It’s that time of year again! Time to sit down and plan out my writing goals for the year. I tend to be very goal-oriented as a writer; I find it helps me keep my mockingbird brain on track.
Note that these aren’t so much New Years’ resolutions as much as keeping up an ongoing progress. Being a writer isn’t a singular goal one accomplishes in a year; it’s a series of goalposts you pass while climbing up the side of a mountain. At least, that’s how I often picture it, so make of that what you will.
First is the obvious goal this year of writing more short stories. I’ve sold a generous handful, so now I need to write some more so I can have something new to submit! Overall, a good problem to have. And I’d also like to make progress on on some novels I have in various states of completion.
Beneath the overall arc of yearly goals, I tend to break things down to weekly goals. In my experience, life can interfere too much when it comes to daily goals, and a month is too long; when I tried monthly goals, I ended up procrastinating and condensing my efforts into the last week or so. Weekly goals hit that sweet spot for me: frequent enough to keep me moving, but with some wiggle room to account for, say, an unusually packed day when I can’t get to the computer, or I get waylaid by a sudden head cold.
(This is the key to good goal-making: figuring out what works best for you, what makes you most likely to Get It Done.)
So I keep up a spreadsheet and keep track of my weekly progress. (I should also point out that I’m a very spreadsheet-oriented person. My life is Spreadsheets and Lists!) And really, weekly progress just comes down to making dedicated Butt-in-Chair time for my writing. Time spent writing, editing, submitting stories, or even just doing a writing exercise or two if I’m stuck. All of these are ways to be with my writing, to keep myself in that space. To keep the writing muscles trained and in shape.
It’s like going to the gym on the regular. The only way forward is through, the only progress a series of one step after another.
May 2018 be an excellent year for you, and whatever progress you’re making in the journey to the person you want to be. I hope you continue to share this journey with me.