This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after the other until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.
– Neil Gaiman
I’ve spent a fair bit of time today thinking (ie. trawling the archives of Writer’s Digest, 43Folders and Zen Habits) about what I need to do to get my writing career moving. And while the most effective practice that I can put into place is to actually write more, I’ve realised that the best way to progress is to set myself goals.
I write every day. Whether it’s a diary entry, checklist, an idea, a blog post, research for a story or a story itself, I write something every day. The problem is that very little of it amounts to anything tangible, usable. I lack focus. I know that I write best when I have a goal, something specific to work towards, a deadline, and it just so happened that this morning, my writer friend Dan (of Pen Wizard) linked me to a publishing house seeking submissions for anthologies. That got me wondering why the heck I haven’t been looking for those sorts of opportunities for myself, because chances are I’m not going to get published sitting at home, watching my laptop screen and waiting for the right person to stumble across my blog. A quick Google search returned quite an extensive list of anthologies looking for writing, many of them themed in genres I enjoy writing, and many of them paid. I ask myself again, why haven’t I done this sooner??
So, I’ve narrowed down three anthologies I want to submit to, that open submissions in July. Two are 7,500 words and one is 5,000 words. On top of that, I’m setting myself a goal of a chapter a week for my novel, which has been slowly steeping in the research/ procrastinating phase. I want to post here more frequently. And, I have a submission due for the next issue of The Brisbane Collective’s mag in a month or less, so I am going to be a busy little bee!
If you see me in the real world or on Facebook, or stumble upon my blog, harass me about my writing, what I’m working on, how close to finishing I am, how many words I’ve written that day. Make me feel bad if I haven’t written any. Lord knows I need a kick up the butt.