Writing Goals 20157:00 AM
I think it's safe to say that writing goals are important. Goals for most things are important, actually. I'm a big goals person - I like giving myself something to shoot for, so it's a little harder to get distracted.
Whether or not I actually achieve those goals is a totally different story. So, since it's the start of a new year soon, I thought I'd talk about mine a little bit. (I'm not sorry for the Downton Abbey GIFs. I will willingly admit to this obsession.)
|All this talk about goals is exhausting. And a little stressful.|
The thing about goals is we tend to want to make big, long-term ones, which start out all grand and great and happy until about a month in, when someone asks you about it. Cue moment of hesitation.
|But I will! ...never.|
Goals are fun, but they're hard to keep - especially writing goals, because there's a ton of variables that could go wrong at any given moment. Your computer could crash, or you could have writer's block for forever, or you could decide to scrap a story because it isn't working. How the heck did you ever think you could write a whole novel in a few months, or finish that draft, or anything? It feels like as soon as you set goals, the Procrastination Monster (this is totally a thing) comes out to play again and NOPE, no goals for you.
In case you hadn't figured it out, this 'you' I'm referring to is actually me.
I suck with goals. Of any kind, really. If procrastination were an Olympic sport I'd wouldn't even have a good chance at being a medalist in it because I'd procrastinate procrastinating. Add this to my fear of any kind of commitment, goals just aren't my thing. At all.
|It's too stressful.|
And it worked.
|I felt very triumphant.|
So, what I learned from the whole experience is that, at least for me, small goals work best. Something you can see ahead of you, something you know you can get to. And then, when you do achieve it, you celebrate! And don't beat yourself up if you don't achieve it.
I achieved a lot of things in 2014 writing-wise that I never, ever thought I could do.
- I finished four whole first drafts. Like WHAT.
- I got all the way to draft 3 of Pariah, my pet project.
- I started actually writing short stories.
- I wrote 100k in November, doubling the NaNoWriMo goal.
I don't know how these things happened. I really don't. It's mind-boggling to look back on it. Especially when I realize that three out of those four first drafts absolutely suck and need to be 100% rewritten. So it wasn't a total victory, there. More frustrating than anything.
We're about to start 2015, and I think I'm brave enough to have some bigger goals. I probably won't accomplish them. If you hadn't noticed, I'm awful at accomplishing goals. But I can try, right? So those goals include:
- Finish at least two more first drafts
that I won't ever get around to doing anything with
- Get Pariah edited and polished up to a point where I'm at least mostly happy with it, or don't need to make any more huge changes.
- Start querying? Hopefully? That all depends on how fast editing goes.
- I'm going to do something brave this year. I'm going to try and write a short story a week, all year. I'm sure I won't end up doing it every week, but it's worth a try, right?
So there you have it. Whether you have writing goals or not this year, I'd encourage you to try some small ones, and see where it takes you. You've got this. No matter what you're writing or how much time you have or how you write or whatever it may be, write away! 2015 sounds like a good year for writing. Just don't give up, whatever you do.
And why don't you tell me: What are your writing goals for this upcoming year? Or, if you don't have set-in-stone goals, what would you like to accomplish this year? How do you feel about writing goals? Comment away.
I leave you with these words of encouragement.
|Excuse me while I go marathon Downton Abbey instead of writing.|