Last year was my best writing year ever! I finished two complete novels, and published one as well as a short story. Now I want to repeat 2012's success and possibly publish more, starting with the print release of MOONLIGHT MADNESS this Friday, January 18!
I'm not a good goal-setter. Being slightly OCD, I get consumed with one project and can't multi-task. Therefore, to have a list of things I need to accomplish would be useless for me. I do better with a list of things I SHOULDN'T do.
Here are three things I think every writer should avoid:
1. Old emails. The other day, I needed to find something in an old email. I was looking for a revision list from a rejection to a query I'd sent out on an old project. Where had I filed it? In a folder labeled "R's." Yes, a whole file of every rejection I've ever received through the years. I knew at once I never should've opened that file. It's like falling into quicksand to your doom. No one should ever face that much negative in one place. DON'T GO THERE. Or if you do, be sure to have another, happier file like "Requests!" to visit afterward. :-)
2. Rereading submissions. Writers do it all the time. You hit send on a query or submission, and then go back later to reread what you sent. DON'T GO THERE. You'll only find something you missed or wished you'd phrased differently--a misspelled word or grammar error. It's too late once you hit send, and you'll only make yourself upset if you reread. What's done is done, and it's probably not as bad as you think it is.
3. Social media. God, I love Pinterest and Twitter! But if you're trying to meet a deadline, they're the worst places to visit. Only go there if you can manage your time. Set a timer and be firm. When time's up, get out of there!
Maybe you have more productivity killers to add so we can avoid those, too.
Good luck in 2013!