by Bobbie Christmas
I devoted an entire chapter to my Bill of Writes for writers in my seven-award-winning book on creative writing titled Write In Style: How to Use Your Computer to Improve Your Writing. Special to SPAWN, I have agreed to list and explain each item in my Bill of Writes through a series of articles. For all twenty-one items, refer to Write In Style, published by BookLogix and available on Amazon.
You Have the Right to: Set goals
You must know your goals if you expect to reach them. Yes, you might like to write, but what result do you hope to achieve?
Write down all the ways you define success. You may have one or more of the following goals: chronicle your life or your family history, work through a traumatic experience, pass along information you have gained, make money, change careers, record the stories in your head, or gain new clients. You may have another goal I have not mentioned, too, and only you can know why you write and how you define success with your writing.
To reach your goal, you must have more than a vague idea of what it is. Write down your exact goal or goals. Next decide when you want to achieve them. Do you want to change careers within three years? Do you want to see your name on the cover of a novel in eighteen months? Write down today’s date and your goal, along with its deadline.
After you have defined your goals, written them down, and set the dates by which you want to achieve them, post them prominently in your office or carry them in your wallet. Read your goals and deadlines often, and you will be on your way to reaching them.
You may affix your goals mentally with the use of affirmations. An affirmation is a short sentence that states your goal as if it is happening as you speak. An affirmation is something declared to be true. Your affirmation may look like some of these: “I sell my novel to a major publisher by (date).” “My speeches are quoted in news articles.” “I sell articles to consumer magazines with a circulation of 100,000 and more.” Your affirmation can be as specific as you want.
Here are some other possible affirmations that may help you write your own:
- I write children’s books that are published in America as well as other countries.
- I sell fifteen feature articles to trade publications each year.
- I write one novel every year that I sell for advances of $5,000 each plus royalties of 6% of retail.
- I write poems that resonate with others.
- I write nonfiction books that teach others how to be successful, and I complete a new book every three years.
- My book on (subject) successfully gets me booked as a keynote speaker at conferences across America.
- I write and self-publish my family history for generations to come.
Write down your affirmation. Sign and date it and display it in a prominent spot in your workspace. Repeat it aloud many times every day. The more you repeat your affirmation, the quicker it will come true. Believe it, and you will achieve it.
Because I have many deadlines looming at all times, I sometimes feel panic creeping into my life. My sister Go tells me she can hear it in my voice. My throat constricts, and I stammer when I speak.
I get less done when I panic, plus I harm my body. Panic strangles my throat and tightens the muscles in my back and shoulders. I get less done, just when I need to do the most. I learned a perfect affirmation that gets me through those tough times, and I use it often. It goes like this: “I have enough time, energy, and wisdom to accomplish all my tasks.” I say it often, and voilá, I do accomplish all my tasks, all within the deadlines I’ve set.
Bobbie Christmas is a book doctor with twenty-five years of experience and is the author of Write In Style: How to Use Your Computer to Improve Your Craft, winner of seven awards. Her website is www.zebraeditor.com.