Goofy goals that I might actually accomplish!

Thursday, January 17, 2019
I'm good at setting goals, but not always accomplishing goals. Sometimes setting goals feels like a to-do list, and my life frequently feels like one giant to-do list. Have I mentioned I don't like to-do lists?

To be fair, I set my list of writing goals for the year with my writers group, which, honestly, will help me stay on track. They are wonderful women who are supportive and kind and helpful in many ways. But, as I was reviewing my goals yesterday and trying to decide where to begin, I realized I didn't feel like doing any of them.

So, I did what I usually do, and started reading the news feed on my phone, and after that began watching true crime stories on the Justice Network. I don't know why these shows are suddenly appealing to me, but I hope it's because I'm a writer, and not a murderer.

After about an hour of not accomplishing any goals, I began looking at Craigslist because I had run out of pertinent news stories to read, and the only crime re-enactment show was one I had already seen. I went to the listing for free stuff, and found a variety of weird and interesting objects.

That list changed my life! I now have a new set of writing goals that are easy and fun, and am much more likely to complete. Feel free to use these, or come up with your own so you, too, can become a productive goal accomplisher.

Goal #1: Write a story or poem around one or more of the unique, free items found on Craigslist. Here's a few I found: Four packs of pork chops, one cargo cover for a 2004 Highlander, a manual titled The Complete Guide to Hermit Crabs, fresh and frozen breast milk, a pink, 1950's-bathroom sink, Kitty litter buckets, and a baby grand piano.

#2: Go to Goodwill and find an old object and make up a back story. Bonus points if you can (fake) attribute it to a famous writer.

#3: Find the oldest book in your public library, and use some of those character names in your next story.

#4: Kill off one (or all) of your characters whose name begins with the letter "G." (Sorry, Greg!)

#5: Research a city you've never visited, and set a poem or short story there.

#6: Find five-ten books with the word "love" in the title, and then write your own title using the word "love" once, and all (or most) of the other words from all the titles to create the greatest love story title of all time. Mine is: Eternal love story for a dog I respect in the time of cholera.

#7: Create/describe a monster who wears an article of clothing. While searching Canadian Myths and Legends, I came across the description of a native legend from the Queen Charlotte Islands named The Haida Monster, who has two tails and wears a hat.

#8: Kill a character with a kitchen utensil that is not a knife or other sharp object. Can someone be potato-masher-ed to death? Let's find out! (Maybe I should stop watching those true-crime shows.)

#9: Begin a collection of writing-related objects, like pens, books, or pictures of writers. You don't have to finish, just start. Easy!

#10: Create a family legend. Would your ancestors be captains of industry, pioneers who settled the West, or bank robbers? You can also go to a thrift store and find an old picture of someone and claim that person as your infamous relative. Hang that picture prominently in your writing space.

#11: Describe a ghost that might live in your house.

#12: Follow an author on social media.

#13: Attend an author presentation at a library, bookstore or other venue.

#14: Wear something that makes you feel like a writer. Do you have a beret, cape, or silky scarf? Wear this (or these) item(s) to a coffee shop and write, pretend to write, or just drink coffee.

#15: Find a book in your house and read one page.

#16: If you usually write with a computer, use a pen and paper, and vice versa. Bonus points if you have an old typewriter and write something on that, unless that's what you normally write with.

#17: Write in a new place. Write outside, in the car, on public transportation, in the mall, or Costco! I once wrote a short poem in the produce section of a grocery store.

There you have it, a list I can actually complete. As you create your list of 2019 goals, add some that are simple. And have fun with it, I know I will!

Mary Horner doesn't always accomplish her goals for the year, but after having some fun and then feeling guilty, will get around to them eventually!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Mary--I think you should put on the cape, the scarf AND the beret... and head to Costco to write. Think of how powerfully you will be promoting writing. ;)

This post made me chuckle. We certainly need more fun. Writing is such hard work.

Renee Roberson said...

OMG Sioux, writing in Costco. That is hilarious! Thank you for this wonderfully creative list, Mary. One of the items on it actually gave me an idea for a writing contest I want to enter. The prompt is really tricky but now I know how to work around it thanks to you!

Margo Dill said...

I think you are on to something here...having fun while we write? WHAT? How can that be? I think sometimes we actually produce better work when we are just playing around or not so hell-bent on trying to publish and then we accidentally wind up with something that is publishable. I'll be excited to see how these goals turn out for you.

Nicole Pyles said...

Oh this is so inspiring!! I actually decided to look at what is available for free in my area - my favorite is the free firewood (and the photo is of wood on fire! LOL).

Mary Horner said...

Thank you for your kind comments.
Sioux, I have some scarves, but that's about it. I used to have a writing sweater but I can't find it anymore!
Renee, I'm so happy you were able to get an idea, I love when that happens! The interconnectedness of all things.
Margo, I've already read one page of a book, which is better than the progress on my "real" writing goals for the year!
And Nicole, I think it's hysterical that the wood was on fire! I laughed out loud! I'm so glad you found that, that made my day!

Pat Wahler said...

Now these are goals I can get behind. Might I suggest adding something about naps? Dream up a new plot twist maybe? :-)

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