Was one of your goals this year to get published, or to gain recognition in your genre in a competition or writers group? Although it’s agreed that we write for a myriad of reasons and that being published doesn’t necessarily pertain to ultimate success, if you are investing the time to pursue writing, it only makes sense to work out what you want in return for that time and effort.
How serious are you about your journey with words?
Take this quiz to reflect on your practices. Don’t over think these questions – just answer with a quick yes or no for each. (keep a tally )
- Do you write specifically for your genre/ project for at least 15 mins every day?
- In the last year, have you read a variety of genres? (i.e more than 3 distinct ones)
- Are you involved with a writers group online or a face to face club whom you interact with at least weekly?
- Do you have a specific space or area solely for the purpose of writing?
- Have you redrafted or edited a piece of your work in the last month?
- Have you written an article, short story or part of a chapter in the last week?
- Have you opened one of those writers guides or study books in the last month? (it goes without saying that you have a pile of them at home)
- Can you tell a stranger that you are a writer without blushing, apologising or making some sort or negative statement about your skills?
- Does writing rate as a priority in your daily life?
- Have you reflected on your work practices in the last month?
- Have you taken a writing course or attended a writers festival in the last year?
- Do you have at least one beta reader who is not related/living with you whom will give you honest feedback about your work?
- Do you know what success for YOU looks like?
Give yourself 10 points for every yes.
The higher you scored, the more likely that it is that you are on the path for success as a serious writer. If you answered yes to a majority of these questions, it means that you have thought about the processes and structure of what it is to be a writer and how it fits in with your lifestyle and goals. Yeses mean that you are at least becoming comfortable with your role or mantle of writing, though perhaps still exploring how this fits in with your social and family circles. You may like to review the quiz, reflect on your practices and make any alterations you feel are necessary in order for you to reach your targets.
It’s very easy to become disengaged or lost on the path of writing. Some of the main distractors tend to be life issues which regularly keep us away from our writing, breaking goals and being unclear as to your reason to write. These distractors are things we allow to happen, steering us away from our goals. It boils down to you believing that other things have a higher priority than your writing. Especially with a pressured job and a busy family or social life, this may be the case. However, you need to recognise that distinction and when reflecting on your writing successes, acknowledge its place in your priority list and judge it from there. While being published doesn’t necessarily equate to success, it’s unlikely you will feel any sort of achievement unless you have a clear image of what “making it” for YOU looks like and where your priorities lay.