We’re already less than a month into 2019 and maybe things are already looking a little daunting. But it’s okay. Breathe. Your goals are here for the slaying, the day for the taking, the year for the making! And if you think your goals are Just Impossible, here are a few tips to get you through them:
Finish a Manuscript
Small Goals = Big Results
You might think writing 200 words a day doesn’t get you very far, but consider how many days there are in a year! If you write that tiny bit every day will get you to 73,000 words by the end of the year and if you take off even a whopping 115 days a year for vacations, birthdays, or blockages, that’s still an entire NaNoWriMo!
Plan Where You Can
Planning isn’t for everyone, and don’t I know it! But even as a notorious pantzer (i.e. “one who writes by the seat of one’s pants”), sometimes it’s nice to step back, see how far I’ve come and what still needs to be done.
I’m a fan of what I call my Fancy Checklists. Taking the time to hand-letter and carefully write out each step helps me stay calm and focused, and checking off all those teeny boxes is oh-so-satisfying.
Take a Challenge
NaNoWriMo is great and all (former minion-to-the-ML here!) but man does it have a lot of rules! When to write, what to write, how much… Sure there are rebels in there somewhere, but even then, it doesn’t quite feel right. So do your own goal! Try to finish a manuscript – just the main plot and nothing else in a month! Write 20,000 words, 30,000 words, or fill an entire notebook in a month or two!
April tends to be a really good month for this. Nothing happens in April except rain and misery.
Free Worksheet: 200 Word a Day Monthly Countdown
Build a Platform
Tweet or Post (at least) Every Day
Whatever your poison is, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Insta, Goodreads, or one of those more obscure secrety-secret apps like Litsy, make sure you’re putting something out there at least every day. Update us all on how your project is going, share a new bit of research, join a hashtag game, or link your latest blog – whatever it takes to keep your audience engaged.
Join a Writing Group and Make Friends
There are so many writing groups out there on Facebook, Twitter, and more where you can find people to bounce ideas off of, share your goal triumphs, and commiserate with.
Twitter regularly has “chats” around the clock virtually every day where participants answer questions in the space of an hour and there are many great Discord servers, Goodreads groups, and subreddits for you to discover!
Remember all of those friends you just made? It’s time to swing by with a plate of cookies, a bottle of wine, and a favor to ask. Cross-promotion through things like guest posting on blogs, podcast appearances, and guest hosting Twitter chats is great for both parties because it gets the word out to both circles of friends, which promotes both yourself and the platform you’re visiting!
Free Worksheet: 20 Ways to Build a Platform: A Study in Winning
Publishing is something you definitely can’t pantz your way out of, it takes a lot of conscious thought and serious plotting to get there.
Keep a list of agents, agencies, editors, or publishers who make the things you like. Make checklists, timelines, calendars, and ideas for future marketing. Whether you’re going traditional or not, you need to have a good idea of what you’re doing and what steps to take next.
Hit the Books
While books about books sound like something out of a Christopher Nolan nightmare, people who have obviously already been published are one of the best resources for Getting There. There’s also the Writer’s Market, a huge encyclopedia of publishers and agents that comes out yearly. These are a bit pricey so it’s best borrowed from the local library. I like making a trip out of it!
Just be careful that anything you read is up-to-date, information even as year or two out of date can be incorrect!
Make a Wish Come True
One of the best resources for aspiring writers these days is the Manuscript Wish List. Here, agents will put up a profile and an updated list of what kind of books they’d like to represent. The #MSWL hashtag is also used liberally by agents and editors and publishers, so checking this every day – or every 12 hours! – will help you get in touch with people who can make your own wishes come true.
Free Worksheet: The Year to Get Published: The Fanciest of All Checklists
What are your 2019 hashtag-goals? How are you going to make this your Best Writing Year Ever?
Share in the comments!