Making a plan for 5775

Since, in last week’s post, I identified five areas in which I can improve my writing career in the next year, I thought I should also consider the steps to take in order to accomplish those goals.

1) Stop wasting time.

I really do need to stay connected on social media for professional reasons: for networking, to publicize my work when it goes live, and so on. However, I don’t need to check it periodically all day long, and then stare fascinated at the screen when I should be writing.

Two steps I’m going to take: allow myself one half-hour of Twitter and FB at noon, and one half-hour after the kids go to bed. The only exception is on those days I actually expect to have a story published online and know I’ll need to publicize it.

Additionally, I used to write most of my first drafts long-hand. I got out of the habit, but I think that it really prevented me from allowing those digital distractions to interfere with my flow. I’m resolving to write at least two pieces a week in long-hand before switching to Word.

I’m also toying with an idea I’d heard before, but that my best friend reminded me of last week: using a voice recorder to capture the great ideas I generate during the carpool run, after I’ve dropped the kids. Usually, they evaporate by the time I hit the house.

2) Really devoting time to query features.

Spend one half-hour a week — probably on Fridays — dreaming up ideas to query, then send out the best two the following Monday.

3) Finishing the endless revisions of my novel and making headway on the next one.

After Sukkos, I will block out an hour, three days a week, to work on this project.

4) No longer fueling my writing by munching, especially while stressed. 

Already started a diet.

5) Taking a class.

I’m in the process of applying for a grant, and if I win, I’ll use it to take a class at UCLA Extension or another local writing program, and may also attend some workshops that would normally be beyond my budget.

What steps do you think you need to take in order to improve your writing? Share in the comments?

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