Call it a New Year’s goal if you like. I’m calling it a choice. I’m choosing that this will be a successful writing year. Easier to say than do. A hundred things will compete against me. Some days those other things will win out. That’s life. But I can start fresh each day with a “secret” arsenal of successful habits.
1. Attitude enhances your chance for success. Give yourself a pep talk. Post inspirational thoughts or award certificates near your computer. Use a reward system or whatever works for you. Somebody is going to write a great paragraph or page today. Why not YOU?
2. Successfully manage your time. We don’t find or set aside time. We manage it by prioritizing and scheduling. Ask yourself, “What matters most for today?” Stick to that plan as much as possible, even on days when writing comes lower on the list. Have no regrets—tomorrow is another day. Just make today the best that you can.
3. Plan on hard work. Recognize that almost everything takes longer or includes more effort than originally anticipated. So why do we do what we do? Just write for the love of it and know that even prep work or crappy writing has benefits. If you look at your typed page and find one sentence or paragraph worth keeping, you have achieved a measure of success. And who knows? The creative flood gates might have just been opened.
4. The more you learn, the more you realize how much you don’t know. True, but whatever knowledge we attain gives us power—the power to succeed. Each new piece of information we put into practice adds to our recipe for success. We gather the ingredients a little at a time and realize that, unlike a piece to a puzzle, there is an infinite number of ways to improve our craft and feel better about what we accomplish. Learn something new to implement through classes, how-to books, critique groups, and published examples.
How can/do these steps work for you?