It’s nearly October. *hyperventilates into paper bag* Like tomorrow is October. September is winding gone and Q3 is staring at us from behind the tall grass, ready to pounce. That means we should be taking the last pulse check of our goals for the year.
There's not much time left but certainly there’s enough to move the needle. Here are my Writing goals for 2013:
1. Finish Draft 10 of WIP (Done, 1.27.13)
2. Query WIP beginning in April (Started and stopped...but definitely started in April)
3. Finish Nano Project between April - July (Done, first and SECOND draft finally finished. The project is currently in the editing phase)
4. Build twitter network to 300 followers (Done, you guys are awesome!! *waves*)
5. Join the LitReactor community (Done, 1.25.13)
6. Take a writing class (Done - signed up for Mandy Hubbard's class for Feb)
7. Join a professional writers group
8. Attend a conference?? Scary one (Booked RWA 2013!! Done and AWESOME!)
9. Enter 2 contests (a fun goal - Done)
10. Blog regularly - at least once a month (Done every month so far! )
I accomplished almost all of these before the summer. And you may recall that my job situation changed this summer. I was paroled…er, granted sabbatical from my corporate job. To celebrate, and to avoid the whole life-sliding-off-track thing, I set new short term goals:
1. Wake up at a decent time – no sleeping in (Done so far so good. I’ve overslept my alarm a few times but nothing major)
2. Work out regularly (it always sparks ideas). I’m thinking running, or Zumba, or something (this was a trick goal. I already work out two to three times a week with a personal trainer. Once upon a time, I also ran 6 miles a day. I haven’t been able to do both and I feel like my lack of running is the root of all evil. I might be wrong, but until you prove otherwise I’ll just keep believing it. – I haven’t started running or Zumba. I’m still 2-3 days a week with my personal trainer and maybe an extra day of trail running or other cardio. So I’ve completed this goal without quite achieving the spirit of the goal)
3. Write 5 days a week for 4 weeks (Done – this week I will finish a 4 week consecutive stretch of writing five days a week. I’ve done it before but now that I’m out of Corporate America on my sabbatical I wanted to make sure I keep my discipline. So far so good)
4. Spend time at the pool, because, you know, who doesn’t want to spend time at the pool? (Done – I only got 2 good pool days in this summer. Mostly due to traveling to SC each week. But 2 is better than none)
5. Post three blogs a week (Done, this month I have posted three blogs each week. It’s not the first time I’ve accomplished this goal, but again, being that I’m on sabbatical I wanted to make sure I maintained my discipline)
6. Clean one item (floors, counters, bathroom, etc) in the house every other day (Done)
7. Finish draft of WIP (Done)
8. Read, read, read (in progress)
9. Go to bed at a decent time each night – no staying up too late to finish goal 5, 7, or 8 (Done)
So out of the 19 writing goals I made this year all are done or underway except 1:
Join a Professional Writing Organization
A while ago I mentioned a session I took at RWA13 hosted by Cherry Adair. She spoke to writers about goal setting and finishing the damn book. She is the tough-love queen and basically kicked everyone in the arse.
I think if she were to review my goal list she would laugh. These are great goals but they are soft goals. They wouldn’t pass the Cherry Adair test.
Cherry insisted that we articulate our dreams in hard, undeniable language.
Want to publish with a big 6? Write it down.
What to make a million dollars a year? Write it down.
It doesn’t matter how far fetched the goals may seem. If you want it – write it down.
Essentially, she was talking about SMART goals. Goals that are measurable and time sensitive.
Since my goals above are NOT SMART goals, they are specific to individual projects and habits (not my overall career), I think I’m going to take another stab at it. Here are my writing career goals:
5 Year Writing Career Goals 2013-2015
1. Get a pub deal with a big 6 publisher
2. Get a pub deal with a reputable small press (why limit yourself to just one method of publication?)
3. Make writing my full time job (ie actually earn money)
4. Join RWA and the GA chapter by 11.1.13
5. Write 2 books in 2014
6. Attend regional writing conferences during even years
7. Attend one national conference during odd years
8. Enter 4 contests a year
9. Take at least 1 writing class a year
10. Review and adjust goals yearly in January
Since I’ve essentially met my goals for 2013 we can consider this round of goal setting a head start for 2014. I took the time to identify strategies that should help me achieve my new, meatier goals.
1. Write 800 words a day or 24k words a month
2. Finish the damn book, as Cherry Adair would say
3. Get an Agent
4. Set meaningful deadlines: 5 months or less to draft/revise/edit a WIP
5. read read read read
How are your goals progressing so far? Feeling behind? There’s still time.
Want more on goal setting check out this post on Avoiding Neckbeards