shalanna: (flowercat)
shalanna ([personal profile] shalanna) wrote2012-08-07 08:54 am

For writers and journalers: a self-inventory/goalsetting post

This is for people who write. If you write professionally, aspire to write professionally, write as a fan, write for your circle of friends/readers, write for therapy, or whatever, these qusetions may help you progress. Don't feel that you have to use ALL of them--you can cherry-pick. Or don't use any of them. It's up to you, because this is meant to help you write (or not).

Complete one or both of the following sentences, using your current top reason for not writing more or finishing your novel:
I can't finish my current novel because ...
I can't write more because ...

Would it make more sense to replace "can't" in the above sentence(s) with "don't," "won't," or "I'm afraid to"? Sometimes at the root of a writing reluctance/difficulty is some underlying fear. Are you allowing fear to prevent you from attempting/achieving? Does this make it easier, because you "aren't really trying" and therefore will never discover that "you're not worthy" or "I'm not good enough"?

You've got to identify and acknowledge fear (ur internal stressors, or blocks, or whatever) before you can remove it. In fact, you must be READY to remove it before you can begin to deal with it.

How many relationships or outside activities have you spent time on this month/week?

______ spouse or significant other ______ job
______ children ______ shopping
______ other family members ______ relaxing
______ friends ______ sleeping
______ community activities ______ reading
______ cleaning/housework ______ writing
______ driving/commuting ______ studying/school
______ other activities (List below)

Put a plus sign (+) next to the relationships and activities on which you spent less time than you desired in the previous week.

Put a minus sign (-) by the relationships and activities on which you spent more time than you desired in the previous week.

What are your most time-consuming daily activities?

Which daily activities do you want to be the most time-consuming? Which ones do you feel deliver more reward per moment spent?

Will you have to make changes in your schedule and/or your commitments in order to accomplish more (or more of what you want/need to do)? Do you need more time or more free time or just more time to dream, or for YOU?

Perhaps you need to reduce or give up any volunteer activities (church committees, community groups or committees, school committees, etc.) wherever you can. If you can't give up a volunteer activity, perhaps you can reduce
the time you devote to the activity or organization each week. Can you hire help for the housework, laundry, cooking, or other duties? Can family members take on a few of the chores? Can you spend Sunday afternoons making casseroles (for example) that you can reheat on weeknights, freeing up evening time? There must be some places you can reclaim time for your writing or for yourself.

Which family members and friends emotionally and verbally (and perhaps financially) support your writing aspirations? Who doesn't (list only the people who really matter and whose support you wish you had)?

If you feel you need additional support, name two people whose friendship and support you would like to cultivate in the next year (preferably fellow writers).

List activities that help you relax/unwind. (Bubble baths, lying in beanbag chair listening to music, staring out window at birds building nests, cooking, etc.) If you don't have any specific activities now, list some that you would like to try.

Note the time of day when you have the most energy: morning, afternoon, evening, midnight hours.

What time of day do you write? In one of your high-energy periods?
It is sometimes useful to write during a high-energy period. Other people prefer to write during a meditative time. You could rest or engage in relaxing activities before your writing time so that you are refreshed mentally and physically when you do sit down to write.

Name one writing goal you have achieved in the past year (starting or finishing a chapter of your book, researching, writing a synopsis, getting an agent, attending a conference, etc.).

Name one writing goal you have achieved in the last month.

Name one writing goal you have achieved in the last week.

List five long-term goals you have for your writing career.

List five short-term goals for your writing career, i. e., immediate steps you can take to begin creating the future you envision for yourself as a writer.

If you are one of those people who does mission statements, do one. Talk about your writing work area, your work hours, the types of story you hope to tell, or whatever you believe belongs in such a statement.

I hope any or all of these suggestions sparks you to achieve! Or at least to believe. That is, of course, always the first step.