Make 2015 your year to write, Part seven (and last day for 2014 rates!)

It’s that time, writers — we’ve come to the last installment of our Make 2015 Your Year to Write series. I hope you’ve found it both practical and inspiring.

Today, in many ways, is the most important one of the series, so kudos to you for sticking with me thus far.

Over the last six days, we’ve looked at where you’ve been with your writing life, what your challenges are, what you want from your writing life, and what you need and want in both the big picture and the coming year, it’s time to talk about how to make it all happen.

And remember, if you have questions, thoughts, challenges, comments, or problems, I’m your coach for one more day! Just post them in the comments section on the blog and I’ll be sure to address or answer them for you.  

Let’s go for part seven!!

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Make your writing happen

You’ve done an amazing piece of work this week. You know what your goals are. You know what you want from your writing career and your writing life. You know what your trouble spots are.

Now what?

This, my fine writing friends, this is where the rubber hits the road.

It’s all well and good to name your goals, but you’ve got to have a plan to make them happen.

Let’s talk about how you can do that.

How to meet your writing goals in 2015

Luckily we’ve avoided having you create pie-in-the-sky goals with our work together. And we’ve made sure they are actually in alignment with the big picture of what you want.

But even so, there’s still so much working against you that you have to have several key ingredients in place to help you overcome the resistance, fear, doubt, and procrastination that will rear up repeatedly like that monster you only thought you killed at the end of Act Two.

Here are some of the most powerful means you can have at your disposal to help you keep on writing even in the face of such horrors. 

  • A life decision to actually write. If you are going to be a writer, if you’re really serious about it, you need to make up your mind right now that you will write no matter what. No more being a dilettante. No more waffling. No more excuses. No more dreaming without doing.
  • A bone fide, for real, no B.S., daily writing habit. Wanting to write is grand. ACTUALLY writing is grander. When you write daily or near daily, you will BE a writer. Getting there is not so easy. There are so many things that get in the way, as we’ve seen. Doubts, excuses, fear, resistance, perfectionism, LIFE. It’s tough. And most of us think that we just need to resolve to write, or be more disciplined, or schedule it. But those things aren’t enough by themselves. What you really need is a habit. A solid daily writing habit that means that even if everything goes sideways on you, you’ll still be thinking, “Okay, wow, I still gotta write today, when am I gonna do that?”, followed by quickly moving mountains to make it so. You want a writing habit that is so immutable that there’s never even a question of IF you are going to write, only rarely a question of WHEN, and in fact it’s something you just DO, like brushing your teeth or putting clothes on before you go outside. Something you wouldn’t even think of NOT doing.
  • An inner knowing on when to “call it” on craft training. Yes, sometimes we need a little more training to do our best work. But I also know far too many writers who just endlessly take classes. We also have to be writing. Don’t be one of those writers who keeps getting more and more training instead of facing the blank page. Sure, a class here and there. But don’t keep going back to college for another degree instead of doing the work.
  • A writing schedule. Putting writing on your calendar is a huge step toward making your writing happen. It’s an acknowledgment of the fact that you’ll have to make choices to write, choices that will mean giving up other things, and being okay with that. It’s a visual reminder that you’re committed to writing, and carving out time to do so. Keep in mind, however, that a schedule is only a tool. You still have to show up and do the writing.
  • Massive amounts of accountability. When you’re serious about writing, you’ll want to have accountability in place to help you make it happen. Unless you are enormously and entirely self-motivated and never go astray from your path, you need accountability — as much of as needed for you to stay 100% on track on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. My small group coaching program, the Writer’s Circle, includes a daily accountability system for writers. Other kinds of accountability include writer’s groups, mentors, deadlines, accountability parties, and writing buddies. Again, put as much of it in place as you need to write with a sense of purpose and intent. And then add a little more for good measure.
  • Support to get back on track if or when you fall off course. Writing is a lonely business. Get support for the dark days. We ALL face them, including me. Surround yourself with positive, supportive writers who will help you through the painful critiques, the negative reviews, and the days when you can’t write a note to your kids about cleaning their rooms let alone face your novel.
  • Compassionate self-understanding. Writing is a tough gig. There will be days when you hate it. There will also be days that you LOVE it. But on the bad days, your inner critic is going to bat sh*t crazy on you and you cannot allow yourself to fall for it. It’s a critically important skill to learn to combat your inner critic and keep on writing. This is something we do daily in the Writer’s Circle.
  • Clear specific goals and projects. We’ve done a lot of work around goals this week, so I’m not going to add a lot here except to say this: Don’t try to work on multiple projects at once unless you are a pro. If you’re a newer writer, working on multiple projects at once is usually a death knell for all of them. Oftentimes writers will hop between projects when one gets too hard, but then struggle with discouragement over the lack of progress on any of them. My advice? Pick one and stick with it until it’s done, even if it’s hard and even if you hate it temporarily, at least to the point of a major milestone. If you finish a solid draft and move on to a new project to let the first one breathe, fine. But don’t “layer” projects unless you are 100% capable of navigating between and finishing them.
  • A milestone plan for each and every project. I mentioned this yesterday too. Create a timeline for each writing project so you know where all the major milestones are and you know what you have to do to complete them. Don’t just strike off in an “I’m just going to write every day” vague way. Know what you’re trying to accomplish on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis so you can hit that yearly goal without binge-writing at the end or giving up in apathy and frustration part way through the year.

