Write It Sideways

Master This Skill Before Setting New Writing Goals

The Christmas tree and lights are gone, the new year has begun, and all of a sudden you realize it’s time to get your writing back on track.

First, you’ll set yourself some writing goals for 2011. Write a novel, get a short story published, start a freelance portfolio—whatever you’ve been dreaming of doing will go on that list.

But within just a few short months (if not weeks) you’ll begin to find your resolve weakening. All of a sudden those goals won’t seem quite as important as they did in the first week of January, and other things will come up that will give you an excuse to give up or slack off.

I should know. That happened to me last year.

The problem doesn’t always lie with the goals themselves. They might be perfectly reasonable goals, in fact.

The problem is often that we lack the fundamental skills we need to accomplish those goals.

There are many important skills we need to learn to in terms of the craft of writing, but in terms of goal-setting…

The skill we need to master most is time management.

I wanted to write a whole novel last year, but I only completed a first draft. Despite having a young family to care for and a blog to run, I know there were many times in 2010 when I could have worked on my novel but chose to do something else instead.

Discouragement and lack of inspiration weren’t the things that kept me from achieving my goal of writing a novel. No, it was poor time management.

Your time management skills determine if and when you’ll find time to write each day, and how much time you’ll spend at each writing session. If you can’t manage to carve out and stick to a regular writing schedule, your chances of achieving your writing goals are unlikely.

To achieve your writing goals, you need to make time to write. Regularly.

There’s no other way around it.

You’ll never write a novel if you can’t sit down and write. Regularly.

You’ll never build a popular blog if you can’t sit down and write. Regularly.

You’ll never start a freelance career if you can’t sit down and write. Regularly.

You’ll never see your work published if you can’t sit down and write. Regularly.

Strengthen your time-management skills to nail your writing goals in 2011

Some tips to help you make the most of your time:

Does your time management need a makeover? What are your worst time-wasters, and how do you plan to get more writing done in 2011?