My written stories · The stories we share

New Year, New(ish) Goals

The last post here was about perspective relearned and gained over last year. It seems only fitting to follow up with my writing goals for this year.

I’m doubly blessed to be able to do something I love (writing) without the pressure of needing to use this to put food on the table. One day I hope to be published (and paid) for children’s stories, but for now, I find that setting small, clear goals is a great step in the right direction.

You’ve heard of SMART goals, right? Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely? I think there are a few variations to this acronym, but you get the gist. These words were helpful to me in creating this list.

As a side note, I have a notebook for each of my projects. It’s kinda nuts but it helps keep my ideas organized.

For blogging, I made a list of the post ideas I already have. Some are half written already, and some need a lot of work. I wrote down a list of what I’d like to publish this month. I plan on posting at least four times a month.

My novel has one broad goal-complete a full draft. I spent November working through K.M. Weiland’s incredibly helpful character arc articles. I highly recommend her blog! Those articles are what finally enabled me to complete my first outline of my novel in December, even though I’ve been working on it over the past 2.5 years. I have a plan for January, and I split up the nine elements of the character arc over these next twelve months.

One corner of writing I haven’t worked on much at all for over a year is children’s magazine writing. I plan on revising and resubmitting two stories, revising and submitting a third, and preparing and submitting a fourth by the year’s end. Since I want to devote most of my time to my novel, I’m alternating the months I work on this type of writing. My husband bought me the 2016 children’s magazine and book market guides (yay! Thanks Mike), so I am stoked to get working when they finally arrive.

Finally, on the months I’m not working on children’s magazine markets, I’m setting time aside to work on my latest obsession: flash fiction. I’ve scribbled one story so far; I plan on submitting three by the end of the year. My goals before that also include a lot of market research, idea gathering and “fermenting”. Doesn’t that sound appealing?

As you can see, my goals are kind of small by some standards. But they’re great for me. I have clear, measurable goals, and plenty of wiggle room for all the unexpected stuff that will arise. At the end of the month, I will reevaluate and see how my monthly strategy is working for me. At the end of the year, I expect I will have some measurable growth. That’s motivating!

Interested in reading about my (very simple) monthly or weekly strategy? Let me know! And I’d love to know your plans for the year if I haven’t had the pleasure of reading about them yet. Don’t forget to check out K. M. Weiland’s blog!


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