The New Year is literally right around the corner.
What are you doing to prepare?
Here are four things you can do now using your journal to make 2017 your best writing year ever.
1. Get in the habit of writing – Every day.
As writers, we hear this same advice all the time.
But it bares repeating.
Find time in your busy schedule to write something every day.
What better tool do you have to help you build your writing habit than your journal?
It’s completely portable (think of a notebook you can stick in your bag or briefcase on your way out the door in the morning).
As long as you have your trusty journal handy you can jot down thoughts and ideas and get your writing for the day done.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to spend hours writing or write thousands of words in one sitting.
Five minutes may not seem like a lot of time.
Five-hundred words (or even 100 words) may not seem like a lot at first.
But you will be surprised at the progress you can make simply carving out five minutes per day to write only 100 words.
It’s more often than not, once you get in a groove, you’ll want to continue.
Novels are written one letter, one word and one second, one minute at a time.
2. Plan your business and marketing.
Your journal is a great place to plan out your business .
If long-term planning -12 months or more- isn’t your thing, plan in three month increments.
➢ What are your goals for your business in the upcoming year?
➢ What are your financial goals for whatever period you’re planning for?
➢ Who do you want to work with?
➢ What magazines (consumer or trade) do you want to write for?
➢ How are you going to let people know who you are and what services you offer?
Use your journal to set some plans in place that will get 2017 moving in the right direction for your writing career.
3. Review and check in with yourself periodically.
Your journal will show you where you are in your business.
If you journaled your business in 2016, it will help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your business activities.
It will help you identify what is working well and what isn’t working well.
Your journal will help you identify your highs and lows.
Journaling your business in 2017 will do the same thing.
It will help start the New Year off on the right foot where your business is concerned and keep you on track throughout the year.
4. Get back to enjoying your business.
Remember the feeling you had when you first decided to call yourself a writer?
The elation and the passion you had for your craft?
Then the business side of things set in and your business suddenly wasn’t so fun any more.
Follow the above three steps and you will be better able to enjoy your business.
Take some time before 2016 ends to journal a quick review of your business year.
Face the ups and downs.
Then move on.
Spend some time planning and plotting your business for 2017 (in your journal of course).
Don’t forget to write out your hopes and your dreams for your writing career along with those business and marketing plans.
And get back to the joy of being a writer.
About Patricia Bumpass
Patricia (Pat) Bumpass (www.patriciabumpass.com) is a North Carolina-based freelance writer.
She writes a weekly blog for her current employer while building her freelance writing business.
Pat enjoys writing and has journaled since she was a teenager.
She lives with her 17-year-old son who is blessed with Autism.