The Last Day of the Year: What Will Be Different Tomorrow?

Monday, December 31, 2012
by Keith Williamson
If you're like me, it's hard to believe another year is coming to an end. Good-bye, 2012; hello, 2013. You've probably spent some time thinking about your writing goals or at least what you would like to accomplish in one year's time, even if you haven't created "official" goals. Besides writing goals, you might have things you want to do in other areas of your life, too. Popular New Year's resolutions are weight loss, more exercise, organization, sleeping more, and less time watching TV--more time reading. Many of these sound familiar to you, I'm sure, and you may have had similar goals last year. If you are like most of us, you start off with a bang in January, and then sometime in February, things start to dwindle, and the goals become lost.

How can you change this in 2013? What can you do differently so this is the year you accomplish your writing goals (and personal ones, too)?

I wish I had a magic answer, or at least a magic bean. (Wait, this isn't Jack and the Beanstalk, is it?) But before you spend any more time on this post, I'll tell you I don't have magic. What I do have is an idea that I'm going to try this year, and one that I have never tried before. Maybe it will work for you.

I have created several different writing goals for 2013--from marketing my middle-grade novel, Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg, to writing a new middle-grade novel, from a nonfiction book proposal to growing my freelance editing and speaking business--and the first thing I did differently was create the goals with my writing critique group, and I wrote them down on a mini-poster, using markers and stickers. I also read the goals out loud and explained each one to the members of my critique group.

But even doing this, I wasn't sure if I would remember to work on them each week, so by this time next year, I would accomplish these goals. So, I decided I am typing each goal and getting them to all fit on one 8.5" x 11" piece of paper. Then I am printing 52 of these sheets--one for each week of the year. When I turn my calendar to the new week every Monday, I will also see all of my writing goals staring at me. There will be a visual reminder (neatly typed) of each of my goals along with a small space for comments to update how I am progressing or if I have any questions I need to investigate.

I've learned that 2013 won't be any different if I just create a few writing goals only available in my mind and then try to work to accomplish them--without writing them down or sharing them. I'm going a step further this year with a weekly typed list of goals. I'll let you know how it works out. Until then. . .have a wonderful new year!

Margo L. Dill is the author of the middle-grade historical fiction novel, Finding My Place. She is also an online instructor for WOW! and is offering a free teleclass on January 8 and a children's novel writing workshop, starting on January 22. For more information, see the WOW! classroom.


Anonymous said...

Great idea to keep the goals in front of your face and a constant reminder. I do need to think of a clever way of keeping my goals before me and more importantly my motivation burning as bright as it does at the beginning of the year. Best to you in 2013.

Margo Dill said...

You too, Julie. I hung the poster I made in the hallway going downstairs (where my vision board is also hanging), but still, I just pass right by it without really looking at it. So, I thought I'd try this. Maybe it will be my "magic bean." I have a tendency to get distracted by things that are not on my goal sheet. :) Happy New Year!

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