Or Writing Strategy?
It's that time of year when many of us are thinking of the days and months ahead. For a writer this is a crucial time. Writing doesn't just happen as we all know, often at a cost, and a little time spent thinking about what you want to achieve in the next 12 months is time well spent. Many of you may have been caught up in the notion of making 'resolutions' only to let yourself down by the end of January. I've been reading a lot these past few days about why that just doesn't work. I used to be a resolution maker, thinking that the dreams I had on New Years Day were there for the taking. But the trouble was as with all dreams, is they don't just happen. A little like writing. There is nothing wrong with dreaming and if you're just happy with the thoughts then dream away. But if you want things to work, if you want writing success then there's a little bit of work to do and not just this week, for the other 51 weeks too.
A couple of suggestions struck me when I was thinking about my writing plan this week. The first was about having a strategy, so having a means to an end, rather than thinking about the end. This of course means goals, some small chunks of action that will get you the big dream. I don't know why I'm surprised by this revelation, it's a method I used in my previous life, before I was a writer and it seemed to work then. The trouble is with us writers, we do tend to be a bit dreamy, sucking at the end of our pen, waiting for the muse... and if you're like me and a Pisces, then it's double trouble.
The second thing was about making the goals personal. So putting 'I will' in front of an action is much more active and personal to you that it makes it more obligatory. I know, I know. A lot of this is probably psycho-babble but if it works for you why not? Simon Whaley blogged this week on a similar subject of just getting on with the task in hand, for if you don't 'just do it' - it won't happen. And the results could be quite surprising.
So whichever way you want to play it, repeat after me...
Don't Think Just Write!