January 3, 2010

Jumpstart Your Writing in 2010

The holidays are over, and it's back to the business of writing. Today, I invite you to take some quiet time to reflect on 2009 and look forward to 2010. Think about the following questions, and answer them as honestly as possible. Don't rush -- put some real thought into this. It will be well worth your effort.

1. In which major genre did you write most often in 2009, fiction or nonfiction? Now, break that down even further into sub-genres, like poetry, drama, romance, adventure, comedy….

2. Was there a specific theme that kept recurring in your writing last year?

3. Which of your 2009 writing projects are you most proud of and why?

4. Did you receive negative feedback about your writing last year? How did you react?

5. In what ways did your writing improve in 2009?

6. Regarding your writing last year, do you have any regrets or disappointments?

7. What major lessons about being a writer did you learn in 2009?

Now that you've answered these questions, look for patterns in your writing that you might want to change. Ask yourself if there were things that you wish you had done differently. Celebrate your victories. Learn from your mistakes. The slate is wiped clean, and 2010 ushers in a brand new start.

Based on what you learned by answering the questions, the next step is to create five writing goals for 2010. Here are some guidelines:

• Keep them realistic and simple. It's better to set small attainable goals. Once you've accomplished them, you can move on to bigger ones. St. Francis of Assisi said: "Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." Keep that in mind when you set your goals.

• Make them specific and measurable. Say exactly what you hope to accomplish, and assign each goal a due date.

• Write them down. Post your goals near your writing workstation where you can see them every day.

• Take them public. Telling others about your writing goals helps to make you more accountable. Going public also provides you with a support group. Consider blogging about your goals and updating your progress.

What are you waiting for? Jump into the new year and start writing!

Tell us, what are your writing goals for 2010?


Margaret Ann Abrahams said...

Hi Jean
Thanks for these jumpstart questions. What an interesting suggestion - to identify any recurring themes in your writing.
One of my goals for 2010 is to write about a page on my WIP each day before checking e-mail - which is something of an addiction for me. So far, it's been working. E-mail is the carrot. I've been writing every day.

Amy Simon said...

Good things to think about! My goals for 2010 are to:
1. blog weekly
2. submit articles or queries each month
3. finish the 1st draft of my WIP by Feb 1 (about 500 words a day)
4. keep subbing my finished book to agents and publishers
5. revise my NaNoWriMo novel and my current WIP (when done)
6. craft development - read books, work at eliminating cliche's
7. look for homes for reprints and rejcted articles (resub 2 per month)

We'll see if that's unrealistic...


Jean Fischer said...

Thanks for your comments, Margaret and Amy! I wish you happy and productive writing in 2010.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Faith Imagined said...

1) Go back to my first love, fiction
2) Let go of other obligations to make room to read more fiction
3) Keep a book with me at all times so I can read while kids are playing, laundry is drying,etc.
4) Edit my book again, using what I've learned in 09
5) Always be mindful of ultimate reader, God

Jean Fischer said...

Anonymous, thank you for your compliment, comments, and encouragement.

Jean Fischer said...

Hi, Faith Imagined.

Thank you for sharing your goals with us. I especially like #5.

Carla Gade said...

What an excellent exercise! Thank you for this post. I'll give it some great thought.


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean -

Thanks for a different spin on the usual New Year post. :)

Loved the pic! "Charlotte's Website" is my favorite.


Jean Fischer said...

Hi, Carla.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Please stop by again.


Jean Fischer said...


"Charlotte's Website" was my favorite, too ;-)