Setting Writing Goals

0610 list

0610 list (Photo credit: paloetic)

I tend to be a bit of a free spirit and will never be one of those sorts of people to plan my day out by the hour. No offense meant if you’re reading this and you are one of those type people.  I do use a monthly calendar and write out to do lists, as I know planning does help make things happen.

Through the tools I use, I do accomplish quite a bit, but have been thinking it might help to set some goals for myself.  I believe it may help restore a little balance in my life as I can get carried away a bit. My daily activities usually depend on my mood, what interests me, and if something has a deadline. There are times I may curl up reading a good book for hours or sit and write for hours on end.

To give my life more sense of direction and balance I have started to really think about goals as well as write them down, so I have a good visual to keep me motivated.  It’s wonderful to do things I enjoy, such as write, but clean clothes and healthy meals are also vital.  Goal setting will be a project I will work on some this week.  Goals will always be subject to change, but I thought I would share some of my writing goals so far:

  1. Blog twice a week atleast (both blogs)
  2. Read two books a month
  3. Write two articles per day
  4. Check boards on my website list for freelance writing jobs (so far www.freelancewritinggigs.com , www.craigslist.com , and the job board on www.wow-womenonwriting.com )

Here’s a quote by C. S. Lewis on goals-“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”  Best wishes for balance in your life and happy goal setting.

 

Advertisements

Inspiration for Writers

Ernest Hemingway Writing at Campsite in Kenya ...

Image via Wikipedia

Yes, I have a thing for used bookstores.  I found another interesting book, Beating the Odds :  Getting Published in the Field of Literacy by editors Shelley B. Wepner and Linda B. Gambrell.  Even though this book is geared towards those in the literacy field, I thought it had quite a bit of useful information for any writer.

I found several inspirational quotes from other writers in the book :

  • Edward Fry – “there is only one kind of author who never gets rejections:  the author who doesn’t submit anything”
  • E.B. White – “Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.”
  • Ernest Hemingway – “For a long time now I have tried to write simply the best I can.  Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.”
  • Bill Wheeler – “Good writing is clear thinking made visible.”

I thought a good idea would be to start writing inspiring quotes I find on sticky notes and put them up in visible places near my desk. Online I started to pin inspirational things I find on a board at pinterest. Pinterest can be found at http://pinterest.com/ , just beware you can waste time there and get sidetracked from writing. My thinking is if I surround myself with words of encouragement and things which inspire me, it will help me hang in there even during the discouraging times.

Poetry and Life Inspired Writing

Poetry BooksThis has been an incredible week for writing.  My mind seems to be so full of ideas that my fingers have trouble keeping up.  I have really enjoyed writing poetry, but have been writing several other things as well.  Here is a short poem I wrote a bit ago :

Thoughts and thoughts on my mind
Pen to paper all the time
Releasing thoughts to unwind
Writing, the joy found is sublime

As usual, I have spent quite a bit of time researching information online, but have done a better job of time management.  I have been writing every day this week, even for hours at some times.  Two resources I have really utilized often are the online dictionary at www.dictionary.com and Rhymer by WriteExpress at www.rhymer.com .  I know all poetry doesn’t have to rhyme, but I do have a preference for rhyming poetry.

Just for pure pleasure, there is a resource soon to be a favorite of mine, which is online radio.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner, but it is nice to be listening to relaxing music as I am writing away on my laptop.  The one I have been listening to this morning is AOL Radio, which can be found at http://music.aol.com/radioguide/bb .

There are so many sources for inspiration to write in the world around us.  I have decided I am going to start keeping an eye out for inspirational quotes about writing and pictures of things which inspire me.  Another wish list item is a digital camera, so I can take pictures to put with some of the articles I am writing as well as inspirational things I encounter in my journeys outdoors.  One of my favorite writing breaks is to go for a walk in the woods behind our home.

Inspirational Book for Freelance Writers

English: Amberg - Paperblanks ® books on displ...

Image via Wikipedia

Last week I found a book in a used bookstore I have really been enjoying. The book is Achieving Financial Independence as a Freelance Writer by Ray Dreyfack. The author says he has been a writer for over 30 years so he speaks from the viewpoint of experience. There is good information shared about specializing and using your experience to write. I have found, it is much easier to write about things I am passionate about and have some knowledge or experience regarding the subject matter.

One repeating phrase in the book is “think small grow big”, which simply put means to start small and build from there. This is good advice for beginning freelance writers like me and I think it will become one of my favorite mottos for future reference. This seems to fall in line with a lot of advice I have read for beginners. Advice which recommends beginning freelance writers with limited experience may want to write free for non-profit sources or articles for websites allowing submissions meeting their guidelines.  This provides an opportunity to gain experience and help build your writing portfolio.

The book shares the importance of making contacts, networking, and writing groups. There are numerous groups and associations for writers with membership fees ranging from free to about $100. I have found a local writers’ group through the website www.meetup.com and am looking forward to my first meeting next week.

 This book has been a good source of inspiration and I hope to finish reading it this week. Besides finding a great book, I also had some good news last week. I called to follow-up on an article I wrote for a magazine and later during the day received an email saying the article will be published!

Writing Resources

The World Digital Library.

Image via Wikipedia

It has been a slow writing week for me.  I definitely need to work on my time management skills and atleast write a little everyday.  Some days I spend hours writing and other days I do not seem to find the time.  It is easy to also get lost in time, researching information online, rather than spend time actually writing.  Maybe I need to start setting a time limit for reading blogs and researching information online.

I do find some very helpful information, so at least I am not wasting time.  I have found two books which are on my wish list as writing resources : The Yahoo Style Guide :  The Ultimate Sourcebook for Writing, Editing, and Creating Content for the Digital World by Yahoo and the Associated Press Stylebook.  Another of my favorite freelance writing websites, www.freelancewritinggigs.com , has a link to several free writing resources : www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2009/10/4-free-stuff-for-writers/ .  A dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedia are among some of the resources you can find there. 

I have been saving useful links I find as favorites on my computer, so I can find them easily when I need to refer to them again.  Some of the favorite folders I have on my computer are writing jobs, reference resources, nurse freelance writers, and writing contests.  I may have to go through and reorganize them again, but atleast it’s a beginning and you have to start somewhere.  Same thing with writing.

I did finish writing a short article today and submitted it on www.firehow.com .  Here is the link to it : http://firehow.com/2012020530040/how-to-make-the-most-of-your-healthcare-provider-visit.html .  Well, maybe this will be a more productive week and I will get more writing done.