Hold these in mind as we go on to today’s writing prompts:

1. What will you do to making your writing goals happen in 2015?

Think about what you will do to meet your writing goals. Be as specific as you can.

From Ginger, a Writer’s Circle member:

“2015 for me is really about prolificacy. I’ve spent a lot of years sitting around plotting and planning and organizing and envisioning and figuring and sorting and assessing and weighing. That’s lovely and all, but there’s a point at which you must say to yourself, ‘Well done. Now get to work.’

“For me, 2015 is going to be about multiple times a day writing, about learning to write in suboptimal circumstances, and finding creative ways around predictable blocks. Yes, I prefer to write in longer chunks – not necessarily hours at a stretch, which is too much for me, but more than 30 minutes. I would also prefer to live at Disney World. So this year I’m going to embrace small chunks. Five minutes here, 300 words there.”

From my notebook:

“No more classes. Since I want to focus on my own writing and on my precious time with our new son, I need to keep the extracurricular activities to a minimum. This means having a clear plan and timeline for each of my projects, and a quiet, contained schedule within which to meet the necessary milestones. 2015 for me feels like a time to hunker down and focus on what’s most important to me, rather than trying to do it all.”

 

2. What actions will you take?

Then give some thought to any specific actions you need to take.

From Ginger:

“I haven’t completely decided yet – that’s part of what the Writer’s Circle is for – but part of it is going to be about checklists. Little reminders. Maybe a timer on my phone saying ‘write for three minutes’ or ‘write 100 words’.

“I suppose the biggest action I will take – and this is truly revolutionary for me – is trying different things. I will take small steps, rather than planning big steps.”

From my notebook:

“I’m going to create a clear schedule laid out in a format I can easily follow and adjust — on a large wall calendar. And I’ll keep reminding myself not to sign up for any more classes until 2016. :)”

 

3. What kind of support will you put in place?

Now think about what kind of support (and accountability) you need to make it happen.

If you’re the kind of writer who starts out with the best intentions but then falls short of her goals, you’ll want to give careful thought to this question. Oftentimes quality accountability and support are the critical variables that make the difference between “dreamed of” and “DONE”.

From Helen, a Writer’s Circle member:

“I plan to continue with the Writer’s Circle until I finish the dissertation. The support is helping to propel my movement forward, and to counteract the negative criticism that I get in my regular life. I plan to ignore and/or mitigate the negative feedback, and to absorb more of the supportive and positive encouragement.”

