Category: Writing

Plantsers

Plantsers

Today I’m going to wrap up this blog series with my own “outlining personality.”

If you’ve missed the earlier posts, you can read them here:

Pantser

Planner

 

Now I’m certainly no planner, but I’m not a complete pantser. I’m what is known as a plantser—one who grows plants. 🌵🌱🌷

Actually, that’s not the technical definition of a plantser. (Though I have an affinity for growing and killing 🥀plants.) I’m not even sure there is an official definition.

So I shall give you one.

A plantser is someone who both outlines and writes by the seat of their pants.

Plantsers seem like a paradox, don’t they?

But it’s entirely possible to do both. I’m living proof!

 

How I Plan

I’ve tried to do formal outlines. I’ve tried The One Year Adventure Novel.

Something about detailed outlines drives me crazy. It takes the fun out of writing for me.

I’m more of a “let me scribble a bunch of important stuff on a legal pad, then forget about it” kind of outliner. At the very most, I might even write out a few bullet points.

My mom had me try to outline Checkmate, which was good in some ways (it showed me that I do have a bit of a planner in me and that I had way too many traps 😅), but after I finished it, I totally disregarded it.

The majority of outlining that I do I call “head-writing.” That basically means I write the scene in my head before I write it out on paper.

Partially because I get all my good ideas while washing dishes or taking a shower and water + paper = not good. Partially because I think it’s really fun.

It’s like watching a movie in your head on repeat until you know it by heart. I’ll go over the idea until I have little details worked out (such as how someone is standing, the location of the knife, the layout of the building, etc.). That way, when I actually have a good sized chunk of time to write, I can get a lot of words out. Mostly because I’m really excited about the scene that’s been living in my head, but also because I have somewhere to start instead of staring at that evil blinking cursor.

 

How I Pants

I love pantsing!

When a little plot bunny comes sneaking around, I’m more than happy to follow it down winding trails. Most of the time, it ends up better than I had planned. Other times, I have to do more re-writing because it changed a bunch of stuff.

For example, one of my main characters (My personal favorite. Shh, don’t tell him.) was simply supposed to be a “spear-carrier”—in other words, an extra. Just there to fight the bad guys and probably die like side characters always do. Then one day (while doing dishes), it occurred to me, “What if I give this guy a POV? And what if he has this backstory?” The rest is history. He promptly took over the last half of Draft 1 and 2.

One thing I’ve learned with my little bit of writing experience is “trust your gut.” If you think it’s awkward it probably is. So if you think you should follow a plot bunny, you should.

 

So, now you know about all about planners, pantsers, and plantsers.

It’s important for every writer to understand their writing process. No one way is better than another. There are also differing degrees of each process—some outline every scene, others only do bullet points.

Your process might not fit the patterns we’ve talked about over the last three weeks.

 

Your Turn!

What’s your writing process? Are you a planner? A pantser? Do you have houseplants?

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale rides a squeagle
Glendale has returned! While he was away, he had many adventures, on of which was riding a squeagle–a man-eating (and elf-eating) bird of prey. And this picture is actually to scale. He is lucky he lived to tell the tale!

 

Outlining: Guest Post by Kate Korsak

Outlining: Guest Post by Kate Korsak

Today my friend Kate Korsak is going to talk about being an outliner!

 

About Kate

Kate Korsak

 

Kate Korsak is a seventeen-year-old fantasy writer, who found her love for writing the she was eleven. Now homeschooled and living in Florida, Kate spends most of her time working on her current writing projects. A love for reading, writing, and God keeps her moving forward and working hard in hopes of one day publishing her works!

 

Planning (a.k.a. Outlining)

Plotting a story is time-consuming, and can make some writers uneasy, but outlining a story is the most organized way to write, and if you’re like me, it is well worth your time.

An outline is defined as, “a general description or plan giving the essential features of something but not the detail”, which means a plotter or ‘outliner’ is a writer who plans the important parts of their project before they begin, and add the detail as they go. You’ll spend hours, days, or even weeks planning out your project before you even begin to write. This may sound tedious at first, but for some people, we prefer to know exactly what we’re doing before we start to do it, and outlining your project will give you a path to follow as you write your story.

