Is 2121 going to be your best writing year ever?
This year will be different, you say.
This year you will definitely make time to write, you say.
You didn’t do it over the last year, but you will definitely do it next year.
But you said that last year.
And the year before that!
It is so tricky chasing our writing dreams.
Before you get through 2021 in the same way as before, here are three ways to make sure your writing stays front and centre stage all year, no matter what life or work throws at you!
These tips have helped the writers in our online writing community, Writers Ink move themselves to the next level over the last year.
1. Let go of fear
The number one thing that stops people from getting what they want and deserve in life and in writing is FEAR.
Fear of failure, fear of writing, fear of success. We all know the saying ‘feel the fear and do it anyway…’.
But actually forcing yourself and ‘doing it’ can cause writers to freeze in a constant haze of writers block, sometimes for years.
Fear does have a simple solution though.
If you’re always waiting for the time when you will feel confident, good luck with that!
You don’t need to feel confident to do anything in life. In my opinion, you just need the courage.
And I like that, because it means that you don’t have to believe in yourself (yet), you can still have self-doubt, be nervous, even anxious and still do that thing you so badly want to do.
You don’t have to even believe that your writing is good enough.You just have to muster up the courage to mess up, learn from mistakes, take on board feedback, be prepared for some people not to like your words, toughen up for rejection, do the writing, stay the course…
2. Goals and progress
Who makes a great song and dance of carefully crafting their writing goals for the year and then sticks them in a drawer, never to be seen again?
We’ve got all the good intentions for the first week of January….
We’ll be up at 5am to meditate and do some yoga. Then we’ll make some coffee and sit down at our desk to write our 3,000 words a day. Sure, it will all be grand! We’ll have that 100,000 word novel whipped up before summer…
Come the second week of January, you’re glued to Netflix in your pyjamas, eating the leftover Roses chocolates and telling yourself you’ll definitely start writing again on Monday!
Progress alone is very slow. The writing life can be lonely and there’s no one to hold you accountable except yourself.
If you’re a terrible taskmaster, find an accountability partner or join a writing group. It’s going to stop you from stopping and will keep your goals front and centre, all week every week throughout the year.
Set a writing goal weekly – tell someone about it – write it on a post-it and put it above your desk where you will see it. Don’t kid yourself you’ll write 3,000 words a day – start with the lowest amount that you KNOW you will get done. Author Joanne Harris writes 300 words a day, all day every day. Even the most experienced procrastinator among us could probably stick to that!
3. Refine your habits and look at your environment.
Do you tell yourself you want to write, but you don’t have a space that’s dedicated to writing?
Do you say you’ll write every day but you don’t carve out time for yourself where that could actually happen?
Do you tell yourself you’re a writer but do a lot of thinking about writing, reading about writing but very little actual writing?
Our habits determine the person we become. You’ve heard all the super achievers talk about setting themselves up for success and you need to do the same to get your writing moving.
Want to be successful? Surround yourself with successful people.
Want to be happy? Surround yourself with happy people.
Want to do more writing? Surround yourself with writers.
Writing doesn’t have to be lonely, and meeting up regularly with other writers will spur you on. Find a course, join a book club, or an online group like Writers Ink can put you in touch with other writers and allow you to branch out creatively.
In essence, we become more like the people we hang out with. Motivational speaker and author Jim Rohn famously said: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
The brilliant thing about being around positive minded individuals, who have a habit of chasing their writing dreams and believe in taking responsibility for their lives, is that you’ll be inclined to grow in a positive direction as well.
They will have an impact on your thinking and consequently your behaviour. They will support you on your journey and move you towards inspired action.
Maximise the amount of time you spend with these people!
Remember, missing a target or two won’t ruin your end result but starting with a solid intention and goal will help you commit to writing and make you a better writer.
* The Writers Ink VIP Club is opening its doors in January. We normally only open after challenge week but we’ve had some requests to join so we’re opening for one week only in January. This is your chance!
No more procrastination.
No more fearful moments and panic.
No more loneliness and talking to yourself (or the cat/dog).
For less than half the price of a coffee a day, you can join what we believe is one of the best writing groups on the internet!
Writers Ink is not for everyone but if you like to surround yourself with positive and supportive people, want to be a better writer, want regular feedback on your work and want to avoid NOT fulfilling your dreams this year, you can message or email us to find out more information.
Created by bestselling crime writer Sam Blake (aka Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin) and journalist and coach Maria McHale (aka me) – we’ll have you believing in yourself and your writing like never before!
Action taking writers can join right here and the group will be open to you on the second week of January! The monthly cost is €49 or you can pay here. https://www.writing.ie/product/writers-ink-vip/
(c) Maria McHale