The end of the year is a peaceful time to rest and reflect. But we all know that there’s always going to be more work to do! Here’s some advice for planning out your next year of writing:
#1 Off Button
A lot of what drains our creative energy isn’t the work itself, but our subconscious anxieties related to other responsibilities. As you plan out your writing goals one week at a time, be aware of what other demands exist on your time and mental energy. Maybe it’s work related, or you have family responsibilities. What do you have to do at the end of each day, or each week, to turn your worries ‘off’ so that you can dedicate your focus to your writing work?
#2 Three Hours
What if we really only have three hours of focused work in ourselves each day? Why would you expect yourself to get writing done if you’ve already exhausted your creative and decision-making energy on work? Pay attention to where your energy is being demanded in a day. And on writing days, don’t be too hard on yourself. What can you get done in three hours, with breaks? The secret is – if you stay focused and protect your energy in other places, you can get a lot done!
#3 Favorite Deadlines
When you’re a working writer, you start to gather knowledge about which literary magazines, organizations, and workshops sound interesting to you. Usually these opportunities have one or two deadlines in the year. Remember that you don’t have to apply every year! But, it can be helpful to look ahead and think about what you feel ready for this year. Would you like to get a writing sample together for an MFA? Do you want to apply for an advanced workshop? Submit to a competitive magazine? Having these bigger deadlines on your calendar ahead of time can help you keep your eye on the prize and stay motivated!
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