Monday, August 2, 2010

Time to Recheck Your Goals

How many corks did you pop this last New Year's Eve? Where are they now?

Don't have a clue?

What about the goals you set for yourself as a writer at the beginning of the year?

Ouch.

It's so easy to begin the year with lofty, or even concrete goals for the year. But if we don't keep those plans right in front of us, we can easily lose sight of them.

Think of leading a donkey with a carrot on a stick. If the donkey can't see the carrot, he'll wander aimlessly. I wonder how much I've been wandering?

I wrote out my goals on January first, and tacked the list to a board next to my computer. Here's a summary of my six goals and how I'm doing. How about you?


  1. Write every day. This one's been pretty easy. Since I began blogging five days a week, I've been forced to write even when I don't want to. I may not write on my novel every day, but I am writing daily.
  2. Attend a writing conference. I got to check this one off twice. In January I attended the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York City, and in April I had the opportunity to be at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference in Colorado Springs.
  3. Get another article published. Twice again (I think I could work harder and do better with this. One of my short stories was published in an online magazine, and another non-fiction story was published in an anthology.
  4. Finish manuscript by late spring. Alright, here I'm not doing so well. I'm about the halfway point. One thing I've realized is that it's not realistic (with four children) to expect to get much serious writing done in the summer time. Schedules are crazy, and though my children are home with me during the school year as well, we have much more of a planned routine. Next summer will be reserved for editing and querying.
  5. Edit manuscript. This one is coming along. I joined a critique group in January, and another one in June. I also meet one-on-one with another writer. Having lots of different input on my manuscript makes it stronger, and keeps me writing (and revising).
  6. Begin querying agents by summer. OK, so in January I thought I might be finished writing, revising and critiquing my manuscript. A little far-fetched. But if every goal you write down is easily obtainable, you won't challenge yourself to reach farther than you anticipated. 
If you didn't write down goals in January, there are still 5 months left in this year. Or you could plan some goals between now and next summer (you can find a great printable to write them on here). Whatever you do, don't let the rest of this year slip away without focus. Keep that carrot in sight.

How are you doing with your writing goals? Leave a comment below.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post. Now I am motivated to go over my goals and see where I'm at. One goal: to read ALL of your posts and get all caught up. :-)

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  2. I'm honored, Kim! This post definitely got me motivated, as well.

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  3. I totally identified with #4 - I thought I'd finish my WIP over the summer. Without the usual routine, I found myself really lacking focus, and only 35,000 words done.

    First day of school, the boys are quietly busy, and I'm writing. Perhaps by Christmas...

    Now, where did I put that list of goals? Hmm...time to go hunting.

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  4. #1 is all mine! Wish I could write everyday. Wonder if it's ever been a challenge for the greats to keep up with the writing...sigh.

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  5. JoLea, if I hadn't stuck mine to my board, I wouldn't know where it was, either. You and I have about the same number of words. Yes, the mantra is Christmas!

    Crystal, I'm hoping to make myself write at least one page on my WIP each day. Maybe I'll get immersed and write more, but one page ought to be doable (except for all the details of life!).

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  6. Found you through blogger mom/writer mom ~ great tips! Following now

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  7. Thanks so much, Dawn. Love the blog skin you have! I'm traveling now, but hope to look around your blog some more. Welcome!

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