Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ringing in the New Year with Goals

Every year, about this time, I re-evaluate my past writing progress and try to establish some goals. Unlike pesky resolutions, there are a few simple rules to ensure that the goals aren't made and broken in the first week.

Goals are the way to make your dreams a reality. However, to do this, you need a plan.

Make goals achievable. Don't state that you want to have a book published in 2011. Unless you are self-publishing, that's out of your control. Perhaps your goal could be to write a book in 2011. Still, if you've never even written a short story, a novel could be overwhelming.

Break goals up into small, achievable pieces. Write a certain number of words or pages a day, week, or month.

Also, unlike a resolution, goals should be something that you strive toward but don't beat yourself up over not achieving. More often than not, LIFE gets in the way of both resolutions and goals. Plan for that. Have goals that are both easy to achieve, so that you have a sense of success even when the rest of your goals slip out of reach.

Re-evaluate your goals as the year goes by -- perhaps once each quarter or half-way through the year. Don't just make 'em and forget 'em.


So, for 2011, my personal goals are:

Research 1 new market each month

Research 1 new advertising avenue each

Write 20,000 words per month

Finish 1 novel and 3 novellas

Submit one novella to Carina Press (the new Harlequin e-print line) -- notice I didn't say have it accepted (as that's out of my control)

Re-institute my lapsed author newsletter, send one out quarterly


Make 2011 YOUR Year!



Tabitha Blake said...

I agree Ericka. The problem with most goals or resolution for New Years is they aren't achievable. You have to ask yourself if you will really be able to reach the goals you set. If you can't you will just be disapointed in the end. Great bolg!

Trish said...

Last year I only had one goal.
To build a writing habit. I did that by training myself to get up early in the morning and write before work. I started by getting up an hour early. Once I was doing that consistently, I increased it to 1.5 and then 2 hours. Right now I am getting up 2.5 hours before work about 98% of the time.

This year I am increasing that to 3 hours before work.

This year my new goal is to build a web presence through consistent blogging and reaching out to other writers.

My second goal for this year is to read at least one book a week. My reading has really evaporated lately. Not good for a writer.

Here's hoping we all meet and exceed our goals for 2011!