that you’re seventeen days into the new year, how are your writing goals going? Are you writing faithfully every day? Have you revised that novel? Are ideas and creativity filling your mind and your heart?
Yes? If you’re still fired up and achieving your goals, congrats! But if you’ve already hit a few rocks in your road to writing success, I’m right there with you. Here are three things I do to keep me writing, no matter how many rocks I’m stumbling over to get to my ideal writing summit.
- Join a challenge. Don’t hesitate. Joining Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 challenge 5 years ago, changed my writing life forever. I’ve written at least one picture book manuscript every month for the last 4 years. I wrote my first MG novel during National Novel Writing Month. I’m currently writing an idea a day for Tara Lazar’s Storystorm, and now I’m preparing for and coordinating Reading for Research Month with Carrie Charley Brown. These challenges keep me honest and creative, and most importantly, they keep me writing.
- Join a critique group. Groups like Writer’s Rumpus give much needed support in a very solitary profession. Share your work. Read and critique other’s work. This is what makes writing worthwhile and powerful and increasingly better.
- Make space for your writing. Turn off the internet. Let your family know it is writing time. Schedule space for writing the marvelous words and stories that only you can create! And I’m going to add one more thing…
- Have compassion for yourself. We are always kinder to other people than we are to ourselves. Allow things to happen and be flexible. Let go of the guilt you feel for scrapping your writing plans to help your son with his homework. The words will be there when you finish helping your son…and who knows, the experience may help you with your next WIP!
What helps you continue to write throughout the year?
Kirsti, I am lucky to be at the stage in my life where I have lots of writing time available most days. But I needed to read your #4 about having compassion for yourself. Thanks for your inspiration!
I am another person who needs “things/people” to keep me accountable. Thanks Kristi!
I love this post, Kirsti! Thank you for the shout-out to 12 x 12 but really, a challenge is only as good as the person who takes up the challenge. I also love #4 about having compassion for yourself. I have found that beating myself up seldom makes me more productive, nor does it make writing more enjoyable. Here’s to a GREAT writing year in 2017!
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I love things that keep me accountable! Especially when I my schedule is so crazy. 🙂 Thanks for this reminder of the many blessings offered through the kidlit community.
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You’re welcome, Carrie Charley Brown. Glad to be part of the kitlit community with you!