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Goals – Do You Set Them?

It’s a new year, and also a time at which many of us think about goals and accomplishments. This may be retrospective – thinking about your activities over the past year. Or if you look forward, then it’s more about making new goals for the future. It can also be both.

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For myself, I had several different goals that I had set for 2012. I’m not sure that I met any of them. BUT – I worked at these goals. For one example, I decided that I would participate in a 2012 reading challenge over at Goodreads. I set a goal of 50 books. I think I read 28. I blame George R.R. Martin and his long, long books for slowing me down on this one. But you know what? I still read a lot of books. More than I probably did for 2011. I’m trying it again in 2013 and I have a better idea of what it will take to read all 5o.

One of the larger goals that I had set was to write the first draft of a historical fantasy novel. I did manage to start much of the research, outline characters and some of the plot, and write a few chapters. I took a break from it, but instead of halting all my writing, I went back to short stories. I wrote at least eight of those through the year. So while I finished other tasks that weren’t my original goals, I still feel like I’m making progress on my writing.

I also try to constantly fling rejected stories back out to other potential markets. I had done pretty well with this in 2011, but mid-2012 I slacked off. My rejected stories would linger in my files for weeks before I would research the markets and send them off again. I regained my focus around August, and now I have two stories that have been accepted for publication and will be out in 2013.

So, as a writer, do you set goals for the upcoming year, next month, daily? Do you go back and assess how you did? What are your plans for 2013?

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Holly Ingraham
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:43:05

    Yes, I set goals. Then I look at the 12-month calendar (names of months on a sheet of virtual paper) and figure what has to be done when. Then I break the months down to one file each.

    I’m already behind. 😀 One of the tasks in January took all month rather than a day or two, because it turned out *much* bigger than I thought. I’m still working on that. That ate up time for another project, and I think I’m going to have to set aside a month or two for Revision, Really, Truly, Not Kidding, Going to Do It. Probably when I’m sick of the rest.

    But this year I made sure to schedule in handicrafts for fun. Finally did one of the Jan projects, beading a lampshade. Looks great. Unlike all the writing projects, handicrafts are done in short order and they’re *there* and doing what they do. I think other people get that satisfaction out of short stories. Now I need to go graphic up the patterns for a big Apt. 4 sign (I get tired of “Is this apartment 4?” or worse, some other one) and a bead loom, both in plastic.

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