The first step to outlining your story is starting with an idea. My novel began with the idea of a young boy who accidently becomes king. I sat with the idea a bit until I had a bit of a story thought up. The boy finds a stone that makes him king and he travels around his world to earn the right to be ruler. I liked the idea, but I wasn’t ready to start writing yet.

With an idea of what kind of story I wanted to tell, I sat down and wrote out different ideas for where I wanted the story to go. Where does the boy travel? Who does he travel with? Who is he fighting against? With questions down, I began to pick the ones I thought would best fit the story and put them in order. I gave him companions of his journey and a good reason to fight against the current rulers. My story was beginning to come together, and I liked where it was headed. From there, I moved on to the next step.

After putting together a rough plan, I began working on the details. I started by spending a lot of time with the characters and their world, learning places, personalities, and backstories before I began on the story itself. When I was comfortable with my characters and their setting, I went back to my rough idea and started the outline. (I used an outlining method from Young Writers Workshop.) When I was finished, It looked something like this:

Opening Scene

In Gumbee Forest, Baldwin has his map, his brother, Hadwin, takes him to the caves

Inciting Event

Baldwin finds the stone but tries to take it back

First Plot Point

Baldwin leaves with Areli, Bagus, and Hadwin to Igozi forest

Midpoint

Battle with the Dragon Queen, Baldwin can’t destroy her staff, he gains her powers as ruler

Third Plot Point

Go to Volrod for help, find Bagus stole his stone from the princess of Volrod

Climax

Leave Volrod and are met with the Elitar army, Hadwin is sent home with the dragons

Conclusion

Loose to Elitar and are taken prisoner

 

As you can see, this story will continue in another book, but for now, this is the outline for the first book. All of the major points are written down and I know where I am going with the story and how I’m going to get there.

With your outline complete, you are ready to begin writing your story! Just start with the opening and work your way down the outline, connecting each plot point to the next until you reach the conclusion. It’s important to remember that, as you are writing, you may find that you don’t like the direction your story is headed and that’s okay! Just re-adjust your outline and continue writing. Your outline is flexible, and as a writer, you have every right to change it as needed.

Plotting a story isn’t for everyone, but it may be exactly what you need to get your story going!

 

Be sure to check out Kate’s blog! https://katekorsak.wordpress.com/ 

Pantser: Guest Post by Rebecca Reed

Pantser: Guest Post by Rebecca Reed

Today begins a new blog series! We’re going to be talking about the different writers: pantsers (those who write without an outline), plotters (those who outline), and plantsers (an interesting mix of both pantsers and plotters).

Our first post is about pantsers, written by my friend Rebecca Reed! Before we get into the actual post, she made the perfect meme for this series!

Pantser vs. Plotter

 

About Rebecca

Rebecca Reed

Rebecca Reed is a former jockey and current Spanish teacher, track coach, drama director, and lover of God, animals, music, travel, and all things word-related. She lives in rural Indiana with her husband, Brad, Ziva (her huge, fruit-loving dog), and a multitude of cats, rabbits, and cows. She has 6 children (2 of whom are exchange students from Ukraine), and 2 grandchildren. Occasionally, athletes will adopt her as their “track mom.” She is addicted to audiobooks, is genuinely weird at times, firmly believes that words have power, and is blessed to have been given the gift of using them to communicate in multiple languages, and create stories designed to break chains and encourage positive choices.

 

Pantsers

I am a new writer. No. That’s not quite accurate. I am a long-time writer new to the “writing for publication” world. When I first felt God calling me to do more with my writing than simply write, I thought I knew what I was doing. Now that I’ve been at this for about a year, I realize I know next to nothing. That said, I am defining the term “pantser” as it applies to the way I write. Others, more experienced than me, may have a different bent to the definition, but this is how I see it.

 

A “pantser,” or “seat of the pants” writer, is a writer who begins a story or novel with little planning. Some people begin with a character, and build the story around her. Others begin with a setting or perhaps the basic idea for a plot. What would happen if a giant gorilla invaded New York City? Still others will plan the basic plot with a concise outline or map, write out details about their characters, maybe even plan out a small character arc. But when they actually begin the story, the characters take on a life of their own and the plot may take a complete left turn. That’s okay with a pantser.

