Common tradition dictates that come January 1, we make our resolutions — then try to stick to them for more than three days into the New Year! Why is it that these resolutions never seem to stick? The resolution usually entails something that is too big and all encompassing.
On the other hand, what would happen to you, as a writer, if instead of making a New Year’s resolution, you simply set a goal for yourself for the coming year? Instead of resolving to finish your new script or novel, what if you reviewed the main project you want to finish in the coming year and then systematically broke down the work that needed to get done in order to accomplish this goal?
To do this I suggest that you use the method that we use in many of my script tips; use a timer, paper and a pen. I have found that most writers write with more emotion and in a more connected way when they put actual ink on paper instead of hitting keys on a keyboard. For the purposes of this goal setting exercise you will also be more successful if you put ink on paper.
Here is how it works:
- Set a timer for 15 minutes. Now close your eyes and visualize where you want to be a year from now with your current project. If you are not in the middle of a project, do you have intentions of starting a new project? If so, then picture how far along you want that project to be.
- Open your eyes, pick up the pen and write down what you have just visualized.
- Now look at where you want to be in your project (current or new) a year from now and start to think about what you will have to do to get there. Do you need to do research? Do you need to get a certain number of pages written? Do you need to do your re-write? Whatever it is that needs to get done write that on the same paper as your goal is written on.
- Being realistic, look at what you need to accomplish, now set the timer again for 15 minutes and with the timer running, so that you cannot deliberate over each step for too long, write down exactly what you need to do each month, then break that down into each week and then into each day in order to accomplish your goal for the end of the year.
Here’s to your successful and happy writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz
copyright (c)2014 by Marilyn Horowitz