Writers’ Forum Achievement Chart

Each month I pick up a copy of a British writing magazine called Writer’s Forum. It’s much like our American counterpart – Writer’s Digest, but it often offers a new perspective on the art and craft of writing.  Unfortunately it’s imported so by the time I get it most of the events listed have passed, but the technique and reflection articles remain as relevant as ever. In my humble opinion, it’s definitely worth the price of admission.

coverThe centerfold is always the current month’s calendar meant to be removed and hung near your desk. On each day of the month, various authors’ birthdays are listed. Garrison Keiller – August 7th, HP Lovecraft – August 20th, Mary Shelley – August 30th. For August 2015 there is not one day that doesn’t have an author listed. Authors are absolutely everywhere – if that’s not enough to keep you inspired, I’m not sure what is.

I love tools that help with writing and off to the side of each calendar is an invaluable form called “The Achievement Chart” with room for you to fill in what you have done during that month to achieve your writing goals. It is a tremendous tool – easy, succinct, and it forces you to take accountability for your actions.

Because, remember, if the desire to write is not followed by the act of writing then the desire is not to write.

This single, simple tool will keep you honest to your goal of being a writer and is intended for you to keep track of your ever forward movement (and if you’re not moving forward then consider this a kick in the butt to do so.)

Here are the monthly achievement items from Writer’s Forum:

MONTHLY ACHIEVEMENT CHART

Topics are ideas researched:
Number of words I will write each day/week:
Stories written/submitted:
Feature ideas sent out:
Agents approached:
Courses/workshops/events attended:
New things tried:
Books read:
Writing related income and expenditure:

Total earned:

Total spent:
Sum up your writing (for the month) in one word:

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That it, isn’t it beautiful? An easy, reflective tool that keeps you honest about your work and keeps track of your progress. Imagine filling this form out each month and then at the end of the year pulling them all up to evaluate your writing progress. I think you would be amazed at how much you actually did in the name of writing.

Give it a try and report back to us on how it worked. Did you love it? Was it too bothersome? In some cases did it call you out because you haven’t been working toward your goal or did it validate all your efforts toward being the writer that you really want to be?

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Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.

Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (http://www.simplethrift.wordpress.com) She writes about her chickens for GRIT, Backyard Poultry, Chicken Community, and Mother Earth News.