The end of the year is a fantastic time to evaluate one’s writing life with an eye to the future. It’s a time to look at the big picture and see if you have met, exceeded, or fallen short of your self-created writing goals for the year. This self-evaluation was inspired by the About.com Graduate School post, Check in With Yourself: End of Semester Self-Evaluation. I’ve found that doing a regular self-evaluation is a great tool for reflection on my graduate school experiences. This evaluation is not an excuse for you to beat yourself up; instead it will allow you to get a clearer picture of your writing life.
Consider your responses to these questions. It might help to actually write them down.
Consider the last year:
- How did my year begin?
- What were my submission plans, writing goals, and marketing plans (if applicable)?
- Did I allocate enough time for writing, typing and editing my work?
- Were my expectations met?
- What surprised me this year?
- If I could do anything over, what would I choose? What would I do differently?
- What are my writing strengths and witnesses?
- How might I address these weaknesses?
- How can I augment these strengths?
- What have I learned this year? About writing? About subjects of interest to me? Personally?
After thoughtful consideration, what can you conclude about your year? What will you do differently next year?
Some ideas to think about for 2012:
Set aside regular times to write. Be flexible. If you are a morning person write in the mornings, if not, write in the afternoons or evenings. Consider investing in writing prompt books or get writing prompts off the internet, so you are not stuck for ideas. Remember, writers write!
Consider collaborating on a writing project with a writing friend or online critique group. Collaborating is a great way to support one another while holding each other accountable.
Take time at the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012 to revisit your writing goals. Are they too ambitious or not ambitious enough? Can you break your goals down into smaller, more manageable steps? If you haven’t made any writing goals, is it time to do so? Think about sharing your writing goals with supportive family members and friends. Do you have any deadlines looming? Make a note of those and give yourself time to meet them.
Reflect on any Works in Progress (WIPs) you have. Is it time to let your WIPs go or is it time to breathe new life into a WIP?
Every year is a new beginning. A new year is a great time to establish good writing habits and to reflect on the past year. It’s also a good time to congratulate yourself on what you accomplished in 2011 and realize what you did right. See you in 2012!