You’ve brainstormed and pondered. You’ve asked the important questions and you’ve created a writing resolution for 2015. (Yes, I’m still on the writing resolution kick. It’s important! Your writing passion and career are important and this is an ideal time to think about and plan for your romance writing future.)

The next step is to plan for success. After all, a resolution is merely a statement. It doesn’t become anything unless you follow through on it and in order to follow through, you need a plan.

When it comes to planning for success I believe there are five golden rules. These rules have helped me achieve many goals – from weight loss goals to book publishing goals – and they’re used by success coaches and experts.

1. Baby Steps – Review your resolution and break it down into smaller steps. For example, if your goal is to acquire an agent for your novel then you might send one query each week.

If your goal is to finally finish your paranormal trilogy then how many pages or words do you need to write each day to achieve your end goal? Small steps make your goal more manageable.

2. Awareness – This means that you’re conscious of how you’re progressing. You may not be physically tracking your success, however you have a good idea of your progress.

Ideally, you’re actually tracking your success because that will help you stay motivated. However, I fully realize that not everyone cares to or needs to track their success to stay motivated. So I won’t push it, but it’s a good idea.

3. Forgiveness – You will mess up. You will miss your goals and take days off from making progress. Forgive yourself, and then continue pushing forward.

For example, if your goal is to submit to one agent each week and you get a horrible mean letter from an agent that wouldn’t know a good story if it bit them on the butt, you might feel so down that you skip sending to agents for the next two weeks.

Hey, I get it, the romance writer ego can be fragile. Forgive yourself for the lapse in pursuing your resolution, and get back to submitting to agents.

4. Evolution – Evolve as you make mistakes, learn from them. Modify your approach so that you can continue to make progress. Continuing with the fragile ego example, you might evolve by keeping a positive response or positive feedback handy.
When you receive a rejection letter, you can read the positive feedback and not let the criticism hit you quite so hard. Change and grow as you learn more about yourself, your strengths and your weaknesses.

5. Love – Finally, love yourself, your passion, and your path. Writing is a process – enjoy it.

I’ll leave you with the words of T.S. Elliot

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

Happy writing!