Why Fall is The Best Time of Year For Writers — And a Challenge

Fall has so much to offer writers. The leaves change to beautiful and inspiring colors. The sun sets earlier, making for a nice dinner backdrop. And our New Year’s writing resolutions, that we’ve ignored since mid-January, have one more chance to blossom before the end of the year.

It’s time to get motivated and I’m going to help.

Here is the assignment: Post your 2011 New Year’s Resolutions in the comments below, with a note next to any you’ve completed. Next to anyone you haven’t, place a deadline. Put it in writing, here on the Internet, to help hold yourself accountable. I’ll drop occasional notes on this blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, to check in on your progress.

Keep in mind, NaNoWriMo is only a little over a month away, so maybe that can be an added resolution (or an excuse to write your novel). Either way, this is the time to buckle down and make your writing dream a reality. Plus, won’t it feel great when the holidays hit this year and your Uncle Herbert, who’s sporting a thick eggnog mustache, asks you, “How’s that silly writing thing going?” and you can reply, “Finished my novel and ready to find an agent.”

Take that Uncle Herbert.


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12 thoughts on “Why Fall is The Best Time of Year For Writers — And a Challenge

  1. AletaGoin

    Goal #1 – Write 2 hours/day or 6,000 words per week. – ongoing

    Goal #2 – Finish first novel. – Deadline: 12/31/2011 11:59pm PST

    Goal #3 – Start submitting novel to agents. – Begin: 01/01/2012

    I started this year with the goal of writing 2 hours/day, minimum 5 days per week. I did well for a few weeks and then life and the pressure of owning/running my own business took over. I joined the Northwest Independent Writer’s Association (https://sites.google.com/site/niwahomesite/) this summer and submitted a short story for their annual anthology. My submission was selected to be included in the anthology, which should be published and available for Orycon 33 (http://www.orycon.org/orycon33/) in early November 2011. I am now renewing my commitment to writing every day and finishing my novel.

  2. writermike

    I have been working on a historical fiction piece for over three years now. My goal is to have it done and ready to send queries by the end of the year. The book has come out so well that when I look at it I wonder f it was really me who wrote it or am I just dreaming . I am very excited about the next phase of the journey to getting published and this is going to be my personal and only mainstream goal for the rest of the year.

    1. Patrick Michael

      That’s exciting. How close are you to having the book ready for submissions? How can “we” help or encourage you to make that goal? Not to pry, but what part of history are you covering?

      Please let us know When the book is coming out!

      Patrick’s Blog

  3. Rachel

    Fall is the best time to write for me because we are avid travelers, which for us occurs during spring and summer. I bring the notebook and pen as well as the laptop but when you are in Hawaii or camping or back home with family and friends etc. It is hard to get a little time in to write short story prompts, writing competitions, research for my novel or just have a martini!

    With the changing colors of the seasons comes warm soups, chilly weather and an outright cozy contentment that warms my writing muscle. I have plopped myself down at the laptop, joined a research class, checked books out of the library, planned a trip to Boston and written the outline and prologue. Now to finish and submit!

    Goal .. Commit 3 hours everyday on research and writing on my book
    Goal .. Commit 4 days a week on my blog
    Goal .. Commit 5 days a week walking 1 hour everyday (gotta look good for my jacket cover) – DONE
    Goal .. Submit a story to every competition I come across – IN PROGRESS
    Goal .. Link twitter and blog without fear – DONE
    Goal .. Finish and edit manuscript by December 31st or before and begin the submissions to agents

    1. Patrick Michael


      Wow! Great goals. I look forward to seeing your name in print. I found a piece of information that might free up some time and help with your first goal. Recently I was reading a 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris and came across a section about VA’s (Virtual Assistants). Using/paying an assistant for a few hours per day could free up your valuable writing time.

      (Tim also has a book about body work too 4 Hour Body. I first heard about this/him on the Nerdist Podcast. Enjoy)

      Good luck with your writing and all your traveling…

    1. Patrick Michael

      Modest and attainable goals that sound interesting. (What is your “Alborn” series about?) Most importantly I would like to comment on the usage of the word “try”. In the words of the Yoda: “Do or Do not. There is no try.” (Star Wars, 1977)

      How can posting here and using peer resources help you in your journey to publication in a magazine? …On your book? Is there anything that you would like to gain from posts/comments on your posts?

      Good Luck!
      Patrick’s Blog

  4. Patrick Michael

    This is the exact reason I started a blog, to declare my intentions to the internet/universe and make myself accountable. Here are some newer goals I have for my writing:

    Goal#1 – Write, edit and print a book for my nieces and nephews.
    (This was an on going Goal, that I missed in years passed)

    Deadline – Christmas 2011

    Goal#2 – Create d20 adventure module for friends.
    (This was a goal that I worked on previously with a partner and missed the deadline)

    Deadline – January 2012

    Goal#3 – Work on spreading the idea of “p1c3” to generate more feedback on writing posts.
    (I started this in my blog and commenting on Writer’s Digest posts)

    Deadline – Maintain 3 to 1 ratio for comments and posts for 12 months

    Patrick’s Blog

  5. HeatherLambie

    OK, fella, you asked for it! But just so you know, I am a former professional organizer, so I set goals like it’s my job. Current-year goals, 3-, 5-, and 10-year goals… and then I update those goals mid-year. Heather don’t play. So here are my professional writing goals (I’m not including my personal goals, sorry):

    1. Read a book for a minimum of 30 mins/day and write for 1 hour/day. This may seem small, but I have three jobs, 2 kids, 2 dogs and a husband. So to get an hour and half in is… well, you’re a working dad, you know. 🙂

    2. Enter at least 5 writing contests: Real Simple blog contest (ENTERED); Real Simple essay contest (ENTERED); WOW Women’s Memoir contest (TBE – to be entered in October and December).

    3. I will query at least 4 websites or magazines w/ my essays by December 31, 2011.

    4. I will complete the first 3 chapters of my memoir and write a proposal to query agents by December 17, 2011 at 4:01 p.m.

    4. Create http://www.heatherlambie.com website to make my writing life official. COMPLETED 9/26/11.

    5. I will come up with 4 magazine ideas (small, front-of-book pieces) and query at least 10 print or web editors by 11/20/11, 4:30 p.m. (Real Simple, House & Garden, Parenting, Parents, Lucky Kids, airline in-flight magazines, Self, Shape, Glamour, Cooking Light, Runner’s World, HGTV.com, DiscoveryHome.com, Bootsnall.com, canadianparents.com, realtraveladventures.com, salon.com, thesmartset.com)

    Wish me luck and keep me accountable!


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