From Ginger:

“The Writer’s Circle is really helpful for this because before, I would sort of flounder around saying, ‘I don’t know how to solve this.’ I would spend all my time thinking about the problem and precious little looking for a solution. When you look up ‘Reinventing The Wheel’ in the dictionary, you’ll see my face. But the Writer’s Circle helps because I know that all I have to do is mention the problem in passing and I’m going to have a half dozen people who have already solved this problem giving me support. So that’s helpful. So I guess what I need to do this year is actually use the support. Sometimes I feel like one of those people who doesn’t go to Weight Watchers until they’ve lost weight, or doesn’t call a cleaning lady because their house isn’t clean.

I guess this year is about using the support structure, even if my writing is feeling fat and dirty.

 

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pen coffeeWriting prompts for Part seven: Make it happen

Here are your writing prompts for today. If you’re inspired to do so, please share your responses in the comments section on the blog (and feel free to leave questions for me too, if you have them). Otherwise you can take them to your journal, talk them over with your writing colleagues, or just contemplate them when you can. 

  • What will you do to making your writing goals happen in 2015?
  • What actions will you take?
  • What kind of support will you put in place?

Thank you so much for writing along with me this week, and may 2015 be filled with joyous writing and many blessings.

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Reminder: Last day for 2014 rates

Join the Writer's CircleBefore you head off to your journal, I have an important reminder about my Writer’s Circle small group coaching program.

We’re extending our 2014 rates through Midnight Pacific Time TONIGHT so you can lock in the subscription rate you select and save 30 to 50%, depending on the subscription package you choose.

The Writer’s Circle small group coaching program will help you show up, get your butt in the chair, write, and see your projects all the way through to FINISHED.

The next session starts this coming Monday, January 5. It’s the perfect time to build the professional writing habit you really need to meet your writing goals for 2015 and make this your writing year to remember.

Registration closes TONIGHT, Friday, January 2nd at Midnight Pacific Time.

Find out more and register online at www.JustDoTheWriting.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make 2015 your year to write, Part six (plus, an important reminder!)

Happy New Year’s Day, writers! And welcome back to the Make 2015 Your Year to Write series. 

We’re deep into it now — and closing in on the end of our seven-part series! You’ve done so much work so far, first by reflecting on your writing life so far, then in part two looking at your writing patterns and challenges, and in part three tapping into what you want for your writing life. We went on in part four to explore how to close the gap between where you are right now and where you want to end up, and in part five, we looked at your big picture vision for your writing career as a whole. 

Now that we’ve built that solid foundation, it’s time to look at what you want to achieve in 2015.

Even if you’ve already set your goals for the year, I’m going to invite you to use this process to help you refine them.

A quick note to those of you just joining us: It’s perfectly okay to dive in now. The writing prompts for each piece are simple and only take a few minutes each, though you could certainly do more if you felt inspired. I imagine you sitting today, in a quiet moment, writing in your journal (or here on the blog if you’re inspired to share) and contemplating your writing and your writing life for 2015.

Remember, if you have questions, thoughts, challenges, comments, or problems, I’ll be your coach. Just post them in the comments section on the blog and I’ll be sure to address or answer them for you. 

Let’s jump in to part six.

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Set goals for your writing year

Let’s talk about the difference between goals and resolutions. 

  • goal as something that we want to achieve — it has a specific desired result.
  • resolution as a decision to do or not to do something. That resolution may also produce a result, but it may also be about a way of being or thinking as well. Resolutions can also encompass the how of our means of getting to our desired results or goals.

Both goals and resolutions are worth setting.

However.

also believe it is important to set real, attainable goals and resolutions rather than creating unrealistic scenarios that are impossible to achieve. 

The reason for this is that when you make promises to yourself that you can’t keep, you break trust with yourself. And when you can’t trust yourself, it’s hard to make anything happen or believe in your abilities when the going gets tough. And it will.

I’m seeing writers all over Facebook right now posting unrealistic goals. And honestly, it makes me feel a bit sad.