 

Pantsers enjoy the pure thrill of sitting down to a blank computer screen and filling it with words the characters dictate. They may feel that an outline limits the flexibility and spontaneity they value. My first novel was written for a contest. I had never been trained on how to write a novel, so I did not intentionally sit down one day and decide I would write it as a pantser. I wrote that way because I didn’t know any other way.

 

Since then, I have discovered my ideal style may be that of a “plantser,” which is a hybrid between the true pantser who never outlines or writes out their ideas ahead of time, and a “plotter,” who plans each scene (or at least each major scene) prior to writing the first word.

 

My second novel began in the pantser manner, but not knowing the ending, created a really long and meandering saggy middle. I began to jot down ideas for scenes that would get me to my desired ending. I’ve tried to follow those ideas, but find that my characters refuse to go the route I’m asking them to take. I guess that means, at least for the time being, I remain a pantser.

 

The true joy of a pantser is that freedom to go wherever the words take you. Many of my best scenes have been ones I could never have foreseen when first conceptualizing the story and the characters. Characters are living beings inside a pantser’s head, and they do, indeed, take over at times. Yes, many times, a pantser is required to go back and rewrite, revise and edit more than a plotter, but it is up to you as a writer to decide whether you wish to spend the time up front in plotting or after the first draft in revising. In my opinion, a mix of the two is probably the most effective, and while I may become a plantser, it is unlikely I will ever become a plotter.

 

To find out more about Rebecca’s writing journey or her thoughts on other topics visit https://rebeccareedwrites.com/

 

 

 

The YWW: The Writing Community That Started It All

The YWW: The Writing Community That Started It All

If you went back to the summer of 2017, you’d find a teenage girl who had just finished reading Do Hard Things and This Changes Everything. Naturally, as a good bookworm will do, she found the website that got both books started: TheRebulution (now known as TheReb).

As she browsed the site over several days, she came across a post announcing the opening of a program for young writers—The Young Writer’s Workshop. As the young woman had been mildly interested in writing for a while now, she studied the articles, watched the videos, and perused the site for new updates. When it finally opened for registration, she begged her parents to let her join.

Her mother told her that if they were going to pay for this program, the teen would have to put forth some effort and show a greater interest in writing. So the girl got a notebook and started writing right then.

After seeing her daughter’s excitement, the mother convinced the father to sign the teen up.

You should have seen the girl’s face when she heard the news. She was ecstatic and spent the rest of the day on the computer making new friends and becoming more interested in writing.

Not too long after joining the YWW, she started writing her first novel.

As you probably guessed, the young woman is me. 😊😋

Today I wanted to tell you more about The Young Writer’s Workshop (YWW), affectionately known by its members as “YDubs.” It was founded by Brett Harris and Jaquelle Crowe (the authors of Do Hard Things and This Changes Everything, respectively).

The Christian-based writing program has two parts: content library and community.

 

Content Library

There is a wealth of information in the library, all aimed at young writers. Most of them are recordings, so you can listen to them whenever you want. (They also have transcripts for those who prefer reading.) I love listening to them while I crochet.

There are episodes on how to overcome writer’s block, start a blog, world-build, dealing with comparison, self-publishing, and so much more!

But my favorite section of the library are the author interviews. You get to hear about the writing journeys of successful authors like:

  • Andrew Peterson
  • Tessa Emily Hall
  • Tamera Alexander
  • Chuck Black
  • Kara Swanson
  • Jaye L. Knight

And many more!

 

The Community

By far, my favorite part of the YWW is the community. I’ve been part of a few other online writing communities, but they all pale in comparison to this one. (I might be biased, because YWW was my first one. :P)

I’ve made several close friendships and even found writing mentors here. Everyone is very welcoming and kind.

