5 Goals Every Writer Should Set + How to Stay Accountable

It is essential to have goals if you are a writer, especially if you plan on going somewhere with your writing. Most important though, it is essential to actually stick to those goals because otherwise you won’t find yourself where you want to be by the time the next year comes rolling around, and trust me, it will come a lot faster than anticipated. A lot of people make the mistake of setting these massive goals and then giving up two weeks into the new year, so today I will be sharing some of my personal ideas, goals and tips centered around creating and sticking to writing related goals!

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  1. Write Everyday – If you are a writer, you probably already write everyday. I know I do, even if it is not related to my fiction writing. Writing everyday includes writing a story, essay, blog post, or even a journal entry, really anything that relates to using your writing muscle. This is a really easy goal to make, and honestly it may be the easiest one to keep up with. Just set aside anywhere between ten minutes to even an hour in the morning, afternoon or evening and write in your journal or even a quick blog post. The point is, to be a writer, you have to actually write.
  2. Submit to At Least One Literary Magazine or Writing Contest – It amazes me how many people don’t take the opportunity to submit their work to literary magazines or writing contests, especially if it is completely free for you to do! Submitting your work to magazines is a great way to get your name and work out there and the writing world, and even possibly make some money off of the thing you love to do. If you need some recommendations for literary magazines to submit to, definitely check out my blog post where I share 10 literary magazines that are completely free to submit to!
  3. Read, Read, Read – This is an obvious one, but it is one that needs to be  enforced because sometimes we get so caught up with our writing that we forget to read. Reading helps motivate and inspire us to write, and is an essential ingredient to creating a story. Even if you are caught up in writing your own story, don’t forget to crack open a book even if it is just for 15 minutes a day.
  4. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo/NaNoWriMo – Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo give you the motivation (and excuse) to write during the month of July and November, and give you a reason to connect with other writers from around the world. Even if you do not reach the goal of 50k words in a month, as long as NaNoWriMo gets you to write something I see that as a huge success! So definitely add participating in Camp NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo to your goals for 2018 because it is such a fun and beneficial experience. it will amaze you how much of a manuscript you can get done in a short period of time.
  5. Connect With Other Writers – This had never been a goal of mine until this year, when I realized how important it is to connect with other writers. Writing is a lonely task, and if you have someone else to discuss writing with, it will make it less lonely. Also, by connecting with other writers you can share your work with each other, get feedback and learn how to give feedback too; all things that benefit and create a well-rounded writer!

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When it comes to staying accountable to your goals, it is important to one, create goals that are not too far out of reach, but just far enough to get you out of your comfort zone and two, create goals that you control the outcome of. By this I mean not writing down I resolve to win one writing contest this year…because while that would be amazing, you are not in control of who the judges choose. Instead, choose a broader goal like I resolve to enter one writing contest this year. Now that is something you can control. And finally third, create goals but also create a plan to achieve those goals. It is easy to write down I resolve to enter one writing contest this year, but how are you going to actually do this? Are you going to write everyday for two weeks before the contest? Are you going to start editing three days before? These are important things to think of when writing down your goals, and it will make them so much easier to achieve when you know exactly how you are going to do it.

Ways I stay accountable to my goals are by treating myself to a reward if I write everyday for a week, or accomplish a goal by submitting different pieces of work to a few literary magazines or writing contests. If you reward yourself, you will find yourself feeling more motivated to accomplishing the goals on your list. Another way I make sure I accomplish my goals, is by setting reminders on my phone because sometimes I honestly just forget. Sometimes I need that reminder to sit down and write for thirty minutes, or sometimes I forget that a writing contest deadline is coming up. Writing it down isn’t always enough.

 

Those are some goals every writer should set and also how to stay accountable. Hopefully this was somewhat helpful to you, and gave you some ideas of what goals you should set of yourself as a writer, but if you have some more goal ideas definitely leave them in the comments! If you liked this blog post please like it so I know to make more, and also don’t forget to check out my last blog post: 10 Literary Magazines To Submit To (NO FEES) 🙂

Camp NaNoWriMo: Writing Tips

Camp NaNoWriMo is near and here are some writing tips that I have discovered. I hope they help you and make sure you comment any writing tips you have for other writers 🙂

Dialogue – Don’t make your dialogue too fancy. What I mean by this is, “……” I pondered or “……” She exclaimed. Readers aren’t exactly interested in that so it is always safe to go with the regular, said or asked. Of course you can throw in a few exclaims and other “fancy” dialogue here and there but just make sure you are not over using it. A time when you should use fancier dialogue is when you are showing volume of your characters words like whispered, shouted or screamed. Those are exceptions because the volume is important for dialogue.

Characters – Characters are a very, very important asset to your story because in a way, they are running the show. You want to make sure your characters are different and easy to tell apart. They need to have their own unique voice when they speak. You don’t want to read about characters that are bland and similar, you want to have a variety in race, appearance, personality, etc, etc.

Background – After writing for a while now, I have gathered the importance of having all your background information together. By this I just mean the history of your world, characters, and anything else that has background info. This helps explain this in more detail and makes your story more put together and interesting. J.K Rowling is a great example of background info because her wizarding world has such a complex history that adds more to the story. Also adding background information to your characters is important because then we can learn about their past and any challenges they faced.

Those are some writing tips that I hope help you and make writing your story easier and more enjoyable!

 

 

Tips for Book Buying

For all you book buyers out there you know books are not cheap. A single hardcover book can be $20 which is a lot for one book. Here are some of my tips for a book lover to save money.

Used Book Stores – I used to always by my books brand new but I didn’t realize that there are some great second hand book stores out there. Yes I still buy new releases brand new but that’s once in a while. Now that I buy a majority of my books used, I save a huge chunk of money and the books are still in great condition.

Libraries – Libraries are a free way of reading books and you can always come back and take the book out again whenever. Yes, you may not be able to keep the book but still, it is a free way to read books so who is complaining?

Friends – Some people don’t like lending out books because they can get ruined but I personally love lending my friends books if it will help them get into reading. Yeah, I do expect them to return the book in the condition I gave them it otherwise I won’t be happy but that hasn’t happened yet.

eBooks – A lot of eBooks are cheaper than an actual book which will definitely help you save money. I would rather read a physical book but I do like having some books on my tablet in case I forget a book because they are really handy to have. I got Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout for only $2 on playbooks!

So those are some ideas on how to save money when book shopping! Hope they helped 🙂