I'm pretty sure we've established this on here, but I like lists. You might say, I loooove lists.
On Saturday, I got together with some writer friends of mine for breakfast. We were all supposed to bring a list of our goals for 2011 and I ... well, didn't. I thought about making my list, and then ... you know, went to change a diaper or something.
Usually setting my goals is fun for me, but at the moment I'm in weird author's limbo. I'm waiting to see how my editor feels about the project I turned in, and then even if she likes it, we'll be waiting to see how the board feels. While this is a time I'm normally anxious to evaluate how I did and plan out while I hope to accomplish, it's been tougher this year.
But after Saturday's meeting, I once again grew excited about setting some goals. So now I'll pass on the opportunity to you guys. Especially since many of you are gung-ho about the Write Now curriculum we're doing next year where I'll spend the year detailing the steps to writing a novel. (Again, I'm sorry about having to use that curriculum word. It sounds like no fun, and it will be!)
A couple guidelines on making goals: (See, I even love lists that precede lists!)
1. Your goal should be something that pushes you, but isn't ridiculous.
2. It should be something that only YOU can do. It's dumb for me to say, "My goal for this year is to be on the New York Times Best Seller list." That's something I have very little influence over.
3. You should know what steps you plan to take to achieve it. Like if your goal is to learn how to write better characters, some good steps might be checking out books where the author did a good job with characterization, studying how to craft characters, etc.
Ralene, our leader, had us choose a daily, weekly, and monthly goal.
Normally my daily goal might be something like, "Write 1,000 words." But that's tough for me to predict these days. It's a goal that would only frustrate me. So I decided my daily goal would be to pray over my writing and to pray for my audience. It's something I used to do consistently and now I'm pretty spontaneous.
My weekly goal is to write 2,000 words if I'm in a writing place, or to edit 5 chapters if I'm in an editing place.
My monthly goal is to read two books, guest post on one additional blog, and e-mail other authors about what I enjoyed in their books. Which will be helped out by my plan to read two books a month. I can pick one of those authors, get on their web site, and send them an e-mail saying what I enjoyed. Authors never get tired of this, and it encourages them.
Then Ralene asked us to come up with goals we wanted to achieve by March, June, and December 31st, 2011.
Here's where I had to make mine fuzzier because of things being up in the air for me at the moment.
My March goal is to finish and polish my current project, and prepare a book proposal for either my new idea, or the sequel to my current project, depending on the feedback from my publisher.
My June goal is to finish the first draft of my new idea or the sequel to my current project. Again, just depends.
And by the end of the year, I hope to have polished the manuscript for my new idea (or the sequel) and to have a proposal ready for an idea yet to be determined.
It's okay if your goals get fuzzier. They're not etched in stone anywhere. Mine are scribbled on the back of my page-a-day The Office quote calendar. They can be changed, tweaked, rewritten. But having them serves a purpose. It means when I sit down at my desk, I don't have to think, "Okay ... what's the best way to spend this time?" I can look at my goals and know, "It's Thursday, and I've yet to write a word. Better get going on my weekly 2k."
What are some of your goals?