How to Successfully Plan and Execute Your Writing Agenda For 365 Days
One year after I started writing seriously, I hit my all-time high for pay this month. When my first pay was a spectacular nine cents a year ago, I was determined to make that my lowest writing payment ever.
I turned my hobby of dabbling around with writing into a full-time job. You can do the same but you need to make some changes to your routine. Nothing happens instantly like it does in the movies. Life plays differently than you ever expect.
Just like a sport or going to war, you need to put your game face on to play the writing game. Writing is a game for you to win or lose. Sometimes the rules change, and you need to figure out the changes and quickly adapt.
If you want to be a successful writer, you need to focus. Put your game face on and write like you’ve never written before. There is some art and science to this and you need to find it.
You can’t follow the routine of talented writers otherwise you’ll be a poor imitation of them.
As a writer, you need to be you whether you’re a Shakespeare, a Denning, or a Rowling. Hone your writing skills until your fingers are crying. Only then, will you push yourself to the limits.
These three routines will apply to any writer. Then it’s up to you to massage the details.
1. Know your endgame
2. Plan your writing routine
3. Make the sacrifice for success
Following these steps will help you over the next year.
Know your endgame
“Everything’s going to work out exactly the way it’s supposed to.” Tony Stark Avengers
Like the Avengers movie, Endgame, you need to know your endgame. Instead of dying, you need to be the most dominant writer you can.
- Where do you want to be in one, five, and ten years down the road?
- If you suck as a writer today, what do you need to do to improve your writing?
- Do you need to change the topics you write about?
- Do you need to connect with more writers you admire?
There is no magic formula to give you. Only you can direct your future.
Figure out your endgame and you’ll go further than you ever imagined.
Plan your writing routine
“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
You wake up and go to sleep a certain time every day. As a writer, you need to do the same.
If you try to wing it and write whenever you can, you may not see the best results. For me, I need a routine for when I write and my thoughts are clear.
I work from home and get my writing done during the morning. My thoughts are fresh and I can concentrate.
Occasionally, I have written in the late afternoon and evenings but then your family wants something from you. The writing will get done but take longer than expected.
You probably won’t get your best work done either.
Your mind will be everywhere except coming up with the magic words to use.
When your family or other events distract you, then you need to make a change.
If you need to wake up an hour earlier before you start your day or go to sleep an hour later, you need to figure it out. Lock in that writing time to your current routine.
Make the sacrifices for success
“Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have “essential” and “long overdue” meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance.”
A year ago when the virus started, my routine changed so I started watching Netflix. After a few days of this, I said I can’t do that anymore. Watching movies are great but they don’t do anything for you.
That’s when I decided to give writing a serious try.
I saw that writers on Medium who earned $100 were considered part of the top seven to eight percent of writer's income-wise, on the platform. For someone who is competitive, that was my goal.
Within four months, I was there. Mission accomplished.
Last year, my highest month for earning income was $157 last summer. Since then my income went down instead of up.
I continued to earn close to $157 but couldn’t top that number.
There is no magic formula to writing
Writing is not hard but only if you make it hard.
You may need to make some changes to your routine as well as your goal.
What do you need to give up to reach your writing goal? If you don’t have a writing goal, you need to create one.
To create your writing routine, you need to make some sacrifices.
All three of these routines are interconnected. When you lack one, the other two won’t make up for the other.
As you head in April, set your writing goal, your routine, and make those sacrifices.
The only one holding you back is you.
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