• Lidy Wilks
  • 3 Ways to Get Your Writing Plan Back On Track
3 Ways to Get Your Writing Plan Back On Track

Credit image: Canva.com


I meant to post this back in March on my old IHeartAllStories Weebly blog. But March was Women’s History Month. And the blog content then focused towards women. Women writers, past and present, celebrating amazing women and female characters. So I had to push it back.

Then April was a no-go because it was National Poetry Month. And to celebrate I hosted a special, month-long poetry project, featuring 30 days of poet interviews. I also participated in the Poem-a-Day challenge in the Scribophile poetry group forums. So it was pushed back again.

I didn’t know how I’d survive April, but before I knew it, it was already May. My poetry project and challenge were completed. I passed my online class, Warfare and Weapons of Ancient Egypt, with 85%. I’m three classes behind on my How Writers Write Poetry class, but navigating the system to post your assignments is too much of a hassle. So I planned to catch up by watching the past beginner and master video sessions, then apply what I learned to sketch new poems for my poetry manuscripts.

Three stones. One bird.

Now it’s June. And if you’re like me, with the constant pushback, a little reevaluation is in order. To get things back on track and stay on plan for the rest of the year, here’s what you can do:

  • Review your submission tracker. You’re on the right track if you’re using Duotrope, Submittable, or another submission platform. But it’s not enough. I don’t use Duotrope, but Submittable shows me a list of my saved drafts, my rejections and acceptances. What I’m really looking for, though, are presses/journals I want to submit to again. That’s why I’ve created an Excel spreadsheet and highlighted those I want to resubmit to. I did the same for new awards and contests I want to enter for the next six months. Of course life happens. And you need to give yourself enough time to write, have it critiqued and polish your submission. Take note of deadlines that are too soon for comfort. If there’s not enough time to give your best work, then don’t. Cut them out and work them into your plan for next year. Most awards and contests are annual anyways. (P.S. If you’re writing but not submitting…time to bite that bullet.)

  • Reevaluate your current accomplishments and make them work for you. Don’t waste time crying and moaning over what you haven’t accomplished. Instead, acknowledge what you have completed--even if it had nothing to do with your original plans. There’s a  value in it that can be  applied to help you reach your writing goals. For example, I’m behind with my poetry manuscripts. They’re only two-thirds complete, but I have two to three poetry competitions I want to submit them to. Lucky for me, the submission deadlines are between July and September. Also lucky for me is that I participated in the Poem-A-Day challenge again for 2015 National Poetry Month.  Out of those thirty poems are poems that I can edit and use as is, or rewrite to fit the manuscripts’ themes.

  • Redo your writing plan. No one ever said that a writing plan is set in stone. So there’s nothing wrong with changing things around in the middle. There are a lot of time detractors that’ll eat up your time to work on your project(s): work, family, illness, even yourself if you’re drained and need a little break to replenish your creative wells. For example, I didn’t take into account that National Poetry Month would leave me so spent that I’d lose my creative mood. Then add to that two online classes I registered for (that were not a part of my 2015 writing plan). We’re almost six months into the year now, and if I want to stay on schedule I’ll have to shift my focus to finishing and polishing  my poetry manuscripts, I Spy With My Little Eyes (chapbook) and Triplicity (book), as well as my young adult/supernatural novel-in-progress, Nadia, the Hidden Fire Witch. Which means my other writing projects--Harbingers of El Tinor, a fantasy/sword and sorcery novel-in-progress, and How to Write a Novel When You’re a Night Shift Mommy: A Beginner’s Quick Guide, a nonfiction book from the 2014 WNFIN (Write Nonfiction in November) challenge--will enter hiatus. But if I can complete two out of the three ahead of time, I’ll resume working on one of the two or both.

So there you have it. Your three R’s in getting your writing goals back on track. Would you like to add anything else?

Credit image: Canva.com

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  • Mardith Louisell

    I like it. I am so glad that someone else gets waylaid for all sorts of things - even writing can waylay me!