A new year is significant. It’s a clean slate where you can shed old insecurities, begin new projects and set new goals for your writing career.
On the eve, mark your accomplishments and goals and celebrate those. Look back at failures – self perceived or otherwise – and remember what you learned from them.
On the first day of the new year, take out a clean notebook, one you have especially purchased for this moment, and write out your goals for 2007. Make a wish list – the delusions of grandeur we writers sometimes cling to (like writing the Great American Novel in four days time with little editing). Then, write out a realistic plan for achievement for your writing.
Keep this notebook nearby and refer back to it often – even the beginning of each month – to remind yourself of what’s important for you in 2007. Update it as you accomplish goals and establish new ones. You could even mark the dates when you make adjustments. The notebook is your guide and the benchmark you can use for 2008’s planning time.
Here are a few other ideas to start your 2007 writing experience on the right note:
- Purge files. You know you’ve killed tons of trees printing off interesting stories off the Internet, or have stacks of packs torn from magazines. Go through them. Keep the ones that still strike you. Pitch those that don’t. Make room for fresh ideas in 2007.
- Instead of “out with the old and in with the new,” bring out the old, dust it off and make it new. We all have manuscripts buried in filing cabinets and drawers, just waiting for us to come back and breathe life into them. Find a project you were passionate about, but for whatever reason put on hold. Read what you’ve done. It’s probably been long enough that you should be able to view it with fresh eyes. Take notes. Find ways to make the manuscript sing – and put yourself back in the midst of the story so you are once again the storyteller.
- Renew your writing supplies. Sounds simple, I know, but it’s easy to get caught without paper or ink for the printer, or a clean notebook for new projects, or envelopes for submissions. Beef up your supply cabinet so you don’t have to run out to Office Depot while your at your creative best.
- Join a new group. If you find you are in a slump and not getting what you need for your usual round of writing groups, check out some new ones. Find fresh voices and eyes to review your work and give you the feedback you need to keep you on target.