Monthly Archives: December 2015

How To Measure Writing GOALS to See Progress

Good evening! 2015 Closure! My writing GROWTH increased in 2015. Yay! Each year I measure my daily word count from January to December to answer a question I continually challenge – Did I make progress? This question motivates me to write daily. You see – I am driven by GOALS – believe me, sometimes I think I am obsessed with GOALS! I must have started my TO DO list when I was five years old. Lol. If MOM was still here, I would call her to ask if this actually did happen because I see a purse-sized notebook in all of my memories…hmmm. I still keep a notebook in my purse – it contains my daily TO DO list and to capture my thoughts. I was informed, “If you cannot measure your GOAL – it is NOT a GOAL – it must be MEASURABLE” – this was eye-opening for me! This RULE made much sense – the MEASURE shows your PROGRESS – WOW! It is very MOTIVATING to SEE progress! Another surprise I discovered in this process is that the MEASURE also adds PURPOSE to your writing – thus resulting in AUTHENTICITY.  I found many rewards in measuring my writing goals. When I reach the GOAL – I do not mark the goal complete – I simply BENCHMARK it and challenge myself to KEEP GOING by adding another element to measure that will allow me to GROW.  This method ensures that I am always making PROGRESS in my writing. At the end of every year – I review my writing results and HIGHLIGHT what I feel were my strengths and weaknesses within the year. This is the closure strategy I utilize to see PROGRESS in my writing. I would love hear from any of my fellow writers about your yearly closure method to measure your writing. Are you satisfied with your writing results of 2015? What were your writing strengths of 2015? How did you measure your writing GOALS in 2015?

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Write Current Blog Content to Survive in Profession

Good morning! “I am a WRITER!” This is how one of the writer’s in a recent workshop introduced themself. It was said with such confidence! I felt proud to be in the presence of a group of writers who love this profession as much as I do! I can remember a time, before the digital era, when people were fearful to declare themself a writer unless they earned a contract with a traditional publisher. The moment someone asks, “What do you do?” Many professions can state their TITLE because the work is common for many JOB titles – the only thing that is common in our profession is the chosen genre – therefore, when we confidently respond, “I am a WRITER!” We better be able to tell them WHAT we are NOW writing or have written very recently! Go ahead and tell them how many blog posts you published this year and how many words you finished by the end of your novel – Yep, that’s right – you have permission to SHINE! Our profession is unique! Have any of you amazing writers noticed how HIGH the expectations are for our profession? Writers cannot ride on yesterday’s accomplishments – we have to keep producing NEW material to be noteworthy. Just like our blog. We have to write a post on our blog on a regular basis or we will be forgotten. Yes, content is King, but we need to have current content or we lose our base. This is an important caveat to the digital era that we must understand and embrace to remain a credible writer. The silver lining to this caveat is that it gives us an edge in the market. We have to remain sharp in today’s writing market because we are surrounded by a very large group of amazing and confident writers around the globe. If we want to survive in today’s digital market – we must utilize our unique writing skill, strategically, by producing current content on our blog.

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Calendar Choice Exudes Inspiration To Write Daily in 2016

Good afternoon! “If it’s not broken – don’t fix it!” My calendar choice last year worked PERFECTLY! I am sticking with it for 2016! I felt so inspired by last year’s post that I decided to share it again this year – I updated content for 2016…Enjoy! One of Webster’s definitions for inspiration is “any stimulus to creative thought or action.” Daily, I intentionally observe my surroundings and search for a spark of inspiration to ignite my daily writing episode. My calendar brings me a special dose of inspiration. Therefore, when I set out to choose which calendar I will select to track my year’s journey, I examine the external design for inspiration; sometimes just a beautiful color with simple text of “2016 Planner” inspires me. I open the cover and feel the texture of the pages, as quality paper inspire me to write. Page layout is key to my choice, a weekly format allows me to include daily writing activity in my schedule. Maps, factual data on information that is important to me, quotes, and fonts are the other key elements that lead to my final decision. I selected a deep red, “Barnes & Noble 2016 Desk Diary”, it is a “Literary Datebook” that will keep me inspired each day as I write; it is full of Illustrations of famous authors, short essays, full-color world maps, and a literary quiz all in beautiful fonts and designed in a well-executed layout on each page. Each day I write, I add my word count to my calendar. At the end of the week, I analyze my weekly writing productivity. (Sidebar: This is my personal motivation to work really hard every day to write as many words that will flow – to reward myself when I accomplish excellent results at the end of the week.) Thus, this is the reason that I invest an extensive amount of time into my calendar selection…because it serves as a key tool to inspire me to write daily. Please share with me how you made your final decision to purchase your 2016 calendar…and how it will inspire you to write daily in 2016?

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Confident Writers Reject Self-Doubt

Good morning! Believe in your ideas! Self-doubt is powerful! I attended a writing workshop in which responses from the audience of writers broke my heart. Time-after-time hands were raised – requesting validation on their ideas ending with, “Is this ok?” The ideas they were sharing were AMAZING! I wanted to answer them, “The fact that YOU created that idea –  makes it ‘okay’!” The seed of doubt landed in the minds of these avid writers and stole their confidence. Self-doubt caused them to second-guess their ability as a writer. I strongly believe that the validation they were requesting would likely not have been needed if their confidence was strong. Why is this observation important to us? Because this can happen to any of us, at any given time, if we allow the seed of doubt into our mind. Low self-esteem opens the door to self-doubt. Increased self-esteem is necessary for writers! The first step to increase self-esteem is to believe in yourself – believe in your writing ability – believe in the ideas YOU create. Take a moment to analyze what you are seeking validation for  – let’s imagine we were in the same position as the workshop writers – Each idea generated to form the foundation for our story is creativity at work – We need to give ourself credit for our hard work. Affirm ourself. Affirmations are a great tool to increase self-esteem. Increased self-esteem builds confidence. Confident writers protect their creativity by rejecting self-doubt. Confident writers believe in their ideas.

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Writing is Serious Business in Today’s Digital Era

Good morning! Today’s business of writing is unique. As a writer, I feel very fortunate to have observed a huge shift in opportunity with the introduction of the internet. This shift has opened the door for writers on every level, providing us an opportunity to show the world that we view our creative skill as a business. Writers, around the globe, can share their writing in digital form – be it personal or commercial – from writing a Dear John letter; a sales letter;  office memo; a Legal Brief; an annual report; website content; 140 character thoughts; to blog posts. Some of us writing to earn a profit — some of us writing simply for the pleasure of writing. Isn’t it a joy to have this unique creative freedom with our writing! We can choose to write five words or five thousand words. Sometimes, the hardest part about being a writer in this digital era is mustering the courage to hit the “publish” button on a public forum.  Today’s digital era provides many opportunities for serious writers to make their mark via the internet….happy writing!

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