I’d much rather see you set a goal you KNOW you can accomplish than aim for something that just makes you feel bad and deters you from trying again.

That is NOT a good way to accomplish ANYTHING.

Let’s look at how to set effective goals and resolutions, and then you’ll work on your own with the writing prompts for today.

How to set goals

As you’re working through this part of the process, make a point to keep in mind everything you’ve learned this week about your progress, process, challenges, changes, and visions as you set your goals and resolutions. Make sure they match up well. It’s a good time to review your answers to the writing prompts from the prior days in the series so you can integrate them into your planning.

For instance, if you know you have an intense year coming up, keep your goals simple. Or if you know you have a hard time actually showing up to do the work, make your goals small enough that they don’t overwhelm you. Or if you’ve been holding back from what you know you’re truly capable of, see if you can raise the bar a little higher.

Here are the links again, for ease of reference:

SMART goals 

When it comes to goal setting, I’m a fan of setting SMART goals. Lots of people roll their eyes at the method, but don’t worry, you don’t have go all googly-eyed over it. Just use it as a quick check to make sure that your goal actually makes sense. It doesn’t have to be fancier than that.

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Resonant, and Time-Bound. 

  • Specific means that you are clear about what you are working on.
  • Measurable means that it is measurable in some way, whether through a number of minutes, words, or pages. 
  • Attainable means that you can reasonably accomplish it.
  • Resonant means that it feels like the right thing to be working on.
  • Time-Bound means that there is a clear ending deadline for its completion.

Here’s an example:

Finish my current sci-fi screenplay by January 31.

  • Specific: Yes – my current sci-fi screenplay
  • Measurable: Yes – about 90 pages for the rough draft 
  • Attainable: Yes – if I write 2-3 pages a day for 31 days, I’ll finish on that schedule. And since I have about 60 minutes to write each day, and I can write about 2-3 pages in an hour (sometimes more), that will be attainable.
  • Resonant: Yes – it’s the project I’m most interested in working on and finishing next.
  • Time-Bound: Yes – the end of January

These kinds of SMART goals are useful because they help you get and stay clear about the What, How Much, and By When that are so helpful for keeping on track.

Here are a few more examples of SMART goals:

  • Write two new screenplays by December 31.
  • Write a new novel by December 31.
  • Outline my new novel by January 31.
  • Publish an ebook by April 15.
  • Revise and publish my two draft novels by December 31.

Other tips about setting goals

  • Be as specific as you can. Know what project you’re going to work on if possible. Get specific about the numbers you’re talking about, like numbers of pages and words for the project in its entirety. 
  • Reverse engineer your projects and compare them to the available time you have to write to make sure they are attainable. Use those word and page counts, compare them to your writing speed and writing time, and make a projection about how long your project will take. That way you can check the Attainable variable in your SMART goal.
  • Make a timeline for your project. While you’re at it, lay out a timeline for your project so you know when you need to hit key milestones along the way, like chapters, mini-movies, act breaks, specific drafts, and submissions.
  • Plan in some padding or cushions for life to happen. It will. Allow yourself some flexibility. This doesn’t have to mean days off (though it can, I’m not a “don’t break the chain” tyrant) but it might mean having some leeway in what you’re aiming for.

How to set resolutions

And let’s talk about resolutions now.

As I’ve said, resolutions are often about decisions and hows, and can be incredibly useful when it comes to making bigger picture changes.

For example, you might make a resolution like this:

  • I will write every day.
  • I will treat my writing like a professional commitment.
  • I will schedule my writing and show up for it consistently.

A word about word and page count resolutions

You may notice that I’m not including examples like:

  • Write one page a day.
  • Write 1000 words a day.

There’s nothing wrong with these kinds of resolutions, per se.

What’s great is that they are reasonable and attainable resolutions for most of us.

But.

One of the big reasons we don’t focus ONLY on word or page counts in the Writer’s Circle is that they may not fit with the current stage of a project we are working on.

