3 Action Steps To Refocus Your Writing Goals In Time For The Fall Rush
Long, lazy days, warm evenings, and weekends chock-full of fun can make it easy to put your writing career on pause. But store shelves filled with school supplies and the first few acorns spotted on the trees signal that the season will soon change. And for you too, writers!
Now it’s time to turn your focus back to your writing career. You want to be ready to claim your place at the head of the line when the publishing industry throws open its gates come autumn. Here’s what you need to do to get your writing career back on track — just in time for the publishing rush!
How To Refocus On Your Writing Career And Prepare For The Fall Rush
Step one: Set your long-term goals. Define your creative writing goals and you’ll be more likely to reach them. Do you hope that writing could be a full-time job that pays all your bills? Or would you prefer to publish without the creative constraints often imposed by marketplace pressures? Write down your specific creative writing dreams and intentions. Where do you see yourself in five or ten years’ time?
Step two: Define your short-term goals. Your long-term goals establish your ultimate direction. But your short-term goals — your small, day-to-day actions — actually get you there. If you have been neglecting your routine writing efforts, you may want to start anew by setting some measurable, actionable goals.
Here are a few examples:
- I will send out X query letters in the next 60 days.
- I will send out X poems/stories/essays in the next 60 days.
- I will register for one creative writing conference this season.
- I will find and join a local critique group by [date here].
HINT: Did you notice that our list of short-term goals does not include statements like “I will get a poem published” or “I will be invited to speak at my library”? By focusing on what you can control — the process of building your career — you set the stage for the positive frame of mind that can sustain a lifelong writing career.
Step three: Establish an airtight writing schedule. Even if you’re the type of person who enjoys a set schedule the way you might also enjoy a root canal, blocking off specific time slots for your writing career may be essential to getting you back on track. Establishing a firm, not-to-be-messed-with “writing event” on your daily calendar can stave off procrastination, ensure that you won’t be tempted to blow off butt-in-chair time for laundry folding, and drive your career forward at a stronger clip
Always remember: Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment. When summer is over, the publishing industry scrambles to find the best new authors. Many, many literary markets are reading actively in the fall. The submissions you prepare now will put you in the best place to take advantage of the autumn publishing rush.