Monday 15 January 2018

New Year Writing Goals and Resolutions | Narelle Atkins

By Narelle Atkins   @NarelleAtkins

January is that time of year when we reflect on 2017 and consider what we’d like to achieve in 2018. A writing career isn’t built by accident. Successful authors have take steps to achieve their writing aspirations. 

Each writer will have their own ideas on how they define success

Work Life Balance 

How much time do you have available for writing and writing-related activities? Can you write part-time or full-time? Is your writing a business or a hobby? 

These are important questions to answer. Most writers have a life outside of the writing world. They’re balancing their writing time with day jobs, family responsibilities, church and other volunteer work.

It’s helpful to ask the question:

Realistically, how much time do I have available for writing? 

This is different to asking how much time I’d like to spend writing. 

Take a look at your calendar and see where you have blocks or snippets of free time. What is the best way to spend that time? Can you write and still meet the other responsibilities and obligations in your life?

Establishing Priorities

Where does writing fit among the items on your priority list? I have school-aged children and my responsibilities as a wife and mother are higher up on my priority list than writing. I took a step back from writing in 2017 to focus on my family. 

Creating time vs. Admin/book promo time 

I define creating time as the actual time you spend working on your ms. This includes brainstorming, outlining, writing, revising, editing and proofreading. It doesn’t include checking email or cruising social media for fun.

We need to factor in time for writing admin and book promo. Indie authors have additional admin workload with book production, cover design and editing responsibilities to manage.

Writers are encouraged to build a platform for book promotion before they are published. This takes time and, more often than not, it’s time away from creating.

Writing networking – Groups and Social Media 

The experts tell us that social media is all about building relationships. The goal is to build relationships with our target audience. We need to ask the question: What is our ‘Return on Investment’ (ROI) from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blogging, Pinterest, Goodreads, etc.?

ROI includes money, time and any other resources we invest in a particular activity. Are we achieving our goals and receiving a good ROI as a result?

Are we connecting with our target audience by providing content they value? What strategies can we employ to improve our ROI (including exit strategies if the activity is not working for us)? 

Your contribution to the writing world

How can we volunteer in our writing organisations? How can we help and support other writers? 

Are we involved in groups and activities, both in-person and online, that are aligned with our goals? For example, if my goal is to network with contemporary romance authors, I’m not likely to achieve this goal by joining my local poetry group.

Your faith journey

I’ll finish today with a few questions to ponder. There’s no right or wrong answer and we can prayerfully consider all of our options.

How does your writing influence your faith?

Is your writing drawing you closer to God? Is it encouraging and inspiring you in your faith journey?

How does your faith influence your writing?

Are you writing for the Christian market, general market, or both? Who is your audience and how can your writing add value to their life?

A fun loving Aussie girl at heart, NARELLE ATKINS was born and raised on the beautiful northern beaches in Sydney, Australia. She has settled in Canberra with her husband and children. A lifelong romance reader, she found the perfect genre to write when she discovered inspirational romance. Narelle's contemporary stories of faith and romance are set in Australia.

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