Hey fellow writers! How are the words coming this year? It’s been about three months since you last made those New Year’s resolutions about your writing, and it’s time to check in on your progress. How’s it going? Have you written as much as you said you were going to? Have you gotten derailed? Has the winter been more or less productive than you wanted? What about the slowly thawing spring weather? This post is about checking in, evaluating, resetting goals, and doing a little spring cleaning for writers.
Assess Your Progress
It never hurts to go back to your list of resolutions or intentions for the year and see how you’re doing. Or, if you didn’t write them down, take the time to do so now. What have you accomplished this year, so far? How does your actual writing schedule compare to the one you intended to keep? Why have you struggled or been successful? Assessing your progress on paper is useful because it forces you to actually take stock of your situation, and it shows you that you are probably doing better than you thought.
Here’s my example. I said I wanted to read an average of three books a month, edit my WIP, and write another manuscript. Check, check, and (still time) to add a check. I resolved to make realistic goals, and while none of this is earth-shattering, it doesn’t need to be. My major goal going into this year was to keep up a steady reading pace and to deal with my WIP. Ideally I’d like to see it go to market and get published, but that part is presently out of my hands.
Write Down Goals
As I mentioned, writing down your goals is important because it shows you how you’re doing. For instance, I’ve been keeping track of the books I read on Goodreads, and I’ve found it helpful. I would have forgotten if or when I finished the books I finished, and it’s nice to see my tracker so I know how I’m doing. Writing down goals is more important than simply keeping track.
According to Forbes, it also helps with encoding. That’s when we imprint information on our brains. Writing causes our brains to remember and think about what we wrote more so than when we just make a statement out loud. It’s not even the end of the first quarter yet. If you have a goal you want to accomplish this year, there’s time! Write down what you want and go for it!
Give Yourself Grace
The days are getting warmer, the sun is peeking through the clouds, and best of all – the Covid vaccine is becoming more widely available. Help is on the way! Spring is around the corner. If this winter got you down and you didn’t accomplish as much as you wanted so far – take heart. Things are improving, and you are not alone if the doldrums of winter got to you. The most important thing is to shake it off, reset, and get going. Just because the past couple of months haven’t gone your way is no reason to keep in a negative cycle. Your best bet is to take stock of what happened and make a plan to pivot. It ain’t over until it’s over – and the good news? We have over nine great writing months left in 2021!