Writing Goals 2015

7:00 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. 

downton abbey animated GIF
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. 
Recently, though, I was getting frustrated with my lack of writing productivity, and how I couldn't stick to a goal to save my life. So I tried making smaller goals - little things, baby steps, stuff I knew could get to easily. Write 200 words a day whenever possible, finish a character sketch a week, and so on. 
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.
Again. 

9 comments

  1. I've also found that small goals really do help in achieving something, mainly because they aren't as overwhelming as larger goals. This year, I've been doing a lot more goal setting than previous years and while I still have large goals, I'm breaking these large goals down into smaller, more manageable monthly and weekly goals. Writing wise, it would be nice to finish drafting and editing my two current WIPs and one more idea that I haven't decided on yet because I have way too many ideas and I am hopeless at making prompt decisions. I also would like to do some more writing for submission to magazines. And maybe, just maybe, by the end of the year I may begin to send out my first query to agents. Which I've never done. Which makes it scary.

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    1. Small goals are definitely the best, I think, especially for someone like me who gets stressed out just thinking about all the expectations I have for myself. :) I did a lot of goals throughout 2014 too and found that helped, so long as they were small and manageable.
      Those are great goals! I wish you best of luck with editing (it's a beast, isn't it?) and the new idea, because new ideas are absolutely fabulous. I have a few I'm going to try to tackle this year, if I can ever decide which one I want to do first. I haven't looked much into magazine subscriptions but I think it's something I want to try, too.
      I'm totally with you on the querying - that's my plan exactly, too! It's kind of terrifying think about, but I'm excited to venture into that side of it at the same time.
      Thanks for reading!

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  2. I NEED to come up with writing goals but I don't know what they are yet and so I will work on that. I WILL I WILL I WILL. I've tried making small and big goals before but they don't seem to work for me... regardless of what I do it's hard to do things when the only person I'm accountable to is myself. *sigh* Still, I liked your ideas and your GIFs... I might have to get some inspiration from your post again in a bit. :)

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  3. Small goals definitely help me. When I make big goals I tend to procrastinate and then either push them aside or attempt to finish them in the last fraction of time in the deadline I set. However, when I do small goals I usually exceed them because they're attainable, and a small success encourages me to do more.

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  4. I plan to write the fourth book in my series, start querying, and finish editing the second book in the series. :):):)

    Melody's Musings

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  5. Professor McGonagle's in Downtown Abbey???? Why does nobody tell me these things....smh

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