If you’re like me, you’re probably banking on 2016 to be the year for your writing. You’re hoping to get something published, something accepted for publication, or even just get something query-worthy and start sending it out.
So here’s how to prepare yourself for what’s to come in 2016 because, let’s be honest, we don’t know what 2016 is going to bring.
1. Set a goal.
I haven’t really decided what stage of my writing I want to be in by the end of 2016. I think I want George Florence to be completely edited and start querying it out to agents and/or publishers by the end of December 2016.
I also want to submit short pieces to contests and magazines.
I have a few manuscripts completed that aren’t edited yet so I’m wondering if I should edit those and post them somewhere whether it’s Wattpad or I self-publish it. I have to go through all my options.
2. Figure out what to work on.
Think about what stage you’re on in each of your writing pieces. First draft, second, final? Querying, searching for beta-readers?
Then you get think about your goals. Which pieces can be sent to a contest? Which pieces can be seen by agents?
I would say focus on three pieces max. For me, I’ll be focused on my mystery novel, George Florence, short works for contests and magazines submissions, and I might work on another novel. There’s a particular manuscript that I wrote and fully completed for Camp NaNoWriMo a few years ago. For some reason that novel has been popping back up in my head. I guess I’ve let it sit for too long.
3. Find a daily routine.
I set aside an hour each day to get some work done. It’s tough when you have a full-time job and, in my case, a few part-time jobs on the side as well, so an hour is all you need. Sometimes it’s all you can get.
I spend Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday getting any writing, editing, or outlining done. Thursday, Friday, and Sunday are blog days.
I don’t think you can write seven days a week. You’re going to need to have a break in there somewhere. The same goes for blogging. Sunday is considered a blogging day for me, but I usually don’t do anything on that day.
On Saturdays I try to work for two hours instead of one. Saturdays are my only free day where I don’t have work, so I try to get a little bit more done. Unless I stall and decide to clean the house.
4. Find a monthly routine.
You can have a daily routine or you can have a monthly routine. I like to have both because it keeps things organized.
I try to treat some months as “NaNo” months whether it’s NaNo time or not. My monthly schedule that I hope to start for real in 2016 is as follows:
January — Edit
February — Write
March — Outline and Edit
April — Write (Camp NaNo)
May — Write and Edit
June — Outline and Edit
July — Write (Camp NaNo)
August — Write and Edit
September — Write
October — Outline and Edit
November — Write (NaNo)
December — Write (Short Story Sunday for next year)
At the beginning of each month I’ll figure out which piece I want to work on for that month. Some months will be multitasking. For example, for May I can work on short pieces for contests and edit George Florence at the same time.
2016 is about a week away. There’s so much to prepare for.
How are you preparing yourself for the new year? What are some of your goals?