Word counts and page counts are terrific for writing Actual New Words. But when it comes to all of the other — and many — tasks associated with writing, it’s a measuring stick that falls short.

Think about it.

When you’re outlining, revising, editing, or polishing how do you measure word counts or page counts?

  • When we are revising and editing, we often cut words and even pages at a time.
  • Outlining isn’t necessarily a word-laden process but an important tool for writing within a solid structure.
  • Editing and polishing certainly don’t do much for word or page counts either.

And aren’t these all valid and critically important parts of the writing process? 

When you set a goal or resolution that’s focused on meeting a specific word count or page count each day, it implicitly negates ALL THE OTHER WORK you are doing or have to do and can leave you feeling like you haven’t met your commitment or that you have to scramble around writing new words or pages when that has nothing to do with the stage of the project you’re working on.

Not good.

What I recommend instead of word or page count only goals are time-based or time-and-count goals or resolutions, like this:

  • 30 minutes a day
  • One page per day or 30 minutes of revising, outlining, editing, polishing
  • 2000 words per day or 10 pages of editing or 60 minutes of revising, outlining, editing, polishing

The numbers themselves aren’t important here, but the principle of adaptability is.

As long as you use this method within the context of a Time-Bound SMART goal, you can stay handily on track with your progress, rather than feeling discouraged for not meeting a goal every day that doesn’t actually match with where you are in your process.

The bottom line? When you set resolutions that point to the hows, match them up with the specific stages of your writing projects so you stay inspired to keep on writing.

Onward to today’s writing prompts!

1. Where do you want to be at the end of 2015? What would you like to have finished and accomplished in your writing life? 

When you’re answering these two questions, go with your gut.

You can use the tips I’ve shared here about goal setting or just wax poetic for a few minutes. (We’ll get really specific about the HOW of all this tomorrow, anyway.)

I found myself writing out “I wants” as I worked with these last night.

From my notebook:

I want to focus on my own writing at my own pace.

I want to publish a simple writing habit ebook by the end of the year.

I want to write two new scripts by the end of the year.

 

2. How will that feel?

To help yourself anchor in the goal, think about how it will feel when you achieve it.

Here are responses from some of our Writer’s Circle members:

From Wendy, a Writer’s Circle member:

“By the end of ’15, I’d like to have The Endless Runway published – it needs editing; The Lost Witches established, and I hope I’ll have gained marketing experience. I will also write more books, the possibilities are endless! I’ll feel as if I’ve moved into a place I’ve always wanted to be.”

From Tracee, a Writer’s Circle coach:

“At the end of 2015, I plan to have written three more screenplays, including the rewrite drafts. My goal through the year will be to stay very organized and committed to my writing, keeping my writing time sacred and respecting that time as one of the most important things in my life. I think, along with feeling proud of myself for getting that much done, I will also feel like the professional I have become. It will be empowering to know that I can treat writing as more than just a hobby.”

From another Writer’s Circle member:

“I want to have my novel Skein completed and in the query stage, hopefully on the verge of being accepted. I’d like to also have my first novel of the Cherubim series on its way to completion. It will be scary. It will be terrifying. And I want to feel like I MUST do it anyway.”

From Helen, a Writer’s Circle member:

My goal for 2015 is to finish my dissertation and doctoral program.  I intend to continue my research by writing articles for scholarly journals.  Eventually, I plan to be a Subject Matter Expert in my areas of interest.”

From Sonya, a Writer’s Circle member:

At the end of 2015, I will have published my first eBookHealthy You. I will feel awesome because I will be making a difference in someone else’s life and shared what I have learned along the way.”

From Jo, a Writer’s Circle member:

“I want to continue to be gain validation about my writing from myself and not look outward for it. 

“I don’t like reading works that are safe and predictable, so why would I want to write them? So I will dive back into the novel that I started last year and really go for what I want it to be, mine the complexities of feelings and characters no matter how difficult and write the kind of book I want to read, trusting that others will feel the same way.