Here are some of the things that the community offers:

  • Support for young writers. You can ask for advice on anything from characters to graphic designs to how to run a giveaway. There’s even a space where you can directly ask the instructors a question!
  • A safe place to role-play as your characters. The YWW even has a “holiday” every month for role-playing. While I haven’t done it much myself, it’s really fun and a great way to make friends and develop your characters! (In fact, I met one of my closest friends during my first role-play!)
  • Critiques and Accountability. You can join a critique group and/or an accountability group and learn how to improve your writing and/or how to get things done!
  • Word Sprints. I love word sprinting. You might know it as a word war or focus sprint. All you do is set a time with another writer (usually around 30 minutes or so) and then work as hard as you can on writing, schoolwork, or whatever else needs done. Having someone to keep me accountable for even just half an hour really helps me get things done.
  • There are writers here in all stages of their publishing journey. We have successful traditionally published authors and successful self-published authors as well as newbies who are just learning the craft. We have masterful bloggers and beginners (like me!).

No matter what you’re looking for, you can probably find it in The Young Writer’s Workshop.

I found encouragement when I wanted to give up. I found friendships where I wasn’t expecting them. I found a community of people just like me—young, with stories flowing through their veins. I found new authors to read and love. I found out that writing isn’t silly.

I learned my dreams could come true.

 

Brett and Jaquelle only open registration twice a year—once in winter, once in summer. This winter’s registration is only open February 1-10. I hope to see you there!

https://www.theyoungwriter.com/

You can download some free videos by Brett and Jaquelle here.

And the free “The Young Writer’s Guidebook” here.

If you have any questions about the YWW or registration, feel free to contact me or comment below and I’ll get back to you!

 

 

This post is my honest opinion and thoughts. The instructors of the YWW did not participate in the writing of this post in any way.

 

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

 

Where’s Glendale?

We got 13 inches of snow last week! Glendale wanted to go outside and explore, but got too cold after a few minutes, so he didn’t get to build a snowelf.

Glendale in snow

Glendale in even more snow

I’m Not That Great: Confessions of a Newbie Writer

I’m Not That Great: Confessions of a Newbie Writer

Comparison is a deadly game in the writing sphere. I know this, because I’ve played it.

I have writing friends who are way ahead of me in their journeys. They’ve been writing since they could talk and I only started 1.5 years ago. They have hundreds of blog followers, published books, agents, and finished drafts. They get to go to huge conferences and rub shoulders with my favorite authors.

And I get jealous.

I’d just like to sit down and write a whole novel perfectly, ship it off to an agent, and get a massive book contract tomorrow. I want to have 5,000 email subscribers right now and have so many fan emails that I can’t keep up with them all. I want success now. I want to see fruit and benefits of my writing right now.

I’ve cried over my writing, thinking it will never be good enough. There have been days I can’t stop writing because it seems so perfect and the next day it looks like trash. Some days I’ll dance around the house I’m so happy because of a tiny achievement and the next day I’ll be staring at the blinking cursor.

I’d like to join the writing “elite” and have all the beginning writers looking up to me. I want to see my books in Barnes and Noble.

But the truth is, I’m not that great.

I might never be.

And that’s okay.

Every writer, every person, is on a different journey. My life, whether the personal side or the writing side, is not going to look like Jaye L. Knight’s. It won’t look like my friend Carly’s journey.

And I don’t care.

There’s a reason I’m right here, right now. God put me here for a purpose—to glorify Him. He’s given me the family and friends that I have for a reason.

Whether I become a famous author or not, I know that God knows what He’s doing. His thoughts are higher than my thoughts and His ways than my ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

But I can’t just sit around, waiting for something to happen. Bestsellers aren’t written in a day. (Sometimes not even in a year. 😉)

Writing, just like anything in life, takes time and effort to perfect.

A pianist doesn’t just sit down and write a concerto. They practice, they make mistakes, they start small.

Sure, they might wish they could write music that moves people to tears. They might compare their compositions to their favorite musicians.

But in order to succeed in anything, we must be patient. We must work.

The first time we walk onto the stage, we aren’t going to be phenomenal. We’re going to make mistakes, sometimes really embarrassing ones.

And there will always be someone better than us. A better writer, a better singer, a better dancer, a better plumber.

If we say, “I’ll never be as good of a writer as so-and-so,” we will never succeed. That’s a sure path to discouragement. If you keep comparing yourself to anyone but who you were yesterday, you’ll probably just give up.

