Thursday, December 29, 2011

Planning your Goals

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I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. I know I am.

My last post discussed looking over 2011's goals and seeing how you did with them. This week, we'll continue with goals but focus on planning for 2012.

First of all, one thing I've learned is that I don't do well with having like 16 goals on my list. I tend to only accomplish half of them, no matter what they are. Maybe I should've been more fierce about my goals, but I think more often than not that I just dump the kitchen sink onto the list and decide I'll figure out what I'll do. Not a great way to go about goal setting. *grins*

This year, I'm going to write down only what I really want to accomplish. If I accomplish more than what's on the list, that's awesome! But I think it's important not to get sidetracked. Like I said last time, things may come up that we don't expect, and if they do then adjust the goals and continue forward. For example, I'd had in mind that I would write, edit, and query a few novels this year, but I was accepted to Changeling Press and instead have been writing novellas.

So, how do we figure out what goals we should be working toward? That's pretty simple. Where do you want to be a year from now? Five years from now? Got that picture in your mind? Good! Now plot how you'll be able to get there.

For example, if you want to be published, it's important to learn your craft, write a book, find some good critique partners, do research about the publishing industry, write a query letter, and query agents (and/or editors). That's not something you can accomplish in an afternoon, so then you'd break it down into steps.
  1. Read three books on writing.
  2. Finish a book by (insert date here) by writing X words a day.
  3. Join a writer's organization (like RWA) and meet other writers to become critique partners with.
... and so on.

Here are a few links I've come across about goal setting. Enjoy!

Getting Out of Your Own Way – Goal Setting for the Writer by Theresa Meyers

Marrying Marketing and Writing Goals by Monica Valentinelli

From NaNo to Submission: a 90-Day Plan by Suzanne Johnson - True, this one doesn't necessarily fit into goal setting, but I think it's useful to see other people lay out their goals.

What are your goals for 2012?


  1. Hi Sarah! Think my major goal for 2012 is publish and/or find a fab agent who will do the job. I like your idea of writing down the goals. Personally, I believe goals should be like a 'bucket list'. It's okay to put down a huge list. Just cross 'em off as you go. When you start seeing how many things you've accomplished, it is sort of inspirational.

  2. Great post Sarah! Yup goals have to be defined and internal (aka something we have control over).

    My writing goals are to submit at least 40 times (don't want to say agents, some may be editors ;)). And to write 5,000 words a week. Beyond that it's all up to fate! I can set my goals so I have best chance of getting published- but I can't force an agent to come my way ;).

    Nice post!

  3. Thank you, Darcy! I totally see that. I have a "bucket list" of things I'd like to do like Go to Iceland, but with my goals list for 2012, I focus more on the year and have the other things on an overall list. LOL Lots of lists, but I like being prepared and, somewhat haha, organized.

  4. Marie, thank you! I totally agree. It is pretty much fate, but you're right, working toward your goal will get you there much faster. An agent/editor can't accept your book if they don't have it on their desk. :-D

    I really hope the new year goes awesome for you!