If you want to be a writer, you can’t miss these tips for achieving your writing goals from guest author Mark Richard Webb. His tips apply to everything from writing your first novel to pitching article ideas to magazine editors…and they’ll help you become a published author.
Before his tips, a quip:
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ~ Confucius
Fellow scribes, you’ll fall and fail as a writer…but to be a published author, you need to keep getting up. If you’re discouraged, dejected, and in despair, read 73 Ways to Fire Up (or Just Fire! the Muse.
And, here are Webb’s tips for aspiring writers…
Want to Be a Writer? 10 Tips for Achieving Your Writing Goals
1. Take action immediately. If you postpone the startup date of writing your first novel or pitching ideas to editors, you starting the habit of procrastination and avoidance. Instead, step forward with courage. It’s frightening to set writing goals because you risk embarrassment and the possibility of failure. But, courage means doing it anyway. Taking action builds confidence.
2. Set a manageable pace. What are reasonable objectives for one month, three months, six months and beyond? If you’re struggling with this, read Examples of Writing Goals for Successful Freelance Writers. Whether you’re writing your first novel or pitching ideas to editors, don’t overdo it the first week. Instead, think about the long haul. Determine a steady and progressive pace; slowly build up to your desired outcome.
3. Spend time visualizing that you’ve achieved your writing goals. Imagining your success builds a sense of belief that your goals are attainable. Visualization develops a faith that pushes you to keep going — so, picture yourself as a published author or magazine writer! If you want to be a writer, you have nothing to lose by visualizing yourself as happily published.
4. Stay inspired and encouraged. To achieve your writing goals, establish methods of getting information and encouragement. This can be motivational or self-improvement tapes, books, therapy, attending lectures, taking courses online, going back to college or sitting in a church pew.
5. Go the extra mile. You must be willing to do the things that most writers aren’t willing to do. You must push beyond your limits. You must go beyond your comfort zone. If you struggle with lack of motivation and self-discipline, read 5 Tips for Increasing Your Writing Discipline.
6. Develop habits that support your writing goals. Your habits form the routine that make you get up early or stay up late. Your habits help you stay disciplined to write your first novel or pitch ideas to editors — and your habits will help you avoide watching an unnecessary two hours of television. If you want to write for a living, you must break your bad writing habits.
7. Resolve to stay the course. This is where being hard-headed can be a blessing! Tap into that side of you that hunkers down when someone says, “You’re not smart enough to be a writer.” To achieve your writing goals, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes.
8. Get excited about your writing goals! You’ll achieve your goals faster if you’re enthusiastic about them. So, surround yourself with a passion so strong that no negative influence can discourage you. Develop a burning desire and even the toughest task will be more enjoyable.
9. Remember that success is a process. If you want to be a writer, you have to remember that becoming a published author rarely occurs overnight. Don’t aim for perfection. Instead, strive to just get started! Then focus on sticking with your writing goals and — over time — reaching fame and fortune. Someone once told me, “You won’t like anything you produce, so produce it anyway.” This advice helped me stop criticizing myself and at least showing up with something. Remember that you don’t have to get it right; you just have to get it going.
10. Give your writing goals a full, all-out effort. Most people start with a bang and soon after, end with a fizzle. If you really want to write your first novel or pitch ideas to editors, give your writing goals everything you have. You will succeed! Be willing to put in the time and energy, and allow no room for excuses. Decide in your head and heart that you will do whatever it takes.
Mark Richard Webb is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice at South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center in Valdosta.
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