Stick to It:
Tips to Help You Stick with
Your Writing Goals
© Cheryl Malandrinos- All Rights
It’s the start of a new year and most writers are thinking
about New Year’s resolutions and writing
like New Year’s resolutions, writing goals seem to be
made to be broken. A few weeks into
January and you’re already falling behind on what you
planned to accomplish.
It looks like this
will be another year filled with disappointments and
No, not this year!
You’re going to focus
on your writing goals, pat yourself on the back when you
accomplish what you had set out to do, and make this year
your most productive one yet.
Write a Business
While it would be nice
if you could concentrate solely on the creative side of
writing, the reality is that writing is a business and must
be treated as such.
Write up a business
plan that describes your mission and provide details on how
you will achieve it. You can use this business
plan to set your goals.
Post your business
plan in your work area where it is easily
will help motivate and encourage you to move
One of the things I
talk about in my Organize Your Writing Life
workshop is the need to set goals that are specific,
measurable, attainable, realistic and timely; otherwise
known as S.M.A.R.T. goals.
goals is vital to your productivity. Goals that are too vague,
unrealistic, or immeasurable can only increase your chances
of failure. You
quickly become discouraged, begin to procrastinate, and soon
abandon your writing goals.
Don’t let that happen
Take the time to set
up S.M.A.R.T. goals from the start. For more about S.M.A.R.T.
goals you can read this article - http://writer2writer.com/smart-goals.htm
Break Down Your
Once you have your
S.M.A.R.T. goals in place, you need to break them down into
smaller more manageable chunks.
Write out a weekly
to-do list so that you can chop away at your goals one step
at a time. Make
sure you review this list daily, check off what you
accomplished, and make a plan for what you’ll work on the
Maybe it sounds like
you’re in dog obedience class now, but rewards are important
to helping you stick with your goals. If you’ve had a productive
month, don’t be afraid to treat yourself to something
I’ve treated myself to
manicures, massages, and new clothes after a month of
plowing through my to-do lists. Whatever you decide to do,
make it memorable and consider taking a picture so that you
can hang it next to your business plan to motivate you to
This has been a lesson
I’ve learned the long, hard way. You are only one person
and there are only so many hours in the day. You can’t do it all by
There is no shame in
learning to say “no”.
It’s not always easy,
but if you want to have a balance between your personal and
professional lives, it’s a must. For more on learning to
say “no”, you can read this article -
Ask for Help and
Writing can be a
lonely business. Tied to your computer for
hours on end—which I don’t recommend for health reasons—you
don’t have the opportunity to interact with
let’s face it, no one really understands what you’re going
through except another writer.
Don’t be afraid to ask
family and friends for help. Whether it is to finish
household chores or to run errands, family and friends will
be eager to help out if it means you’ll be able to spend
time together later.
Support from other
writers will help keep you motivated and eager to work
toward accomplishing your goals. Consider joining a local
If there isn’t one, there are plenty of online writing
communities that offer various types of support to
of the writers I know, I have met online, and they are some
of the best folks around when it comes to supporting me
during all kinds of weather.
Armed with these
tools, you have what you need to stick to your writing goals
all year long.
You have the power to make your writing dreams come
CherylC. Malandrinos is a freelancer who
specializes in helping writers increase productivity through
time management and organization. She has also written
articles on everyday life in the 1800’s, gardening, parenting,
and women’s health issues. Cheryl is also a virtual book tour
coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion. You can find out
more about Cheryl by visiting her website at