I write fulltime, but I also work fulltime outside the home, so I need lists to keep track of all the things I must do. I *feel* better knowing I’m organized. Or at least thinking I am. And I feel gratified in seeing all those little tasks that I’ve completed being crossed off.
As I write this, I’ve just agreed to a new three-book contract with my publisher. The very same day brought the arrival of a new granddaughter. We’re in the process of building a new addition onto our kitchen.
And here we are–starting a brand new year.
With all these changes going on, I have to keep my writing foremost. And since I’ve got the urge to stretch, try something bigger, I have to keep myself focused, super-organized and motivated.
I know many of you out there are writers. Here’s a few ideas I use to keep focused on writing:
*Write every day. It’ll become a habit. You’ll see a boost in your creativity. You’ll develop more ideas, too.
*Read, read, read. But do so slowly and pay attention to word choice. Study dialogue and character development. Consider the techniques your favorite authors use and then apply them to your own writing.
*Resist the impulse to overdo. This is a big one for me. Learn to say no. Cut back on distractions like email or computer games. But also take the time for relaxation and fun. The mind needs to replenish itself.
*Acknowledge that none of this is easy. Your family will have to pitch in and help you. Sacrifices will have to be made. You’ve got a lifestyle change to make!
*Find resources to help. Support your need to write with how-to books, your very own writing space, and a community of other writers doing what you’re doing.
My list sounds like a New Years Resolution list, doesn’t it? What better time to make resolutions than right now? Start a list of goals–or make just one big goal!
I intend to be part of that 10%. How about you?
Here’s another list that might help.
*Write your goals down. It’s a proven fact that doing so will help you succeed.
*Commit. Make the decision to write (or whatever you want to do) and stick with it. Consider a goal-making ceremony to symbolize that commitment.
*Get accountability. See above. Share your goals intentions with a group of someones who will ask you on a regular basis how you’re doing.
*Do a Goal Check-In. Before you decide what you’re going to resolve for the year, make sure you can answer an enthusiastic “YES!” to the following list of questions:
–Am I the real reason for setting this goal? (And not your husband, kids, mother, boss?)
–Do I feel alive and energized by this goal?
–Will this goal help me ahieve my life purpose or mission?
*Take a second look at your goal. Is it the same one you resolved last year? Or the year before? What makes you think you can accomplish it THIS year?
*Keep focused with reminders. Post them on your bathroom mirror. Or computer monitor. Or your palm pilot. Or your cell phone. Whatever works for you.
*Believe in yourself. Visualize yourself as successfully achieving your goal.
What about all you non-writers? Does a new year compel you to be more organized, too?
*Make a list! Here’s a fun site where you can print off all kinds of colorful lists. Best of all, they’re free!
Is your goal to have a cleaner house? Here’s a fun site that will give you tons of motivational tips. You can even sign up to to receive weekly emails–and yep, it’s all free!
*Have over-stuffed closets? Go through them and keep only the clothes that fit, that you love, and that bring your compliments. Get rid of the rest.
*Have too much make-up and toiletries cluttering your bathroom? Instead of buying multiple products, buy moisturizers, cleaners and creams that do multiple jobs. Toss expired medicines, old brushes and sponges.
*Use colorful baskets to organize office space, play areas, mudrooms.
So go for it, my friends. Make lists! Stick to your goals!
Let us know if you’re feeling motivated! Are you ready for a fresh start in 2008?