"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

5 Ways to Get in Gear For the New Year!

It's that time of year again, folks.
A time when the hectic pace of the holidays, pending plans, and countless commitments can have us divided like a fraction. With Xmas only a week away, I have yet to finish my shopping and finalize my dinner menu. And I'm betting here that I'm not the only one. :-)
Not to mention, my attempts at recreating my mom's version of turkey and dressing for Thanksgiving, gave a whole new definition to a "hot mess." So, I've got to redeem myself.
But that's another story for another time...

Amid all the madness, it can be difficult to maintain focus and maintain writing momentum. But we can. And we should.

After all, there's great truth to the expression, "It's not how you start, but how you finish."
With this as our navigational tool, let's look at a few ways we can end 2014 on a positive note, and usher in a new year with even greater potential.

1. Look Back.
Though it can sometimes be a bit discouraging to revisit our failures or the resolutions never realized, there's no better way to identify time wasters, creative weaknesses, or business strategies that need to be revised. For example, when you look at your income received, did it meet your expectations for the year? Were your goals clearly defined? Did you spend too much time on social media and  not enough on marketing? Assess and address.

2. Move Forward.
Armed with the knowledge of how you missed the mark in 2014, what can you adjust now to prepare for optimal success in 2015? Next year, I intend to diversify my client base and join more writers' organizations. For you, it might mean signing up for a class to hone your skills, or making efforts to become more disciplined in your writing routine. Don't just talk about it, be about it.

3. Seek Help.
In a "blog fog?" Need assistance in SEO writing? Have ideas for a book, but don't know how to pitch an agent? Take the time to align yourself with the right resources and the right people to make it happen. Even professional athletes sometimes hire coaches to reach peak performance levels. Don't let pride hinder progress.

4. Establish Balance.
Many times writers feel guilty about "working" during the holidays and lose out on endless opportunities. Don't be one of them. As I've said before, work hard, but play hard too. Carve out a little personal time to finish that book, or redesign your blog, or develop a marketing plan for the year ahead. Give yourself a jump start to go the distance.

5. Keep Going.
Don't let disappointments, editors' rejections, financial setbacks, or even self-doubt sabotage future success. Writing is much harder than most people realize. But, it is so worth it!
And your attitude can make all the difference.

...Now, so I can have time to put all these practices into play, this will be my last post for two weeks for Pen and Prosper.  Join me here around January 2, 2015 for more to explore, and fun activities to help you enhance your writing career and grow.
Feel free to leave comments in the interim to stay in touch.

In closing, I'd like to take this time to thank all of you for your readership, comments and support.
Whether you've been "naughty or nice," I hope Santa grants your heart's desires, and that your Christmas is filled with warm memories.




  1. Had to chuckle at the term "blog fog" - I can relate to that! I too, have been thinking on goals and changes for the new year. Thank you for your wonderful tips and insight, very much appreciated! Blessings and love to you and your family as well. Enjoy the break!

  2. Looking back, looking at what I have done last year can be helpful to define more clear goals. Although even 'foggy goals' can help to move forward,

    For example when I only had some 'foggy ideas' about possibly offering something of a contest to create a little more readers participation, I did discover a few other fun way's to achieve this. For example besides offering resources and blog posts you can comment and reply on,

    You now on my blog can also discover fun
    - word games - like 'Word of the Day' & 'Spelling Bee' it is even possible to click on a speaker icon to hear how they are pronounced. Possibly something for the Hollidays? :)

  3. Jen, #5 hits home. Ugh. Some days I think I should just go work at the supermarket. But looking forward is the thing to do, right? Will miss you while you're gone but have a wonderful holiday break (master the stuffing would ya?). Merry Christmas! Sue.

    1. Sue,

      Had to laugh at the stuffing comment. Hope it doesn't make a turkey out of me this time. :-)