Saturday, March 22, 2008

Planning a Writing Career

It's easy to say that you want to get some articles published in magazines, or establish a freelance writing career. But these goals are way too vague and won't keep writers motivated from one week to the next, according to this very specific and info-rich article. It explains how to set good, realistic writing goals and break them down into manageable parts. That includes writing goals down on a calendar or record-keeper and checking it weekly or even daily to make sure you're on track.

This article by Moira Allen begins: "When you first start freelancing, your "plan" is often simple: Send out as many queries or submissions as possible, and hope for sales. By your second or third year, however, your writing business can benefit from more careful planning." She then goes on to explain how to go about making a plan.

Their approaches are a bit more sophisticated than what I've done! I need to SEE everything, all in one place, in order to make the connection between the small things I'm doing each week and how they contribute to my overall goal. So, I took a large piece of posterboard and drew a grid on it for each month. In each month I've written what articles & queries I'm going to write, and which ones I'm going to submit. This way, I can see what I need to do and the progress I'm making at a glance. That works better for me than flipping through the pages of a calendar or journal. I've taped the poster up on a wall in my living room, so it's harder to procrastinate or forget my weekly, monthly, and 6-month goals. So far it's working great.

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