Focus for 2014

focus-300x300My creative writing goal for last year was to review and regroup. I spent the year going through old notes, unfinished stories, snipets, ideas, and a lot of junk. The idea was to judge what was worth keeping and what could be permanently forgotten. Then I took all that and organized it so that I can get to it again.

And I did a pretty good job. I’m left with one unfinished story that I still feel is worth finishing, and a good-sized database full of characters, scenes, dialogue, and thoughts that I can both find and use, when I need them.

But all that was prelude to a different goal. Now that the reviewing and regrouping are out of the way, this year I’m going to focus on redeveloping the habit of writing. Being creative is hard. Especially if you don’t do  it everyday. And I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing.

There are many excuses I could give for this, and some legitimate reasons, too. But there’s no point in spelling them out, because even if you have real reasons you’re not writing, if you have the time and energy to list them, they’ve become excuses.

So what are my goals for 2014?

  1. I will write everyday. It might be a blog post, or a journal entry. Maybe personal correspondence. And maybe–just maybe–a little bit on a story.
  2. I won’t schedule any exceptions to #1, but I will allow myself 1 failure/week without guilt.
  3. Since I’m rebuilding a habit, I’m going to start small. January 1-January 15, 5 minutes/day minimum…January 16-January 31, 10 minutes/day minimum…and so on. So by the Ides of March my minimum will be 30 minutes per day–which is where I’ll stay.
  4. I will learn not to stop when I’m on a roll. If I start at 11PM, and I’m really going, bedtime can wait.

And to give myself the threat of consequence…if I don’t contribute, SIGNIFICANTLY, to my personal blog (which has been largely neglected for a couple of years) in 2014…I’m deleting it.

You may notice that these goals do not include writing X stories, or anything to that effect. In fact I do have a project, that I’ll be working on this year. But right now we’re in the early stages and haven’t developed a deadline…or announced the project. Keep an eye out for news.

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7 thoughts on “Focus for 2014

  1. Hi Dale! I love this idea of starting out with writing 5 minutes per day and then building on from there. What a great strategy–thanks for this idea!

  2. Good luck, Dale. I’m “write” there with you.

  3. Go get ’em, Dale! You can do it!

  4. I am right there with you, Dale. Now I just need to find that 5 minutes… Does commenting on here count? 🙂

  5. For real incentive to work on your blog, I think you should give one of the Today’s Author visitors the ID/PW combination to your blog — you know — to pull the trigger and delete the site on your behalf. 😉

  6. Good job, Dale. I will commit with you – to write – just write – every day.

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