The Importance of Goals

Wednesday, December 19, 2007
With the new year right around the corner, I've started thinking of what I'd like to accomplish next year, with my writing. I sat down to start a list and as I wrote down different goals I want to meet, I wondered if I wasn't being too easy on myself. One of my goals is: write a rough draft of a novel. Well, it wouldn't necessarily take a whole year to do that, so I wonder if I should shoot for a rough draft of one novel and the beginnings of another. Instead of a rough draft of one story per month, maybe I should try and complete a finished draft within the month.

I try to be realistic, however. Like many of you, I have obligations that keep me from the writing I want to do most. So I don't get to sit down each day and work on a Masterpiece of Fiction. Instead, I write articles, essays, blog posts :0) ...all the while with ideas running through my mind, desperately waiting for their chance.

But writing down my goals reminds me of what I want to accomplish, even if it takes all year. Like Sue noted in Strikethrough Momentum, I love crossing tasks off my list, noting "goal met" by some responsibility I placed on myself.

So why don't we try this: write a list of goals you want to meet in 2008. Look them over and then add something to make each one more difficult, even if by a small amount. Say you want to "Query one print market per week." Now make it two. Want to earn a set amount from your writing next year? Up it by five percent. I'm not saying to shoot for something outrageous, like "Be the next bestselling author of chick lit," but then again, who's to say you shouldn't aspire to something like that? Whether you make your goals simple and easily attainable or whether you try for more lofty pursuits, make that list. Put it where you'll see it every day. And as you meet each goal, cross it off, note it "Goal Met" with the date or however you want to celebrate each milestone and consider yourself one step closer to being the writer you want to be.


Sue said...

Thanks for this timely post, Del! In the past, I've set up my goal lists after the first day of the New Year. But this year I'd like to get started before...a little mental prep work, I guess. ;-)

Good reminder, just in time for the sparks of 2008!

Marcia Peterson said...

Yep, it's time to get some new goals ready. I'm still figuring out what mine should be.

Good luck to you in reaching yours! :)

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