Maya Spikes

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Jumpstart Your Year With One Powerful Word

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Forget about resolutions. Choose another word to achieve your writing goals.

Here we go again with a new year. Once again, you’re saying that you want to start writing. Or maybe you’re already writing and you want to find more writing opportunities.

Resolutions are cute, but they usually don’t last past January, much less until December 31.

Only one word will turn your writing dreams into a reality, and even a career.

Focus.

Focus forces a resolution to become a decision.

Think about it. Which of these two statements sound powerful?

“My resolution is to start writing.”

“I decided to write.”

A decision demands details. When will you write? Today. You will then use today to make more decisions about writing topics, style, etc.

Or, as a recent Forbes magazine article stated, “Decisions happen. Resolutions and goals don’t.” 

Now that you have decided to get focused on writing, what should you write about?

The classic Five W’s and One H questions will help you. You will need to answer these questions in a different order than usual.

WHY?

Think about why you want to write. Is it because you love writing and it’s killing you that you don’t seem to have more time to write?

Do you see writing as a way to make a little extra money? Do you see writing as a way to make a lot of money?

Do you have a story that others can relate to or need to read?

Discovering why you want to write will help you focus on what type of writing you will do.

WHO?

Who should read your writing?

What type(s) of people do you want to connect with? For example, are you a parent who wants to share your parenting experiences with other parents?

Describe the person or people you imagine reading your work. What is their gender? What is their age? Where do they work? What are their hobbies? What does a typical day look like for this person?

WHAT?

Now, ask yourself what are you going to write about.

Sticking with the previous parent example, are you going to talk about the general ups and downs of parenting? Or are you going to focus on a particular parenting issue (examples: parenting children of a certain age, homeschooling, having a child who has an illness, etc.)?

What advice do you have for other parents?

WHERE?

Where will your audience read your writing? On your own blog? On someone else’s website? In a print magazine? In a book? In an eBook?

WHEN?

When will you write?

You can’t wait until you “feel” like writing a book or starting a blog.

You will not just wake up on some random morning and suddenly find you’ve been magically transported to your own private island/cabin/meadow where you can write all day.

You need to set writing appointments. Make time for writing.

You might have to give up some sleep, or spend less time watching TV or Netflix.

Are you a morning person? Get up an hour earlier to write, especially while the house is still quiet.

Are you an afternoon person? Write during lunch.

Are you a night owl? Then DVR your favorite show(s) and write after dinner.

HOW?

How does your writing help your readers? How do your readers feel about your work?

Do you want your readers to feel that they can relate to you and your life experiences? Do you want to entertain your readers? Do you want to inspire readers to change their lives?

Get focused by answering the questions of Why, Who, What, Where, When and How. Use them to shape your writing.

Then, get to work!

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Did this post inspire and help you? What writing topic will you focus on this year? Share your thoughts and tips with other writers in the comments section.

 

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