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How to Make Goals Now for the New Year Ahead

Every year, I realize how short life is and how time is flying.  Before you know it, we’ll be at the end of next year and if you haven’t set any goals, you’ll look back and think about wasted opportunities.  Now is the time to think about what you want to accomplish, and figure out how you will reach your goals so you can look back over a successful year.

I usually start by thinking about what I have to do in the next year, then I break it into workable chunks.  For instance, if you want to write a book in the next year, what do you need to do to reach that goal?  You might set weekly goals, such as write a certain number of words per week.  I lean away from setting daily writing goals, because so much can happen that disrupt a daily schedule, and it’s too easy to become discourage and give up if too many unproductive days go by.  Be careful not to set unrealistic goals.

Another thing to consider is not doing the same thing divided into twelve monthly sections but rather trying a variety of things.  For instance if you own a business and want to reach a certain number of clients in the next year, you can choose six ways to expand your business and try one each month for the first six months of the year.  Then in June you can review the past six months and see what was most successful.  You might want to continue doing the one that reached the most customers, or you might want to rotate through the six ways once more.

Take time to set goals and this time next year you’ll be looking back at a successful year!

Why You Should Write a Book

I am sure I’m not the only one who has heard, “You ought to write a book.”  The thing is, should you really? Most of the time I’d say yes, you should.

To start with, we all have something that makes us unique, and writing a book is a good way to share that with others.  We’re shaped by where we grew up, who was around us, things we learned.  All of that adds up to an interesting mix and preserving it is a way of teaching others.  Think about reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” series – she wrote what she knew and it preserved a way of life many of us would never otherwise know.

Next, this is a great time to write a book.  You can use software to help you and print it yourself or with the help of one of the many self-publishing firms.  You don’t need to find an agent, wait for an editor to read through your manuscript, or spend a fortune to get it done.

Finally, you should write a book just to have written one.  What a great feeling of accomplishment you’ll have once it’s done, and you won’t look back and say, “I wish I’d done it.”  You can do it, and this is a great time for you to write a book!

Do you have questions about writing? Please contact me here or at

3 Tips to Figure Out What to Write About

I’m frequently asked, “I’ve written a book – what do I do next?”  The next most common question I hear is “I want to write a book but where do I start?”  Here are some of the things I suggest people do when they don’t know what to write.

First of all, write what you know.

You don’t have to write your life story, but you could use where you live or where you grew up as the setting for your story.  No need to invent a street when you can picture it in your head as you write.  You could also use an incident from your own life in the story – anything stand out as particularly great or particularly horrifying?  Has anything that happened to you that would capture a reader’s attention?

Second, you could write what you wish could be. 

Set your book in a place you invent – create a whole different world, or make everything happen in the future or past.  It’s your book – you can be as creative as you like.  Describe life the way you imagine it on a different planet, or in a different time.  Sometimes once you get started describing a place you get ideas of what could happen there.

Third, write something to teach another person. 

Every single person knows something that someone else doesn’t.  What do you know that you could teach?  Try writing it to different groups – how would you teach a group of children what you know, how would you explain it to a police officer, and so on.  Once you figure out what you want to teach, you can figure out what kind of audience you want to write to.

Do you have any tips when people ask what to write about?  I’d love to hear them below or at!

How to Finish Your Book By the End of the Year

Hard to believe it but the year is nearly over, and if you’re a writer with the goal of finishing your book by the end of the year, you should be in high gear right now.

Here are some ideas for you to try if you’re struggling to get done with a book in the next few weeks.

First of all, you should realistically assess how much you still have to do to finish your book. If you cannot finish it without cutting out all food and sleep, then take a moment to figure out how much you can do before the end of the year and aim for a goal other than finishing.

Second, if it is a manageable amount of work you have to do to finish your book, try to break it down into hours and then keep to a strict schedule for these next few weeks. Get up a little earlier or go to sleep a little later if possible.

Third, see if there are any shortcuts you can take to reach the goal of finishing your book by the end of the year. Are you pausing after each chapter to have someone read through it? While they read through it, continue to move ahead with your book rather than editing that chapter after it’s been read.

It’s great to reach the goal of finishing your book by the end of the year, and I hope you successfully reach that goal if it’s one you’ve set!

Please feel free to contact me here or at if you have questions about self-publishing.