Achieving your goals in the arena of writing takes no less dedication than the tactics real-life ninjas use to improve their skills and train successfully, especially if you want to be excellent at your craft and experience the results of having your work published. Here are ten ways to reach your writing goals this year as you train to become an accomplished Book Ninja in achieving your dreams.
Define Your Vision
What is it you want to accomplish? Are you writing for personal enjoyment (blogging and gaining a following) or for income? Do you want to submit articles to magazines and online publications or do you plan to write a book (or books)? Where do you want to take your writing and where do you want your writing to take you?
Play to Your Strengths
Are you better at fiction or nonfiction? Is it easier for you to create characters and plots or present guidelines and information? Are you good at storytelling and weak at persuasion, or the other way around? What subjects light your fire? Write what you are passionate about, not what you think will sell and have no true interest in.
Join a Local or Online Support Group for Writers
Being part of a group has many advantages, including getting feedback on your writing, learning things you didn’t know (tricks of the trade), offering your own knowledge and support to others, making friends and business connections, and yes—even learning how to professionally and maturely deal with criticism and negativity. (Hint: Join our free Writing is Art writer’s support community!)
Attend a Professional Writing Conference or Workshop
Not only will you make important connections and some lifelong friends, but you’ll be able to see what’s new and exciting in the marketplace of ideas. You’ll learn from successful, established writers and authors and may even be able to pitch your manuscript to an agent if traditional publishing is still on your radar. (You may know by now I’m not a huge fan of traditional… lol)
Take a Class to Improve Your Skills
There’s always room for improvement, no matter how good you are at narrative or how many happy tears you bring to grandma’s eyes when she reads your stories. Community colleges are great places to find courses and workshops in various aspects of writing. And if you don’t want to pay the large fees of college tuition, get a PhD level education for mere pennies over at The Book Ninja Academy.
Hire a Writing Coach for Laser-Focused Direction
Even if you can’t afford ongoing coaching, one hour with the right person can give you specific direction and help you define you goals. A writing coach can help you with a specific project you’re working on and give you constructive criticism and a clear plan of action.
Get an Accountability Partner
This is someone who knows you and whom you trust to be able to hold your feet to the fire when it comes to your daily or weekly goals for writing. This should not be someone who will tell you what they think you want to hear. That won’t help you become a better writer. Choose wisely.
Create an Action Plan
Books don’t write themselves. Articles don’t materialize on demand. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your writing empire. Create a daily habit. If you have time for coffee or pilates, you have time for writing. It’s a matter of priorities.
Review Your Progress Monthly and be Flexible
Evaluate where you’re at on a regular basis, whether it’s weekly or monthly. Checking your progress is important to keep the momentum going. Allow your timeline to be adjustable. Things come up and shit happens. Be willing to make adjustments. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to switch things up.
Celebrate your achievements! A day at the spa, lunch at your favorite restaurant, a movie with a friend, or a special memento to remind you of your success goes a long way toward giving you something to look forward to every time you achieve a goal.
Reaching your goals and getting the results you want takes commitment and determination. You are worth it! Following your dreams is worth it! Invest in yourself and believe in yourself. The only thing holding you back is YOU. Now go forth and be a Book Ninja.