Monday, January 6, 2014

My Writerly Goals for 2014

If you’ve hung around the blog for a while you know I’m a huge fan of stating your goals. Writing down your goals has an almost magical effect. It cements the goal in your mind and you consciously (and sometimes unconsciously) move toward completing that goal.

So, in the spirit of new beginnings I’m defining my goals for all to see. Goals should be SMART:

Just saying “I want to write more” aint gonna cut it. You need to be specific when defining your goals.

Here are my specific goals*:

Improve my craft

Increase online presence

Give back to online writing community

Produce more words

Read more books

*(Note: Goals should always be stated in the positive, like, ‘I will rescue 8 kittens this year’ and never in the negative, as in, ‘I will not let any kittens go unrescued this year.’ )

But I can get even more specific than that. Improve craft? What does that mean? How? Increase online presence? What does that mean, really? (Other than praying to the witch doctors of the interweb for upvotes). Well, I’ve defined that as blog hits and Twitter followers.

My SMART goal related to improving craft is:

Take two writing classes in 2014

Attend one conference in 2014

My SMART goals related to increasing my online presence are:

11000 page views in 2014

750 followers in 2014

4 contests entered in 2014

My SMART goal for giving back to the online writer community is:

3 blogs a week for 21 weeks in 2014

My SMART goal for producing more words is:

200k words written in 2014

2 MS’s completed in 2014

And my SMART goal for reading more books is:

40 books read in 2014

Now these goals are STEEP. These are stretch goals to be sure. And that’s great. It’s important to give yourself goals that challenge you while remaining attainable (remember the A in SMART is attainable).

There is nothing crappier than setting a goal and failing to meet it (in my opinion). Might this be why I’m frustrated with NaNoWriMo? Yes, yes it is.

So to avoid burnout and frustration I plan to evaluate my progress each quarter. If I’m falling short I can make the necessary corrections in an attempt to correct course. But if my corrections can’t seem to get me on track that’s okay. These goals can be restated throughout the year.

What goals do you have for 2014?

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