However bad the Old Year - and for some of us 2008 was grim - New Year's Day dawns and the spirits lift because New Year holds infinite possibility. It's a time when we believe we can choose what we'll write on the blank page of the year before us. We dare to hope for better.
And, for writers, this could mean the Year of Publication. Why should this be important enough to feature? Well, we're not writing in a vacuum. We want someone, somewhere, to share what we put on the page and, as a result, to understand us better. That's why we put so much effort into ploughing what can, at times, seem a lonely furrow!
But how can we make 2009 your Year of Publication?
Some writers start the New Year bristling with diaries, ‘road maps’ and post-it notes - lending a writing project the air of a military offensive. If you favour this style - and many do - your writing goals may benefit from the strong-minded application of management principles.
The SMART formula is currently popular. Begin by asking yourself:
1) Is my writing goal Specific? (What form(s) of writing do I want to work on? A novel? A radio play? The ultimate letter of complaint? )
2) How will I Measure my success? (Will I, for example, hold my published book in my hand by the second August Bank Holiday?)
3) Am I Able to produce this piece of writing? (Or do I need more training?)
4) Is this piece of writing Relevant to what I am and what I want from my life in 2009? (And does writing mesh well with my other hopes and aspirations at this time?)
5) What is my Time-line for this goal? (Deadlines work wonders for some. )
And, once you've shaped your 2009 writing goal, you have then consciously to commit to the process. Here the GROW model can act as a facilitating pattern - perhaps for a coaching session.
In this, you discover:
What is your GOAL for 2009?
What is REALLY going on for you at the moment?
What OPTIONS have you?
Do you have the WILL to achieve your goal?
Elizabeth Gates is an experienced published writer who also coaches others who write for professional advancement or personal development. She specialises in releasing clients’ creativity and the maintenance of their well-being. For more information, please see her website, http://www.lonelyfurrowcompany.com and read her blog at http://lizziegates.blogspot.com