Sunday, January 1, 2017

How Will 2017 be Different?

by Patricia Kiyono

Happy New Year! This is the time when we make decisions about our lives; we vow to make better choices, work harder, and become healthier. Or maybe we decide to let go of things that tie us down. As authors, we make decisions about what we want to complete. But how do we do that?

On January 14, I'll be speaking at the Grand Rapids Region Writers Group's monthly meeting about goal-setting. I'll have some exercises to share, but one of the things I want everyone to think about is to take stock of what the past year has been like. What have you accomplished? What were the things that allowed you to do these things? What did you want to accomplish but were unable to? What prevented you from doing them?

Once you've got a clear picture of what has come before, then you can look ahead. Decide what projects you want to get done. Not just "write something" but more specific. Try "finish my historical legal thriller." Or "finish and self-publish a memoir about my time in Paris." Then break it down into manageable chunks. What can you get done in a month? Write down 12 of those chunks for the year. Then break each of those 12 chunks into 4 smaller tasks. Now you've got your weekly goals. Keep track of these on a calendar, or whatever method works for you. A large task doesn't seem so daunting when you break it down into small, manageable steps.

Let's make this the year when you reach your goals!