Setting Your 2018 Writing Goals
By Sylvia St.Cyr

Photo by Angelina Litvin

Do you have a manuscript that you started writing, but has been sitting on the shelf for years waiting to be finished?

Writing your manuscript— whether it is a novel, inspirational read, memoir, or children’s story— can be an incredible journey of putting your thoughts onto paper (or the computer screen). This journey can also feel like a very lonely and long process. Have you ever felt this way while writing your manuscript? You are not alone!

Have you finished the first draft of your manuscript, but it has been sitting for a while as you try to find time to proofread and make your own revisions?

Have you started writing the first chapter, only to go back to the beginning and realize it’s not what you wanted to say, and completely scrapped it?

Have you written a few chapters, but your self-editing process is keeping you from writing more until you have the chapters you wrote more polished?

Perhaps you’ve been waiting for a pastor, fellow author, or professor to give it a read through and tell you what they think.

Or maybe the only thing you’re waiting for now are the funds to be in place to get started.

Whatever your reason for waiting is, perhaps 2018 is your year to get your manuscript in tip top shape to publish.

One of the best ways to get anything accomplished is by setting goals for yourself, this includes finishing your manuscript!

To be fair, let me share a piece of my writing story with you. My personality type is not one that is overly self-critical during the writing process (only after ). I can simply write and write, especially when I get a burst of inspiration. Therefore, I wrote the first draft of my manuscript in three months. I had my plan all laid out. My daughter had just started kindergarten, which for us meant that she went to school every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

For me, this schedule was perfect. I committed to the plan of writing my manuscript every day she was in school and the days she had off, I would spend with her. Even though I didn’t have an end date for finishing my manuscript, I stuck to this writing schedule and within three months of solid writing, I finished my first draft.

To make a long story short, it took me two years after my first draft was completed before I would sign my publishing agreement. I worked on my manuscript here and there, but for at least nine months, it just sat on my computer.

If you have waited awhile at some stage of writing, revising, or proofreading your book, I understand.

I also know that it took a word of encouragement for me to continue on. It took a friend saying, “You can do this! Push through and get it done”, for me to do just that.

If you have a support team or even one person who believes in you and your manuscript, feel free to ask them for encouragement to continue on. Setting up a schedule for yourself, time set aside on certain days to write, can really help you stay on track and actually finish your manuscript this New Year.

The truth is, if you continue to say “one day I’ll finish it”, most likely it won’t ever get done.

If you don’t have anyone who knows about your writing journey, or perhaps not many who really support your writing, let me be your encouragement.

You can do this!

Pick a goal completion date and move backwards to get this manuscript finally done.

Perhaps this is your year to finish writing your manuscript!

About this Contributor:

Sylvia St.Cyr is a Publishing Consultant at Word Alive Press. She was also a journalist and the Arts & Entertainment Coordinator for her local paper, The Citizen. She lives with her husband and two kids just outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her first book, Love vs. Fear was just released this fall. For more info, you can find her book here. To read more from Sylvia, check out her blog.

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