This is a guest post by Erica St. Claire. Erica St. Claire is a guest post author who shares with us her tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions for writing. She also writes for Best Catholic Dating Sites where she focuses on educating readers on safe online dating.
Just days into the New Year, we are filled to the brim with optimistic plans for actually maintaining our resolutions past the month of January. If you are a writer who has resolved to set forth on a journey that will land you a spot on the New York Times Best Seller List (or maybe you’re just aiming to start your own blog), here are a few steps for keeping up with your writing resolutions that will add to the happiness, prosperity and health that you are looking forward to in 2012.
Step #1: Define your goals. Sure, “become a better writer” is a great resolution, but to make your resolution one that you keep, you’ve got to hone in on a more specific goal. Rather than a generalized resolution, make precise promises like “I will compile a collection of my poetry in a book by the end of the year” or “I will pen my thoughts in a journal every single day.” When you clearly define your resolutions, you will find it easier to track your progress and reach your end goal.
Step #2: Be realistic. Don’t get me wrong—you’ve got to have dreams. Dreams are what inspire us when the world feels nothing short of cold and cruel. However, it’s important to be realistic with your New Year’s resolutions. If you are committed to a day job or have a lifestyle that doesn’t afford much extra time to dedicate to your craft, you’ve got to factor that into your writing equation. Set attainable goals that coincide with other parts of your life so you don’t get frustrated or overwhelmed with the urge to throw your resolutions and your laptop out the window.
Step #3: Put it in writing. If you put your resolution on a notecard in black and white and hang it somewhere you will see it each day (next to your laptop, on the fridge, in your wallet, etc.) you will be reminded of what you are working towards. Write down your overall goal and include mini-goals with deadlines along the way. As you cross each checkpoint off the list, you will be encouraged to make it to the finish line!
Step #4: Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you are having difficulties achieving success with your New Year’s writing resolutions, don’t beat yourself up about it. Your resolutions are goals that you will be working on throughout the year. All great writers know that great writing takes time, practice and dedication. They also know that a few steps backwards are bound to happen; look at them as small bumps in the road and as opportunities to get back on track after learning from mistakes.
Step #5: Visualize success. With a positive outlook and a mindset geared towards your 2012 resolution, visualize each step along the way as you near closer to fulfilling what you set out to accomplish with your writing. To stick to your resolution, think of the good feelings that you will have as you make progress towards reaching your goals. Visualize a successful end result and have a Happy New Year!