But here’s the thing, God didn’t make you to be Jaquelle Crowe, Aleigha C. Israel, Nadine Brandes, or Brett Harris. He made you to bring Him glory by being who you are in Christ.

And that’s the best calling in life.

 

I owe a debt to the wonderful students and instructors on the Young Writer’s Workshop as well as my writing mentors, Aleigha C. Israel and Audrey Caylin, for always picking me up and pointing me to Christ I want to throw in the towel. Thank you. ❤

 

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale enjoying his copy of For Felicity by Audrey Caylin
Glendale enjoying his copy of “For Felicity.” It’s just his size!
Audience Hierarchy: Writing for God, Yourself, and Others

Audience Hierarchy: Writing for God, Yourself, and Others

When you sit down to write, who do you write for? Who is your audience?

This post is written for you, my blog audience. My novel is written for YA fantasy readers.

But when we sit down to write, how do we decide who to write for?

For example, when I sit down to write Checkmate, I could write for my friend who likes dragons or my brother who loves Lord of the Rings.

But I can’t please everyone who might read my book. And sometimes I just want to write what I want. Is that okay?

Who should we write for?

 

God

This should be no surprise, but I’m afraid it has become a clichéd answer in Christian circles.

Everything we do should ultimately be to bring God glory. (1 Cor. 10:31) That includes our writing—blogging, fan fiction, poetry, etc.

But how do we know if our writing is pleasing to God?

Well, are you obeying Him with your writing? Are you secretly writing something you know your parents wouldn’t approve of? Are you writing to bring yourself the praise and honor? Are you writing something that bothers your conscience just because it’s popular?

Jaquelle Crowe, author of This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years, once defined glorifying God this way: “I believe it means to make God look good. He is worthy and great, and if I use my life to make that known, I am glorifying Him. We can do that through what we post on social media, what food we eat, what job we get, and what we write.”

What we write and how we write it reflects on our confession of faith. If unbelievers stumble across our writing and find out that we use just as much language as the next guy and glorify sin like everyone else, God is dishonored.

Titus 2 speaks about how Christians should act. In verse 5, Paul tells us we should live in a God-honoring way, “so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”

 

Yourself

I can see your shocked expression.

Yes, the second person you should write for is yourself.

Seriously.

Because if you don’t enjoy what you are writing, then no one else will.

“But,” you might say, “Jerry Jenkins says ‘Always think reader first.’ And lots of other writers say the same kind of thing. But you’re saying to write for yourself before readers, isn’t that selfish?”

I once heard a piece of advice from Douglas Bond: “Write out of your own self-need.”

Your best writing is when you are writing what you need—not what you think others want.

Don’t be afraid to write something that’s out of “style” or everyone says is cliché.

Write what you want. Maybe you’ll be the only one who reads it, maybe it will never get past a circle of close friends, but if you enjoyed writing it, you succeeded.

 

Your Readers

And now we get to readers. They make up the largest part of your audience.

We could talk a lot about readers. But I just want to leave you with one point.

You can’t please everyone.

Your favorite book might be your brother’s nightmare. My favorite blog might have you moaning in agony.

Your story might be your best friend’s dream novel, but be epically boring to your mom.

And that’s okay.

Everyone has different tastes. And just because someone (no matter how mean they were in their comments) didn’t like your writing, that doesn’t mean your story is bad.

Just like some people love coffee and others absolutely loath even the smell. No one group of people is wrong.

So, when you are writing, aim to please God above all else. Then write something you enjoy. Finally, write for your readers, but remember that your words are not for everyone.

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

 

Your Turn!

Did my second point surprise you? Have you read anything by Jaquelle Crowe?

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale and the hot dog.
Kare and Glendale contemplate the wonder of a hot dog since processed foods aren’t available in Avendor. My poor abused characters. 😋

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Resolutions: Faithfulness

Writing Resolutions: Faithfulness

After all this talk about writing goals, are you all pumped up and ready to make your own?

But before we get too busy making goals, I want to talk about something relatively important: keeping said goals.

Yup, writing goals only work if you actually commit to doing them. No matter how many things you plan to do, no matter how many people are holding you accountable, and no matter how many places you put sticky notes with reminders, none of that does anything if you don’t commit to accomplishing what you said you would do.

