It’s that time of year...bustling crowds in malls, shoppers lining up in endless droves, bulging virtual carts at Amazon and other e-retailers...all in pursuit of the perfect gift. We make a list, check it twice, and the jump into the holiday fray, looking forward to the joy our thoughtful presents will bring.
But in all this rushing and wrapping, inevitably we forget one very important person on our Christmas list: ourselves.
Have you thought about what to give yourself this Christmas?
I’m sure you’ve hinted to loved ones about your wish list. Likely an array of writerly things, such as books (we love our books!), software or hardware to help your write, and maybe a few other fun, bookish things. But there is one gift only you can give yourself, an offering that will paint the future and help set your steps in the New Year: A RENEWAL OF YOUR PURPOSE.
As one year wraps up with a scenic sleigh ride into Christmas, we are presented with a great opportunity to take stock and reflect on the strides we made toward our writing goals. This window between one year and the next is the perfect time to recommit to our writerly purpose, and lay the foundation for a fantastic and productive future. All it takes is 3 easy steps!
Take a moment to look at this passing year, and what you accomplished. Maybe you wrote a new novel, or even polished and published one. Perhaps you worked on building your platform, or researched the industry in order to feel more confident about submitting to agents. Likely there are also a few things you hoped to do, but ran out of time. That’s how it goes.
With each new year, the slate wipes clean. Now is a great time to make a list of new goals for yourself, goals that are realistic and achievable. Write down what you want to concentrate on during this next year, areas in which to improve. Maybe you wish to further your craft, strengthen your marketing skills, build your platform or get organized. Formalize your commitment by making a simple business plan, one you can print out and keep by your computer. Each day, look at it and ask yourself: is what I am doing right now helping me achieve my goals?
Success happens when we follow through, so stick to your plan. Write up a storm and embrace learning, because the more we learn, the more we grow! Each of you will have different areas of focus in the coming year, but here are a few helpful starting points to consider that may help.
Hone Your Craft:
Flex Your Marketing Muscle:
Build Your Platform:
Investigate the Industry:
YOUR TURN: What do you hope to achieve this coming year? Do you have a plan of action to get there? Let me know in the comments!
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Angela Ackerman is a writing coach and co-author of three bestselling resources, The Emotion Thesaurus: a Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, The Positive Trait Thesaurus: a Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes andThe Negative Trait Thesaurus: a Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws. A proud indie author, her books are sourced by US universities and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors and psychologists around the world. Angela can be found at the popular site, Writers Helping Writers, which specializes in building innovative tools for writers that cannot be found elsewhere.
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