I will care less about being ‘a best seller’ and more about being finished and out there for whomever is looking for my voice.

“Truly claim the phrase ‘I am a writer.’

“I will be proud of myself. I will know that I set a goal and met it and that I did the best I could. And I will know that by acknowledging that I am a writer, I am acknowledging what I am and have always been in my deepest, most authentic core. As I was contemplating the answers to some of these questions, I felt a deep vibration inside – like my soul humming. Writing is what I am meant to do, it is what I need to do, it is what the universe needs me to do. Honouring writing in my own voice, I now know will have far-reaching and profound impact on my soul. It occurred to me that I could make all my fantasies come true through writing – creating characters, plots, resolving conflicts.”

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pen coffeeWriting prompts for Part six: Goals & Resolutions

Now it’s your turn! Here are your writing prompts for today. If you’re inspired to do so, please share your responses in the comments section on the blog (and feel free to leave questions for me too, if you have them).

Or, you can take them to your journal, talk them over with your writing colleagues, or just contemplate them when you can. You’re welcome to share any insights and Aha’s in the comments too.

  • Where do you want to be at the end of the year? What would you like to have finished and accomplished in your writing life?
  • How will that feel?

And don’t miss tomorrow’s post — the most important one in the series — about how to make this all actually HAPPEN.

 

An important reminder

Join the Writer's CircleBefore you head off to your journal, I have an important reminder about my Writer’s Circle small group coaching program.

Our rates are increasing in 2015, but we’re extending our 2014 rates for just a few more days so you can take advantage of them for the session that starts on Monday, January 5 AND lock them in for as long as you keep your subscription current, active, and continuous. When you enroll now, you’ll guarantee yourself the 2014 rate and save 30 to 50%, depending on the subscription package you choose.

The Writer’s Circle program is designed to help you show up, put your butt in your seat, WRITE, and see your projects all the way through to FINISHED. 

The next session starts this coming Monday. It’s the perfect time to create the support you really need to meet your writing goals for 2015 and make this your writing year to remember.

Registration closes on Friday, TOMORROW, January 2nd at Midnight Pacific Time.

Find out more and register online at www.JustDoTheWriting.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make 2015 your year to write (Part four!)

Welcome back to the Make 2015 Your Year to Write series. 

If you’re just joining us, here’s what we’ve been up to: In our we began with part one, on reflecting on your writing life so far, then in part two looked at your patterns, challenges, and insights, and in part three began tapping in to what you want for your writing life.

Today in part four, we’ll look at how to close the gap between where you are right now and where you want to end up so you can start making real plans for how to get there.

Remember, if you have questions, thoughts, challenges, comments, or problems, I’m your coach this week! Just post them in the comments section on the blog and I’ll be sure to address or answer them for you. (And if you’re joining us “late” in this process, not to worry, just jump in, the water’s fine. :) )

On to part four!

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Examine the gap in your writing life

Whenever we have a goal we want to meet or a place we want to end up, there is a certain amount of distance between now and then, or here and there. 

Since we spent some time looking at where you want to GO in our part three work, now we can take a clearer look at what’s currently in the way of you getting there.

For instance, you might be bumping into a whole variety of obstacles like:

  • Being too busy or not having enough time to write
  • Having too many other obligations with work and family
  • Dealing with the kinds of creative or life challenges we talked about in part two
  • Trying to “find” time to write instead of making it happen
  • Getting caught up in other people’s needs or drama

But you might also be need to make changes about the way you are approaching your writing life.

You might right now be:

  • Not setting strong boundaries to protect your writing time
  • Not making writing one of your topmost priorities (It really needs to be in the top 3 to 5 to become a reality.)
  • Thinking about your writing in a negative way
  • Creating fantasies about what you need to write instead of just writing
  • Constantly debating about “IF” you are going to write each day instead of being clear about “WHEN”

When we look closely at these we can see that some of these are things we need to remove from our writing lives, while others might be things that we can add. Both would have a positive result in our ability to write more, or consistently.