That brings us to the subject of faithfulness.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “faithfulness” as: “steadfast in affection or allegiance: loyal”

So, faithfulness in writing is being loyally committed to doing what you said you would do.

“But,” you may say, “I make writing goals and I honestly try to do them, but I don’t have enough time in the week to do school, dance, band, babysit, and write.”

Here’s what I say to that (and I’m not the only one that says this), if you truly want to write, you will always find time.

It’s as simple as that. I

But time isn’t just laying around for us to find. We have to make time.

Writing is the easiest thing in the world to decide not to do.

“I’ll just do it tomorrow.”

“This week is just too busy to write.”

“I have to clean the house.”

“I haven’t gone through my closet in a few months.”

“The dog wants to go on a walk.”

I’m not saying writing is more important than life. By no means!

I’ve gotten stuck in the trap of prioritizing writing too much. But if writing is truly important to you, you will make time to write.

That might mean cutting other activities out of your life. It might mean getting up a bit earlier or staying up a little bit later. Or turning off Facebook or Food Network.

For example, if you really want to be part of a play, you won’t spend all day on Instagram posting pictures of your cat. No, you’ll probably be agonizing over your lines. Because the play is important to you, you cut out unnecessary activities. You make time for it.

But while you decide what things are “unnecessary,” be sure you don’t cut things that are actually important. Such as family time.

Life is more important than writing. You can write at any time, but you only have today to visit your grandparents, play Legos with you siblings, make a chicken dinner with your mom, and lose at chess to your dad.

Don't neglect your family in exchange for your writing life.

So yes, do all you can to complete your writing goals, but remember what is really important in life. Don’t cut yourself off from everyone just so you can hit your word count.

Making and completing your writing goals helps you to accomplish your dreams. But if you publish twenty books and you alienated your family and friends in the process, were is the joy in that?

 

A Final VERY Important Point

You certainly don’t want to neglect your family so you can write, but you don’t want to neglect your faith in exchange for anything.

Be sure to carve out time to pray, read God’s Word, and go to church. Because ultimately, Christ is more important than writing, family, and all of life’s activities put together.

 

Happy writing!

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

 

Your Turn!

Was this series helpful? Are you going to make any writing goals for the New Year?

 

 

Where’s Glendale?

 

Glendale gets his first pizza.

Quinn (the crazy red-head) delivers a pizza to the book fort.

Glendale’s verdict: Undecided. He loved everything except the pepperoni. 😂

 

 

 

 

Writing Resolutions: How To Set Goals

Writing Resolutions: How To Set Goals

Last week we talked about the different kinds of writing goals:

  • Long-Term
  • Monthly
  • Weekly

(If you missed it, you can read the post here.)

This week I want to talk about setting goals. Particularly weekly ones.

I’m an accountability group leader on The Young Writers’ Workshop. I help a group of about thirteen students create writing goals and stick to them every week.

I’d like to share a few tips I’ve given them.

Let’s start with the hardest one, shall we?

 

Your writing goals should be hard to reach, but achievable.

This one is hard because everyone writes at a different pace. Some writers can barely write 2,000 words a week, while others can crank out that many every day! And that’s okay. Just because so-and-so can do it and you can’t doesn’t mean you’re a failure.

So, if how much you can write in a week is subjective, how can you possibly set goals that are hard, yet achievable at the same time?

I’d suggest two options:

  • For a couple weeks, try and figure out how much you can get done. See how many words you can write in a week, blog posts you can write, or books you can read, until you have figured out a pattern. Then use that pattern to set goals.
    E.g. If you can write two blog post a week, try writing two posts every single week. And if that gets too easy, start trying to write three posts a week!
  • Second, just start setting goals! Pick something that seems reasonable and try it! You’ll so figure out if they’re too hard or too easy.
    If you find yourself struggling to complete them, lower your expectations. If you breeze through them, make them more difficult.

 

Your writing goals should be specific not vague.

“My goal for this week is to get some beta reading done.” ~ Me

What exactly does that mean? Does that mean read three chapters or just read a paragraph? Does it mean to read a bit in each of my five beta reading projects?

Your goals ought to be clearly defined so you know when you have accomplished them!

