Do you make New Year Resolutions in regard to your article writing? Do you make plans for the year ahead highlighting what you hope to achieve with your writing over the next twelve months? Some writers leave it at that. They make vague notes on what they want to do but that's as far as it gets. A dream, scribbles on a piece of paper they shove in a drawer, never to see the light of day again. They might write the odd article through the year and make half hearted attempts at pitching to markets they haven't really researched because they couldn't really be bothered. Then twelve months later they wonder why their writing year hasn't been as successful as they had hoped.
If you make New Year writing resolutions then go to town on them. Look at the specifics. Instead of writing down, 'I want to have three articles published in a magazine and three short stories published in one of the women's mags, or I want to interview someone interesting or famous,' get down to the details and name the magazines you want to be published in and the person/people you want to interview. Make a calendar and impose your own deadlines: By 1st Feb 2011 I will have submitted three short stories - one to Take A Break, one to Woman's Weekly and another to The Weekly News. By 1st March I will have pitched six article ideas: two to Writing Magazine, two to Healthy Magazine and two to Pregnancy and Birth Magazine. It doesn't matter which magazine it is as long as you make firm plans across a timescale that is achievable for you, given your own commitments and time constraints.
I love this time of year as it's so full of promise and potential - what fun planning your writing future when it's cold and dark outside! But you will only realise your writing dreams if you actually plan out how you are going to achieve them, otherwise you run the risk of leaving them as just dreams. Got to be in it to win it as they say! But remember that plans need to be both realistic and flexible to be achievable. If they are too rigid and too full on you might set yourself up for a fall and trip yourself up before you've really got started. On the other hand, if they are too fluid you might not have the attention span or the discipline needed to see your writing dreams through to realisation. There's a fine line between under or over egging the pudding.
I can't wait to get started on my plans and I hope that 2011 is a great writing year for you. I'm looking forward to hearing about all of your successes! Remember it's great to dream but if you want to be published you have to take action. He who dares wins.