Set Your Summer Writing Goals
May 24, 2016
Note From Rochelle
Last Friday, I took a day trip to the Shedd Aquarium. One of my favorite parts was watching Nickel swim around the Caribbean Reef exhibit. I was struck by the fact that Nickel seemed to have a friend, a fish who tagged along, enjoying the peace and quiet of swimming in his wake.
Watching Nickel and his buddy swim together reminded me how much I’ve accomplished because I’ve had accountability partners. If you’d like to benefit from having a coach and a group to cheer you on and hold you accountable, sign up for my Write-A-Thon Group Coaching, starting Wednesday June 8th. Space for the six-week session is limited, so sign up soon.
And in honor of my birthday, I’m offering a special to Write Now! Tips subscribers and blog readers. Sign up for Write-A-Thon Group Coaching before midnight June 3, and receive a complimentary 30-minute coaching session, to be used any time this year.
Today’s tip is about setting summer writing goals!
Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
Set Your Summer Writing Goals
by Rochelle Melander
Our imagination goes ahead of us, bringing our yesterday’s imaginings into present realities.
―Ogwo David Emenike
We’ve started planning our summer vacation. We have summer traditions—things we do every year. But we also try to dream up some adventures—new places to explore.
Writers need to dream and plan, too—especially if we hope to finish a project this summer. We need to imagine and record:
+What ideas and topics we’d like to explore through reading and writing.
+What projects we’d like to begin or finish this summer.
+What adventures we’d like to take to nourish our writing.
One of the best ways to dream about what we want to accomplish in the near future is to use the best-possible future self exercise. I’ve written about it many times before. Here’s a quick recap.
Psychology professor Laura King discovered that writing about one’s best possible future self improved participants’ moods, health, and ability to set and achieve goals. In the study, psychologists instructed participants to write a vision of their lives five years in the future, imagining that they had worked as hard as possible and everything had gone as well as possible. I’ve used this exercise with many clients over the years. I’ve seen it transform their lives.
I’m planning on using this exercise for my summer goals, and I encourage you to do the same. Here are the basic instructions for the exercise:
Imagine yourself at the end of the summer. Everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of your goals. Write in the present tense about your life.
Here are some additional hints for doing the exercise:
*Try the exercise multiple times.
*Use as much sensory detail as possible.
*Think about creative ways you could do the exercise. Instead of simply journaling about your best possible future, write an article about yourself, an acceptance speech for a coveted award, or a profile of yourself for a television news show.
*Consider doing the exercise away from home. It’s hard to see the seeds for your beautiful summer when you are staring at piles of dirty laundry and unpaid bills. Go to the art museum, a coffee shop or library and write there. You will be able to think bigger thoughts away from home.
Finally, and most importantly: have fun! Enjoy this exercise. I know I will!
Take time this week to imagine what you’d like to be and do this summer. After you’ve done the best possible future self two or three times, record your writing goals. Next week, we’ll talk about how we can achieve our goals!
If you know you need accountability to achieve your summer writing goals, sign up for my Write-A-Thon Group Coaching, starting Wednesday June 8th. Sign up before midnight June 3rd, and receive a complimentary 30-minute coaching session, to be used any time this year. This special is available only to Write Now! Tips subscribers and blog readers.