Ok, a bit of a heart to heart post today, from one writer to another. Yesterday, I wrote about the benefits of journaling and setting writing goals. Today, I’ll show you what I mean by that. Here are my writing goals for my upcoming writing year:
1. Find a GOOD agent.
2. Write a new novel.
3. Write a screenplay.
4. Write 6 new short stories.
5. Write 6 new poems.
6. Increase Twitter followers to 3000.
7. Win or place in a writing contest.
8. Place higher in a Writer’s Digest contest than ever before (better than 4th!).
9. Win or place in a PNWA category other than poetry.
10. Win or place in VWF contest.
11. Win or place in a contest I haven’t done that in before.
12. Blog regularly on www.fighttowrite.com
13. Submit work to 20+ agents.
14. Publish at least one poem, preferably in a journal you haven’t published in before.
15. Publish at least one short story, preferably in a journal you haven’t published in before.
16. Sign an agent or publisher contract for a new work.
17. Offer at least one writing workshop in the real world.
18. Get your personal web site going.
19. Attend more writer events.
20. Self-publish at least one writer guide (on how to succeed with contests?) and offer it for sale.
21. Add corkboard area to your writer’s den.
22. Win / earn enough from contests to buy a TREK DESK.
23. Attend a writer’s conference in addition to SIWC.
24. Make more personal connections with other writers.
25. Do better in 2014 / 2015 than you did in 2013 / 2014!
The beauty of the list above is that there are so many possible ways to win. Imagine if I only meet half of these goals–will it have been a successful year? Without a doubt. In fact, for the current year (my writing years go from mid-October to mid-October), I wrote 25 goals (not all the same as above), and have already met 12 of them, with two and a half months left to go. Realistically, within that time frame, I have a good shot at reaching 5 more of them. Goals keep me focused on making progress…
And now it’s your turn. Think of a list of writing goals and start putting them down on paper in a place you’ll see them regularly. I don’t recommend using January as a time for writing goals; many people are accustomed to making New Year’s resolutions–and just as accustomed to breaking them. Make your writing year different…and start checking those items off your list!
(Confession: I know already I’m going to reach goals 14 and 15–an award-winning poem and short story of mine are scheduled to be published in the Autumn issue of Pulp Literature. Did you ever make a to-do list where you’d already completed the first item or two? Building that momentum is critical!)