We’re looking at less than 90 days countdown to the end of 2019. Rather than seeing this as a reason for anxiety to kick in, let’s use it instead as a reason to celebrate your author victories so far this year AND plan for a successful 2020 by setting writing goals!
No victory is too small to be deserving of a party or at the very least a little fist pump of acknowledgement. Let’s gather up all that celebratory momentum and use it to power through to New Year’s 2020 which is, as we know, not just a new year, but also a new decade in your life as an author (or future one!).
1) 2019 Goal Review
What were your 2019 writing goals? You might have them written down somewhere and can dig them out now, or you might need to jot them down (or a general recollection of them) from memory.
2) Every Step You Take
Now, looking at each goal, write down every single thing you did toward making it a reality. Again – there is no nugget of progress too small to acknowledge – write it all down.
For example: Maybe you set the goal “I’m going to write a book this year.” Just because you’re not sitting here with a published book in your hands, or your manuscript in the hands of an editor or at the printer, doesn’t mean you’ve failed at your goal.
Look at the things you DID with that goal in mind:
- Did you join any writing groups, whether local and in person or online like the MANY such groups on Facebook and LinkedIn?
- Perhaps you joined a group book coaching program for an even higher level of accountability, camaraderie with other authors, and professional assistance?
- Did you start thinking about, fleshing out, or outlining your book idea?
- Did you make it a point to start journaling regularly as a way of conditioning your writing muscles?
- Did you start reading books to research the art of writing, the business of publishing, or reading fiction novels as a way of immersing yourself in the language and literary tools you’ll need to write a quality book (including nonfiction)?
- Perhaps you’ve found another author as a “writing buddy” or accountability partner.
- Maybe you’ve already started doing research involved in the content for your future book, including studying what’s out there on the market already.
No matter how small of a step you took, this is the time to write it down and acknowledge yourself. With every step you take, you’re declaring your intention of moving forward as an author!
Next, take a look at any productivity and/or writing habits you’ve put in place and/or practiced regularly this year.
- Perhaps you’ve prioritized reading regularly more this year than you’ve done in the past (because to write you MUST read).
- Or maybe you’ve looked up “writing prompts” online, random, fun writing exercises to get yourself writing and sharpen your skills.
- Perhaps you’ve trained yourself (especially if you’re a fan of my daily show “Your Daily Writing Habit” ) to unplug as you write, as a way of focusing your attention and increasing productivity. Did you create some sort of writing ritual – certain music, candles, meditation beforehand, etc. – that made you more productive?
- Or maybe you discovered that exercising in the morning enhances your overall creativity.
Document ALL your productivity habits – even ones seemingly unrelated to writing your book!
4) Lock it In
Now take both lists – the actions you’ve taken toward your writing goals (#2 above), and the habits you’ve put into place this year (#3 above), and grab a highlighter. Highlight the actions and habits that you’ve done the most consistently, the ones you’ve done the most frequently (or can see yourself really committing to in the future), and the ones, quite frankly, that you’ve enjoyed the most. Lock them in!
5) End the Year Strong
Make a list of those highlighted actions and habits, and SCHEDULE the actions into your calendar on a regular basis between now and the end of the year. What gets scheduled is most likely to get done! Name the list your “Power Writing Goals” or “Author 2020” or whatever name or phrase sparks excitement in you.
6) 2020 Plan
When you sit down to plan out your 2020 – however you document your plans and vision for the upcoming year – be sure and incorporate your writing goals into your plan (and SCHEDULE) for a successful new year!
Use the rest of this year as an opportunity to lock in your writing actions and habits so when 2020 comes around, they’ll be a regular part of your routine – they’ll be second nature. That way, when you’re writing your 2020 goals and “write a book” pops up (once again for many of you) – you’ll already have the actions and habits in place to tackle that goal proactively and head on!!!
PS: For the live audio version of this discussion with BONUS content not found above, look up Episode #173 of my daily show “Your Daily Writing Habit.” (Click on the clock icon for a drop down menu of episode numbers.)