So think about what you’ve learned from the last few days of exploration and then answer these questions: 

1. What do you want to remove from your writing life?

When you think about things you might want to remove from your writing life to make it flow more easily, what comes to mind? 

For instance, you might notice that you feel ready to let go of:

  • Extra obligations that have outworn their welcome, like the volunteer job that’s not fulfilling anymore, or social commitments you don’t feel nurtured by
  • Limiting beliefs about your ability to write
  • Outdated relationships with people who don’t hold your writing in high esteem
  • Excuses and stories about why you can’t write
  • Unprofessional writing relationships and groups
  • Writing projects that have outworn their welcome
  • Bad writing habits like perfectionism or binge-writing

2. What do you want to add to your writing life?

On the other hand, sometimes the gap can be closed when you start adding things in to your writing life, like:

  • A regular, daily writing practice
  • Boundaries that teach people to respect your writing time
  • Urgency and deadlines so you feel motivated to write daily and to finish projects consistently
  • A writing schedule, as in, on an actual calendar with actual times where you will show up and write
  • Accountability and support from people who know how much writing means to you and help you show up and actually do it
  • A writing community of friends who believe in you and support you to make it happen, day in and day out
  • A special place to write in your home, your office, or elsewhere
  • Making a life decision to treat your writing professionally
  • The proper tools and training

Again, there are no right answers here, only what fits best for you. Take some time with the writing prompts today to see what no longer fits for you and what might be a welcome change.

Here are some responses from my Writer’s Circle members:

From Helen, a Writer’s Circle member:

“This year, I added what I wanted to add: A positive, loving, caring support group that positively encourages my progress. This is your Writer’s Circle coaching group, Jenna. What I wish to remove is the negativity that comes from my current academic environment. Constant negative criticism and nagging do little to motivate me; on the contrary, they usually block my creativity and desire to write.”

From Sonya, another Writer’s Circle member:

“I’ve spent the last year in Jenna’s coaching and writing circle. I chose to do it after listening to her four-session course, ‘Design Your Writing Life’. It inspired me to get my writing act together, so to speak. I had been writing sporadically for my own blog, without a real purpose other than to share information and practical advice. I wanted to get more consistent about writing and find a more sustainable writing habit.

“Over the year, I have written a lot more, and a lot more consistently but it has still been what I call sporadic. I’d like to remove this sporadic behavior from my life. I’d like to get into an even more consistent, regular writing habit. I’d like to add writing time that is sacred. I have not been holding writing time sacred. I have been running it over with a Mack truck on a regular basis. That needs to stop. I need to be more consistent and sit down and write, every day, no matter what. No matter for how long.

“I have this unrealistic picture in the back of my mind of having a tiny house in my back yard and having it totally devoted to my own creativity (really, a room of one’s own), for writing, music, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking, photography. It’s about a $10K investment to do this through a friend’s company who makes them. I don’t have an extra $10K lying around to use for this purpose so I currently tend to sit at the kitchen table or on the couch to write. I know I should find a writing space in my home and write in that spot consistently. But to date, I haven’t been able to get comfortable in any space to write consistently. 

“I also don’t like to write when others are around so I tend to do other things when I have my kids (every other week). All of these things feel like excuses, one after another. I need to stop making excuses and just do the writing.

“I guess what it comes down to is that I want to remove excuses from my (writing) life and add an attitude of ‘write anyway’ to my life.”

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pen coffeeWriting prompts for Part four: Close the gap

Now it’s your turn. Here are your writing prompts for today. You can write about then in your journal, discuss them with your writing buddies, or just mull them over when you have a quiet moment. Then if you’re inspired to do so, please share your responses and/or insights in the comments section on the blog. Free to leave questions for me too, if you have them.

  • What do you want to remove from your writing life?
  • What do you want to add to your writing life?

And don’t miss tomorrow’s installment, where we’ll tune into the vision for your longer term writing career. It’ll be fun and inspiring! See you then. :)