The Monthly Goalpost for September: Back-to-school

This time of the year means different things to all of us: a mix of good and bad emotions, nostalgia and melancholy, comfort and angst. Whatever your take on the post-summer situation, you can use this period to start or restart your creative and submission goals. Sub It Club is here to help you focus on your goals or establish new ones.

First day introductions.
Time to take a look in the mirror and introduce yourself to the writer, illustrator, poet, creative being you are.

Come prepared with all your shiny new school supplies.
Get yourself a new pad, set of markers or update your computer programs. Post-it notes are fun and come in handy too.

What did you do during the summer vacation?
This is where you evaluate what you’ve done. Everything counts: sketching, first drafts, notes scribbled on the backs of travel brochures, filling the well. Then go back further and be specific: evaluate your goals and see exactly how much closer you are at achieving them (perfecting your work, submitting it, following up on submissions…).

Check out your schedule.
What do you want to accomplish in the next months? Write it down. Create a routine geared to reaching your goals (and all the rest you have to do in the course of a day). Take out your schedule then when you hear the bell ring, run to your next class—no lingering in the halls or hiding in your locker. This is about showing up and sticking to a schedule to reach your goals.

Classroom rules.
Hone what works for you in your environment. Set up a space and respect it. Fence off a tiny corner of the dining room if you have to but keep it as yours and don’t let anyone invade. Inform family and friends that your creative time isn’t optional. They’ll need to hold questions, requests, social needs until you exit your specially marked off classroom time and space.

Take out your books, please.
Read in your genre. Or read in a new genre. Dust off your favorite craft books or shop around for a new one. This is where you dive in and remind yourself of things you’ve forgotten or find out new things: inspiration awaits!

Sign up for extracurricular activities.
Conferences and workshops (online or in person), online challenges, a night class at a local college… lots of opportunities exist to learn more about your craft and strengthen what you already know while meeting people who are working towards goals like your own. Join or start a critique group. Use the Sub It Club boards. And fill the well. All work and no play might not be as productive as you think towards reaching your goals.

Most importantly, no matter where you are on your journey, keep going. In this short TED talk, Angela Lee Duckworth discusses her ideas about grit and success.  Merriam Webster defines grit as: firmness of mind or spirit : unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger. When you’re subbing, it sure comes in handy so pack some grit in with the rest of your school supplies and have a great year.

What have you got planned for September? Comment here or if you’re part of the private Sub It Club Facebook group, tells us how you’re doing over there. If you’d like to join our Facebook group, send a request.

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