Like any other goal in life, if you want to be a successful writer, you have to define where you are now and where you want to go.
If you define your writing goals, you can achieve them. They must be realistically carried out over a period of time, going step-by-step. It’s the building block approach.
You need to be realistic about your schedule and try to estimate what you can reasonably accomplish daily, weekly, or monthly. You should be mindful that you may fall behind, despite your best efforts. If so, you should modify your schedule without beating yourself up.
Ask yourself these questions:
1) Broadly, if someone gave you the gift of time and you could live until the age of 105 with all your mental faculties, what are all the writing projects you’d want to accomplish?
2) If you could spend seven days a week writing, how would you spend your time? On one writing project? Several? What would this (these) be?
3) If you didn’t have the gift of time, what are half of those projects you’d like to fulfill?
4) If you have limited writing time, what one genre would you choose to be successfully published in?
5) What are your strengths as a writer, and how would you plan to build upon them? (This is important. If you are discouraged, you must always start with a positive approach.)
6) If you could improve your writing skills, (i.e. being more descriptive), what skills would you cultivate?
7) If you could pick one successful author in the world to instruct you, who would he/she be? (Hint: If you can’t be personally trained by the author, you should read all of his/her works.)
If you’ve been writing for a while, you might also ask yourself if you could start all over again, what you would do differently. Then, you can focus on starting fresh from this point forward.
Personally, I love to write detailed lists of what I plan to accomplish. Next, I fill in spaces of my calendar with deadlines for their accomplishment.
For the nuts and bolts about setting deadlines for yourself, read one of my previous posts, “Goal Setting for Writers, ” dated Nov. 17, 2010.
Copyright 2012 by Charlotte Digregorio.
About Charlotte Digregorio
I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing.
The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide.
I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries.
I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit.
I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library.
My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades .
In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing.
I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities.
There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.