The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Writers

That title is a lie. Clickbait. A ruse.

I don't know that I have seven habits to tell you here, in a neat list ready for consumption. Also, I'm not a Highly Effective Writer.

But I'm trying...

Last blog I wrote about mental health. This entry is going to be a bit of a spinoff of that. I'm going to talk about setting small, attainable goals. Not only will this improve your writing, it will improve your mental state. Which, in turn, improves your writing.

It all feeds into itself. I promise.

So, like I wrote about in my last blog, quarterly goals just aren't cutting it anymore. Three months is too expansive a time to be focused on achieving a goal, at least for me. I tell myself, "alright, I've got three months to do X," and then suddenly it is three weeks til the quarter is done and I'm all "oh crap, I've done none of these things."

It is too nebulous. Too large. I need to break it down even further.

Enter daily, weekly, bi-weekly and bi-weekly goals. Why do we not have separate words for those two things already? Just... ugh, anyway.

Here's my breakdown, so you can see what I'm talking about:

-- Social media: Update followers, unfollowers, likes, etc. I plan to do this first thing in the morning to get it out of the way.
-- Writing education: I aim to watch one writing video a day and read one writing article a day. The benefits of this should be obvious. In case they aren't to you, that's okay, here they are. Surrounding yourself in your craft is important. Having writing on your brain, soaking in it, is fantastic. You get nuggets of inspiration, ideas for your own work, and learn something new. Do it.
-- Read: For much the same reasons as the previous point, I want to read or listen to a book for an hour daily.

Bi-weekly (twice a week):
-- Tweet: Gotta stay involved in the Twitterverse! It's important for my author platform and it's another form of writing.

-- Blog
: Once a week. I can do it. Watch me. It's gonna happen, I swear.

Bi-weekly (every two weeks):
-- Submit for critique
: My writing group meets every Sunday to critique. I've told myself I am going to submit every other week for critique.

And there you go. My smaller scale goals list. Notice how I keep saying goals? Tim Kaine, the creator of the Death of 1000 Cuts podcast (check it out here), has a great episode about setting personal goals and it being okay to not achieve them. Crazy, right? Listen to that particular episode here. It's magic. Inspirational. And his voice is fantastic for ASMR, at least for me. Frankly, his entire podcast is fantastic. Go listen.

So that's what I'm going to work on these next few weeks. Looking at a list and checking them off when I've done them. I swear I've heard that releases endorphins. At the very least, it is tangible, visible proof I'm not an utter dumpster fire.

Give it a try. Give yourself shorter length goals. Turn your life into an MMORPG. Level up with me.

Until next time. Write on.

A.P. ThayerComment