Goals? Resolutions? What's a Writer to Do? (Penny Rader)

I poked around the Internet for some wisdom on the subject.  Here's a bit of what I found (including excerpts from the articles):

New Year’s Resolutions: 6 Ways to Stick with Writing Goals (Alicia Sparks)

1. Determine your writing goals.
2. Write resolutions related to those goals.
3. Make sure you can outline specific steps for your goals.
4. Be realistic as you write your resolutions.
5. Ask for help.
6. Reward yourself.

How to Set SMART Writing Goals (Dustin Wax)

The idea of the SMART goal was conceived by a business psychologist named George Doran. SMART is an acronym, standing for goals that are:
Relevant, and

Why Writers Must Set Goals And Track Progress (And How to Get it Done) (Tracy O’Connor)

Tracking your progress can be as simple as checking off boxes on a to-do list or crossing off dates on a calendar, to more elaborate methods like complex spreadsheets and graphs. You can choose any method that makes sense for the specific goals you are working on and your own particular personality.

Be faithful in tracking your progress and be sure to check in regularly to see what you’ve done and what remains. It’s important not to beat yourself up over a lack of progress, instead look at it as an opportunity to troubleshoot and look for ways to improve your performance. Give yourself a pat on the back for all you’ve done and reward yourself for milestones. Staying motivated comes from feeling good about what you’ve accomplished and making the decision to look at valleys and setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow.

The Most Important Thing You’ll Write This Year (Suzannah Windsor Freeman)

The most important thing you’ll write this year is a list of goals. …

A few things to keep in mind about your goals during the process:
Write them down and keep a copy where you can see it every day
Don’t commit to anything you don’t truly believe you can accomplish
Keep them to a minimum
Make sure your expectations are realistic
Don’t give up when you fail temporarily  

Your Approximately Perfect Writing Life (Kristi Holl)

…I reviewed my goals for the year and saw that I was moving fairly steadily toward each one.  Mostly that made me happy.

But two goals I’m moving toward make me uneasy.  I realized I really didn’t want to reach those goals.  They were things “the experts” said I needed to do to be a successful writer, but they appeal to me less and less, the closer I get to the goals.


My writing goal this year is to finish a rough draft of a book I started a couple years ago.

My personal goal is to de-clutter my home. And drink more water.

Care to share your goals for 2012?



Reese Mobley said...

Drink more water and de-clutter your home. You crack me up.

I read somewhere that if you just spend 30 minutes a day on your home (not including meals, dishes or laundry) that you'll have a clean house before you know it. I need to try doing that and see if it really works.

As for writing goals, this is the first year that I actually had a plan in place. So far so good. Good luck to you on reaching your goals.

Penny Rader said...

Thanks, Reese! I don't drink nearly enough water .... cuz it doesn't taste nearly as good as Dr Pepper. :D But I keep gaining weight and it's making me crazy.

I'm trying to spend at least 15 minutes a day on the house. Some days I make, even exceed that goal, some days not. We hope to move sometime within the next few months and I don't want to take all this stuff with us, so with my dh's help I've been sorting into keep and trade and donate boxes and trash.

Good luck with your writing goal and congrats on keeping pace behind. I broke my goal down into daily goals (leaving out tax season). Since I haven't been doing the work I'm behind...so time to recalibrate. ([My fault for being behind. I've been indulging in a need to crochet.]

Lynne Marshall said...

Penny - this is a very helpful blog. I totally agree about rewarding ourselves! hee hee

I keep tabs of my progress on a big calendar I keep in my office. Those days when you feel lousy because you only write 500 words add up and little steps are better than nothing.

One more thing I agree with you about - Drink More Water. Yes!

My goal is to finish my WIP by deadline - Feb 15. Write another book before August, and finish edits on my current book with WRP. The big picture might seem overwhelming, but I take it one week at a time. My personal survival method.

Penny Rader said...

Hi Lynne! Wishing you all the best on your goals. And I agree, a week at a time is great way to keep moving forward. A day at a time or a week at a time isn't nearly as overwhelming as an entire year or entire book. I keep telling myself baby steps, baby steps.

Louise Behiel said...

writing goals in the smart manner is really important. but i have to admit i'm about 3 weeks behind my plan right now. oops. good post, Penny

Penny Rader said...

Hi Louise. You're not alone. May we both get back on track and stay there. Thanks for dropping by!

Ilona Fridl said...

Really good advice, Penny. My problem is, when I try to structure myself and my writing, my brain freezes up. I have to free flow and that can happen any time.