Now there is an exception to this: Sometimes we just need a kick in the pants to get going and a “vague” goal is just what we need.

I’ve done this plenty of times. I’m typically behind on beta reading projects, so setting a goal to do some reading gets me started.

 

Purposeful

You shouldn’t just create writing goals to have writing goals. They should have a purpose—a connection to a bigger plan.

You don’t exercise every day for no reason, right? (Some of us don’t exercise with or without a reason. 😜) You do it become physically stronger, to train for a race, etc.

Same for your writing goals.

Write for a purpose!

You need to write for a purpose. Not just to write.

 

Now, I would like to give you three more pieces of advice before I go.

  1. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t complete your goals. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. 👊
  2. Be accountable. I can’t stress this enough. Being part of an accountability group has helped me to actually get things done.
    Tell your friends, your mom, your pastor, someone, what your goals are. Ask them to remind you to work on them, to ask you if you finished then, and most importantly, celebrate with you when you succeed.
  3. Celebrate! 🎂🎊 Celebrate every time you complete a goal. You achieved something important, even if it seems to only matter to you. Eat ice cream, have a piece of chocolate, munch a piece of cheese, binge watch Netflix…

Happy goal-making, writers! *wanders off daydreaming about cheese* 🧀

 

I’d love to hear from you!

Ask me questions in the comments or use my contact form!

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale gets into the Christmas spirit.
Aris watches as her brother attempts to decorate the book house. He seems to be having more luck decorating himself!
Writing Resolutions: Types of Writing Goals

Writing Resolutions: Types of Writing Goals

2019 is just around the corner! And that means that everyone is preparing to create their “resolutions” that they will fail to keep by January 2. *whistles nonchalantly staring off into distance*

But as the new year comes around, isn’t it the perfect time to prepare “writing resolutions”?

So, what exactly are writing resolutions? ‘Cause that sounds kinda scary.

In short, writing resolutions are just writing goals.

But that doesn’t help if you don’t know what writing goals are, does it? ;D

There are three types of writing goals:

 

Yearly or Long-Term Writing Goals

These goals typically take a long time to complete and are very major. Some examples might be finishing your novel, finding an agent, getting published before graduating college, etc.

You can’t expect these goals to be accomplished in just a few days. These might be the hardest goals to make and keep because of that.

It can be very daunting to stare at a huge project like writing a whole novel. Where do you start?

That’s why it’s helpful to create our next type of writing goals:

 

Monthly Writing Goals

Honestly, I had never thought about creating monthly goals until my mentor suggested them to me.

But they are incredibly helpful for making huge goals more manageable.

You can break up your long-term goal of writing a novel into monthly bites. (How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.🐘🍴* )

It might look something like this:

January—start brainstorming

February—begin outlining

March—polish outline and have someone look over it

April-June—write first draft

July—give novel a break

August—start editing novel

September—get alpha or beta readers

October-November—go over readers’ suggestions

December—begin re-write

I also like to add a few things not necessarily related to my long-term goals into my monthly plan—reading a writing book, launching a blog, submitting a short story for publication, etc. That way I can get more stuff done in a month!

*No elephants were harmed in the making of this post.

 

Weekly Writing Goals

Hooray! We have arrived at my favorite type of writing goals!

These are the smallest goals—the tiniest bites.

I typically make my writing goals on Mondays, then evaluate my progress on the following Saturday or Sunday. They usually consist of things like:

  • Re-write two chapters of my WIP (work-in-progress)
  • Edit an article
  • Write two new blog posts
  • Email so-and-so about guest posting
  • Prepare for author interview
  • Book photo shoot

Tune in next week when I talk about the best ways to make weekly writing goals!

Happy writing,

Allison Grace

 

 

Your Turn!

Have you ever made writing goals? Which kind sounds like it would help you the most?

 

 

Where’s Glendale?

This week I did a photo shoot for some later blog posts. I turned my back and Glendale, Aris, and Kare took over and made a “hobbit house” from my books!

You know which one is Glendale, but you probably don’t recognize the others. Aris is the gal with brown hair up on the lower level of the house. Kare is the guy in the doorway.

Glendale takes over the photo shoot!