December 07, 2012

Revisiting Your 2012 Calendar – Ramona Heikel

A few weeks ago I decided to sit down and take a close look at what I’d written during 2012, and how I’ve used my time. I was in for some pleasant surprises! If you’re in need of some visual, factual encouragement, you might try what I did.

First, ignore the voice that says you’re wasting precious time. This activity takes at least an hour or more, during which some sneering thoughts inside may say, “Look at you, you should be plotting, submitting, or at the very least, marketing. Now get back to that story!” Don’t listen.

Review any writing goals you set at the beginning of the year, and pat yourself on the back
. You set goals! Well done! That all by itself is a huge accomplishment. Setting goals for what we want to write is sometimes much more important than the writing. It’s a key time for us to sit quietly and be inspired, to get a sense of what our priorities are, and understand the Lord’s will. And this review of the year’s writing is actually a component of goal-setting.

Look through your files, piles, binders, emails or lists to see what you’ve accomplished. In addition to the above, I also have a separate sheet where I list each project I plan to submit for publication, and then scribble dates and details as I go. This sheet is good for reviewing my project goals, and I see that I sent about 60% of the pieces I’d hoped to send.

Add accomplishments to a calendar chronologically. I usually use my monthly planner book to keep track of my tutoring sessions and to schedule activities on the days I’m off work, but for now I need an easy way to record my writing activities chronologically, so I’ll use it for this, too. I want to see things daily, weekly and monthly so I’ll know just how much of my free time I actually spend on my writing, because in my mind I never spend enough.

One great benefit of this is if I worked on the same piece over and over, and submitted and re-submitted it several times, it shows up on the calendar every time I worked on it (woo-hoo!), instead of just once on the list of projects. This is a more realistic account of my writing activities. Wow, the calendar is filling up!

Add ALL accomplishments, even the ones that “don’t count”. After you add the obvious ones, think about what else you’ve written that doesn’t seem like a big deal (perhaps because it isn’t reviewed by an editor for acceptability?). For me this includes blog posts, giving critiques, writing exercises, posting book reviews at online booksellers, comments on blogs, and even letters or emails to family and friends needing encouragement, because that is ultimately what I want my writing to do: comfort and encourage.

Look what you’ve accomplished this year! Now I can see how much I’ve accomplished in 2012 during the time I’ve had available. I did more than I realized, and I can also see how much I’ve written that can potentially help other people. The results of all my hard work are up to God, but I see I’ve been faithful to write. That makes me feel goooood.

Posted by Ramona


  1. Congrats, Ramona, on your well-done year of writing.

    That's for sharing ways to track our own writing accomplishments so that we, too, can counter the enemy voices that natter. I really like adding up 'all' writing efforts.

  2. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement, Ramona. I always set goals at the beginning of the year, but haven't carried that over into my writing life. I think I'll try out your ideas in 2013 :)

  3. Well done, Ramona, and well said. This is one of the most encouraging writer's blogs I've read. I like your ways of accounting for your accomplishments--it's like counting your income as well as your expenses.

    I like your point about counting accomplishments, "even the ones that 'don't count.'" I too like to take time to keep in touch with family and friends who need encouragement. And you are right, this is writing and it does count!

  4. Thank you for your kind comment on my gratitude post this week! I'm a happy writer too, dreaming of being published someday.

  5. Great ideas Ramona! I am one of these people who love feeling I've accomplished something. I'll write an item on a list after I've done it just for the pleasure of striking it out.

    I must adopt some of your ideas for next year--when (as usual0 I plan to get much more done that I have this year.

  6. Bless you for all your wonderful comments! Happy New Year!


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