Between inflation, Covid, politics, and heightened friction on the world stage, there’s a lot of stress affecting our mindset. The result? Many of us aren’t getting as much writing done as much as we hoped.
And as the months pass, we can become increasingly frustrated and pessimistic, because it feels like our writing goals are getting farther from reach.
But we can’t give up.
Goals Are Important
Every January, most of us perform a ritual: sit down and decide what we want to focus on during the next 12 months. Will we write a new book? Build our platform and learn everything we can about the industry? Take the leap and self-publish?
We do this because goals motivate us and achievements will move us closer to our dreams. But when life derails us, we start to wonder if we’ll ever get to the finish line.
So how do we pull ourselves out of this mental funk and keep moving forward?
By harnessing the symbolic power of autumn.
When Seasons Shift, So Can We
For many, Fall marks a unique point in time. Summer’s over, and so the Fall has a “roll up your sleeves” feel to it: kids go back to school, adults return to work if they’ve been on holiday, and we writers head back to the keyboard in earnest after ignoring our WIP a little (or a lot) over the summer.
Just as January prompts us to imagine and plan the future, our minds are hardwired to think a certain way when September rolls around. It is a time to buckle down, make preparations, finish important work, and embrace change.
An Opportunity to Regroup & Refocus
The symbolic nature of fall is powerful, and we can use it to our advantage. This time of change makes it easier for us to regroup, leaving disappointment over what didn’t get accomplished or didn’t happen in the past and shift our thoughts to what can still happen.
It’s not too late to make strides toward your goals. Where can you dig in? Can you be creative right now and write? If so, do. If you can’t (and that’s okay), think about other ways to refocus energy toward your writing dream: small steps that are doable.
Maybe you can…
- Research the next story idea
- Build a new cast of characters
- Read a book on writing craft to improve your skills
- Clean up your hard drive (Angela, this is your subconscious speaking…are you listening?)
- Take a course, watch a webinar, or search for articles to help you better understand the business of writing (building a platform, mastering Amazon Ads, how to set up a newsletter, etc.)
- Take on that monstrous TBR (to-be-read) pile!
- Make promotional images on Canva
- Investigate writing software or programs that have caught your eye (many have free trials, including our own One Stop for Writers)
- Go through your website. Update your bio and see if anything is missing. (Do you have an “About” page? Are your social links visible?)
- Make a list of topics you can blog about
- Investigate your book’s ideal audience
- Make a list of possible book influencers
- Trade critiques with someone
- Practice self-care. Be kind to yourself. Fill your creative well.
- Or something else!
We have several months left of the year. Plenty of time to dust off personal goals, adjust business plans, and create a modified to-do list. Let’s turn the page and push forward, doing what we can as time and energy allow.
The season of fall is highly symbolic and triggers motivation. Use it to your advantage!
Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
[…] Here’s a great, encouraging post by Angela Ackerman at Writers Helping Writers. Please check it out here. […]