It’s never too late for new beginnings

At its heart, Easter is a time for new beginnings. (Alright, and chocolate, I promise I won’t forget the chocolate).

Maybe I’m a little late with my New Year’s resolutions but this time of year has gotten me thinking about starting afresh. What’s been working and what hasn’t. And it occurred to me – it was time to sit down and work on my writing business plan. Huh? you ask. You can’t be serious.

Take time away from your writing to plan

Yep. Even smart businesses take time out of their business to work on the business and it shouldn’t be any different for writers. If you haven’t lately, perhaps it’s time to schedule a quarterly review of your writing? But I agree, that sounds waaay too dull, so let’s call it something more exciting, like ‘Write Next?’ or ‘Write or Left?’ (Wow. That was bad. I’m blaming those on too much chocolate…)

Writing is a journey – without a GPS

Mmm, chocolate.

Mmm, chocolate.

Like any journey, if we wander on aimlessly, inevitably we will find ourselves lost, frustrated or confused. (If anyone can find a map or route for this writing gig, be sure to let me know). The reality is though, we’re each charting our own journey as we travel, so then surely we should stop, step back, reflect and reassess occasionally?

Here’s some aspects that you might find useful to ponder if you get a spare moment this Easter (don’t worry, Easter eggs make the perfect accompaniment snack during your reflection time):

  • reassess your writing schedule: is it working for you and could you trial a different approach?
  • review your goals: maybe you’ve been too conservative, or perhaps you were a tad over zealous in your outlook? (life does have a sneaky way of getting in the way). It doesn’t matter! The most important thing is you recognise it. Successful businesses examine what has and hasn’t worked, identify gaps and set forecasts for the future. Why not approach your writing the same way? What has worked? What hasn’t? Maybe you need to do a course. Stop, review, refine, then put your plan into action.
  • don’t be scared to write new beginnings: you might be working on the same piece of writing, but don’t be scared to approach it with fresh eyes. Too often writers view rewriting as a negative thing, but really, it’s a skill within itself. It’s the ultimate choose your own adventure! That’s the wonderful thing about being a writer – you can write a new beginning if the old one isn’t working for you.
  • learn from the past and then relinquish it: yesterday’s writing may not have been what you were hoping for; the last six months may also fall into that category. Too often we let ourselves be defined by our past and you know what gets sacrificed in doing so? The present. So focus on the present, on today, and remind yourself that it’s impossible to change yesterday, but you can learn from it and control today. Then write!
  • be thankful for your gift: writers can be so hard on themselves. We constantly question our ability or doubt. Next time those thoughts start to overtake you, remind yourself you’ve been afforded a gift. Not everyone can put pen to paper. Not everyone can translate their daydreams into reality. No matter where you currently are on your writing journey, recognise your journey is a gift. Cherish it.
  • reach out: I can’t speak for every writer, but I suspect many of us have  tendency to shut ourselves away when it comes to our writing. Sometimes we forget that living life or reaching out to other writers can actually be an extremely enriching experience. Find what works for you – I know people who swear by writing groups, others are active participants in associations. As for me, I’m more of an online girl and have met some wonderful authors in my online travels.

As well as eating plenty of chocolate, right now I’m taking the time to reflect and reassess on the list above. Then I’ll be giving myself a firm kick, coming down from my chocolate induced high, heading out for a walk and approaching my writing refreshed for the month of April.

Happy Easter!

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