No, I'm not talking about where you fancy going on your holidays this year but where you see your writing going over the next week, month, year, five years, decade. It pays a writer to think about what their writing goals are what they can realistically achieve. What I've found helpful is to write down both my long term writing goals and some shorter ones so that I am always working towards something, a smaller short term goal, while also working on longer term projects such as my novel.
Making plans is a good way for writers to narrow down what it is they actually want to write and what kind of writer they are. Of course plans need to be realistic and flexible so that you don't become despondent when things don't go exactly how you want them to. Life often gets in the way of writing so to keep your spirits up and the words flowing you need to take a 'what the hell' attitude, learn to roll with the punches and change tack to get round the obstacles in your way, and write whatever happens!
As I've said before, I'm concentrating on my short story writing at the moment - this is one of my short term goals: to get a short story published in the UK, with a longer term goal of getting lots of short stories published here and abroad. I've already achieved one of my goals by getting a short story published abroad (two now!) and that spurred me on to write more and more and now I'm editing a novel! Unthinkable to me a couple of years ago.
It was the same with article writing. I started off writing letters and getting them published in local and then national magazines and newspapers. Then I wrote short articles for free for local community mags and then progressed to a local glossy magazines and national writing magazines where I actually got paid for my work - as they say in the football world RESULT!!
Now we are half way through the year it might be a good time to take stock of what you have achieved so far with your writing and make plans for where you are going to take your writing between now and the near year. You might be surprised how far you have already come. I know I am! And even little victories: a letter here, a filler or tip there, can bolster you up to carry on writing and achieve an article in a local magazine or national glossy. It can be done - even if you think it can't! I never thought I'd get an article published but here I am with several articles and two short stroies published. How the hell did that happen?!
1. Hard work and determination by the bucket load.
2.Listening and acting on advice given to me by more experienced writers than me who knew what they were talking about.
3.Reading the magazines cover to cover and adopting the house style as my own.
4. Perserverance. Keep going, keep learning, keep improving and never give up.
That's what I think anyway! So, on the article front, although I've come to a bit of a hiatus while I get some short stories out of my system, I'm still gathering ideas and have sent off couple for vetting, so I'm still giving my article writing some thought.
For those who have joined my new article analysing forum, I'll be posting a manuscript of one of my articles alongside how it appeared in the magazine it was published in. It will hopefully help people to see how I presented my manuscript to an editor and the changes they made to my text to better fit their remit.