Hi my name is Al Bargen. If you are anything like me you want to get more out of your writing in 2014. When you think about a very accomplished writer, you may envision someone with the seemingly unnatural ability to produce large volumes of flawless prose in a flash of fingers across the keyboard.
But of course we know this is not reasonable to expect of ourselves. The fact remains that in order to get better at the process of writing, we need to set some specific, measurable writing goals.
One approach to consider is the development of what I call your “super-powered writing goals”. Setting goals is great, but without powering up your powers to achieve these goals, you will make little progress. These writing goal powers are: clarity, focus, association and persistence.
- Clarity. Clearly define the areas which require improvement. Do your friends or editor constantly pick up on the same types of mistakes, or errors when they proof your prose? If this is the case, consider taking a course to shore up this weaker area.
- Focus. Zero in on one aspect that you wish to improve upon. Set your sights on this and this only. Avoid distractions. Create the habit of being completely present on the task at hand. Train your writing towards that one singular purpose for maximum results.
- Association. It’s perfectly fine to keep your writing to yourself if you write for leisure. However, if you want to improve the level of engagement your audience experiences, having a community to draw upon is key. Same goes if you want to improve response rates to your writing. So join an online writing group and ask for help. You may be surprised at the willingness to help that your fellow writers can demonstrate.
- Persistence. Of all superpowers, to develop persistence is the most important. Persistence calls upon one to develop self-discipline. Cultivate good habits, and destroy your bad ones. Continually ask yourself; “Is what I am doing right now bringing me closer to my writing goals, or is it pulling me further away?”
Take stock of where you are at. Do this on a regular basis. If you are lacking in any of the powers described above, create a plan this year to develop them. We are a community here at Writers Rise. Please comment on any advice you have to help other writers achieve their goals this year. And feel free to let us know what your writing goals are for 2014.
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