As the year draws to a close (and didn’t that come around quickly?) it is time not only to be planning for next year but reviewing the last year.
I like to do this for a couple of reasons:
- To see if I achieved what I wanted to and if not why not
- To learn from the first point to be more effective next year
I have also said before that I track my time as the year has gone on I have become more efficient and detailed in that tracking. This is useful because without tracking the actual time I spend on my writing projects I don’t know. Before I was tracking I thought I spent hours a day writing, but I wasn’t.
Every goal I set is a part of the larger picture. Every day builds towards my longer term goals and overall plan. That is (and I’ve shared this before) writing full time. Being certain of where I’m going and how well I am achieving this is important for me because I am trying to meet these goals around a full time job and raising a child (alone-ish). I need to make decisions about how much time I put into this and what I want to get out of it.
I want to stress here that I am not writing to make money. I would love to be able to write full time because I love to write. I need to write. Creating stories and discovering new worlds and people is a joy. I would rather being experiencing that joy all day every day than slaving at the other desk.
From 2015 I have learnt:
My day job does impact on my creativity (the busier it gets the less writing I do).
Writing down/setting writing times does help but I don’t always stick to them.
I can draft a heck of a lot faster than I first thought.
I can draft a heck of a lot better than I used to.
I don’t mind editing as much, now that I have a clearer system (that works for me). But that may not always be the case.
Self publishing is the way to go (for me).
I can’t do it alone. I would love to, but I need support, writers groups, writing buddies, friends with skills, paid friends and would be friends with skills I don’t have.
It takes effort and time but every little bit of it is worth it.
From all of this, and the above list is not in any order, I am more confident going into next year. My plan is clear, my goals are set and I’m sure I will learn a whole lot more. It’s exciting really. From my tracking this year I have a good idea how long each process takes. I know when my day job is crazy busy and it will impact on my writing. I know how much time each day I can give it. And I know why I am doing what I am and what I’m working toward.
That means all I have to do is focus on the writing. And that is all I want.