‘Tis the season to reflect on the past year and plan ahead for the new. When it comes to writing goals, it’s a good idea to have a game plan that gives you some direction about what you’d like to work on in the new year. It can be anything from writing more each week to writing a novel.
No matter what you want to do, make sure to write it down so you can keep yourself motivated and on track throughout the year.
One way to reflect and plan is to use a management term known as S.W.O.T. Analysis. Applying this concept to writing will give you the opportunity to examine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats that can help make you a stronger writer going forward.
Let’s talk about each one!
Where do you feel you excel as a writer? What areas of the writing process really make you excited and ready to jump in and get started? Reflecting on your writing strengths is a great way to show yourself the skills and talents you bring to your writing. You can also see how you’ve more than likely improved over time and acquired new skills that have aided in making your writing stronger.
Your strengths could also be your editing abilities, writing clear and concise synopses or blurbs, or even drafting strong outlines for your stories. If it’s related to writing and you feel like you’ve got a handle on it, add it to the list.
We all have areas of the writing process we need to improve upon, and this is where to reflect on those. This is no time for a pity party, however. This is the time to understand and accept that these areas need your attention and work to make them stronger.
For example, one of my weaknesses is writing blurbs and synopses for my novels. So, this coming year, I’m going to focus on getting better at writing those and being more concise in my writing.
As you focus your attention on these weaker areas and actively work to improve them, you’ll find that your writing as a whole will also be elevated and better.
Look for more ways to fit writing into your schedule. It’s amazing how much free time most of us have, and it gets eaten away by watching TV or scrolling on our phones.
Decide this year to write for an hour or more a day instead of watching something or doomscrolling the news. It’s a much more productive use of your time, and you’ll feel better afterward.
If you seek out the time to write, you will find the time to write.
Also, look for ways to share your writing with others, enter writing contests, or publish your work. These can be great motivators to get projects done and help you experience the writing process from beginning to end.
What things might be preventing you from writing? They can be internal or external, but identifying them is a good step toward eliminating them. It might be your own fears about writing or a fear of feedback from others. These fears can threaten your ability to write and stop you before you start.
Once way to push past the threat is to write through the threat. Have a journal. Every time you feel that fear or other negative force that’s preventing you from writing loom over you, write about it. Why does it exist? What strategies can you use to push past it and start writing? Could you write a short story where you battle the threat that’s preventing you from writing?
Whenever a threat pops up that prevents you from being creative, identify it, work through it, and move forward. Don’t allow yourself or others to prevent you from writing.
By identifying your writing Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats and making clear writing goals for the new year, you can help yourself develop into a stronger and more consistent writer.
Happy Goal-Setting and I’ll see you next time!