Monday, January 9, 2012

Jumpstart Your Writing by Dee Bright

Could you use a little help with goal setting this year? Dee Bright is here to share some great tips! Here's to a productive writing year, dear friends! ~ Annette

  Jumpstart Your Writing
by Dee Bright

Do you ever experience those times you just can’t seem to squeeze the words onto the page?

It may be your crazy schedule, or an absence of self-discipline—or perhaps a lack of real commitment. If you’re at all like me, it may be a little of all three.

Of late I have been neglecting my writing. I’m talking months here, not just days or weeks. I’ve let anything and everything distract me. Oh, I’ve made some great excuses.

“The words just aren’t coming right now. Tomorrow I’ll get a fresh start. Yeah. Tomorrow I’ll spend the WHOLE DAY writing!”

“I really should get a note off to my Aunt Hazel—that’s writing, right?”

“I’ll just take a little break. Maybe I’ll get motivated after checking in with my friends on Facebook…”

“The grass is growing.”

“The wind is blowing.”

Excuses. Avoidance. Distractions.

I really do want to write. I feel called to write. So, I’ve decided, first off, to make the commitment. And next, to formulate a plan to make it happen.

In the past I've been motivated by "big picture" goal planning, so just last week I dug out the trusty "Goal Planning Worksheet" I developed in my executive coaching days. In its new and revised form it is now a "Goal Planning for Writers” worksheet. The form requires me to:

• begin by bathing the goal-setting process in prayer
• write out a clearly defined and very specific goal—for the week, month, year, or project
• think about WHY accomplishing the goal is important to me personally—for me that will include my passion to write, my call to write, and more

Next, it gives me space to identify the specific Action Steps necessary to reach my goal, along with Target Times/Dates and Completion Times/Dates.

Then I'm challenged to:

• identify potential obstacles—both practical (disruptions and time crunches) and "mental" (fears, negative thoughts, and untrue beliefs)—along with possible solutions and scriptural truths that defy the lies that sometimes disrupt my writing journey
• brainstorm who I can enlist for support and how they can support me
• list any additional resources I will need

As an added bonus, the worksheet asks me to:

• write out scriptures and affirmation statements to support my ongoing efforts
• get real by committing to specific things I will do each day to stay on target
• brainstorm and record ways I can keep my goal "alive and challenging"

It ends with me writing down ways I can celebrate my success! For ongoing progress, I like to reward myself—with chocolate or a nice cup of tea. When my MS is finished, I’m planning to invite friends to celebrate with me!

I find that when I commit my goals to paper, then put them where I can review them at the beginning of each day, it makes a huge difference in my perseverance and my productivity.

I'm planning to do one worksheet for my overall goals for my WIP, then begin doing one each week for my weekly goals. I'll keep both the "master goal" and the "weekly goals" where I can see them and quickly review them every writing day.

If you want a copy of my worksheet, contact me at deebrightwrites [at] and I'll email you a copy.

Happy New Year, and may your fingers fly on your keyboard!

How about you? Have you made a real commitment to your writing?

What keeps you writing, even when time constraints interfere and when you just don’t feel like it?


Dee Bright is an author and speaker. She loves her involvement with women’s ministry and enjoys speaking for Christian conferences and retreats. In her former life, Dee was a leadership/management consultant and executive coach.

Her first non-fiction book, The Divine Romance—Going to God with the Longings Only He Can Fulfill, was published by Revell/Baker Publishing Group in 2008. Presently she is working on her first novel, a contemporary suspense set in Northern California.

Dee lives near Sacramento and is a student at Fuller Seminary. Seeking always to “embrace the adventure of living for Christ,” Dee enjoys kayaking, hiking, traveling, photography, and gardening. She has a beautiful daughter, a wonderful son-in-law, and four adorable grandkids. You can read more about Dee at

1 comment:

  1. Dee, have you been reading my journal? How did you know I was struggling?

    I love the idea of the Goal Planning for Writers sheet. Is there somewhere I can get a copy?

    Thanks for the practical tips! Great article, Annette!


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