Writing Goals for the New Year

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, because I don’t think they’re particularly useful. When you think of typical resolutions, vague notions come to mind like, “lose weight” or “get a new job” or “write that book.” While these are all good intentions, you know where good intentions lead. And the reason most people fail at their resolutions is because they are these nebulous things, and they never get beyond that point.

This year, I did something a little different. I sat down, and I wrote out my writing goals for 2013. In doing so, I followed two rules. My goals had to be achievable, and they had to be measurable. That way, I’ll know when I’m making progress, and when I’m not, and I’ll have an end in sight. By pulling my goals out of the “someday” and the “somehow” and making them more concrete, they suddenly seem much less daunting. That right there is incentive to work. The more I believe I can make it, the less likely I am to give up.

So what are my writing goals for 2013? This is the easiest part. I have three general ones:

  1. Two novels in various states of revision I want to finish and send out into the world.
  2. Writing several short stories.
  3. Network with other writers, both online and in the real world more.

Now the harder part. How do I make these goals concrete?

First, as far as the novels go, I have my plans for both broken down into stages. I have a timeline for when I want various revisions done down to the chapter level. I also have a target date for when I want my query letters and my synopses written, and for when I want to start my process for researching and identifying potential agents. Note I didn’t say anything about getting an agent in my goals. I don’t have any control over that part. My goals include only what I can do, and I can make these novels the best they can be.

The plan for the short stories is similar. I have target dates for when I want each done, and also for when I want to start researching appropriate markets for each.

For my third goal, I’ve identified specific events I want to attend and/or participate in throughout the year where I’m most likely to have opportunities to talk to other writers and generally creative people. I also plan to blog more. Given my dismal track record there, we’re going to start with two posts a month. It may get more frequent.

And that last part is important. I don’t know what 2013 is going to bring, and I can’t anticipate everything, so there is some flexibility in my plans.

The last part is the hardest–doing it. But now I feel like I’m at least a part of the way there. So, what are everyone else’s writing goals for 2013?

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