Category Archives: Writing/Publishing
Year-end Goals? Set ‘Em Now + a crash course in goal-journaling (the way I do it) & how I stayed motivated during NaNo
*rubs hands together* It’s that time of year again: Dec 1. A.k.a. my last chance to meet this year’s goals, well, this year.
In this post I set 13 writing goals for 2012. The goal I still want to meet is:
#11. Draft a new novel.
My progress so far: Sept-Oct – 15,714 words (if you’re guessing I got stuck in editing mode, you’re right)
November: 63,667 words (NaNoWriMo, you rock!) And I win:
Total so far: 79,381
I probably wrote 110K for Molten (a 68K book). The first draft of DEMOLITION was 80K and resulted in a 53K book. My current WIP is a YA fantasy, so I’d like 80K. Thus, I figure I need 120K on my first draft.
120,000 – 73,381 =
New Dec, 2012 Goals:
#1. Write 40,619 words.*
(Yup, the “-s” in goals was a trick. I only have one writing goal for December.)
I’d like to get these words done by Dec 20th, so I can take vacation from Solstice to New Years.
* BUT if I sign with an agent in December, and s/he wants to put me to work on agent-edits for DEMOLITION, I’ll do that instead.
Speaking of Solstice and New Years…those are two of my journaling days. You asked for it (on Twitter), and here it is:
A crash-course in goal-journaling (the way I do it)
Step 0: Nog and cookies*
* Step 0 is optional, but highly recommended.
That’s vegan nog & gluten-free cookies, btw. And, yes, I am reading The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Aren’t those books fun? But I digress. For real now, the process. My journaling process is cyclical, so I’ll start where we are on the wheel:
Step 1 – December 21, 2012 (Winter Solstice): 2013 Goals, Draft 1
By this point, you’ve started to have ideas about how you’d like next year to go, right? Things you’d like to accomplish/experience, goals, intentions, that sort of thing. Now’s the time to get it down. The great thing about doing a “first draft” is that it doesn’t have to be organized, and you’re not committing to anything right now. So just do whatever’s easiest: An avalanche of thoughts? Point-form list? Brainstorm? Whatever. Make room to discover new ideas. Try out different visions. Have fun. Explore.
Then let it sit (but feel free jot down new thoughts as they come up) until…
Step 2 – January 1, 2013 (New Years Day): 2013 Goals, Official (+ intentions and touchstones)
This is it, your official goal list. I make separate goal lists for both writing and personal. I post my writing goals on my blog (I may post my personal goals – at least some of them – on FB, or I may not). I make hardcopies of the lists, too, which I post on my bulitin board, or keep on my bookshelf, or whatever, so I can physically cross off each goal when I reach it. Remember: A Goal is something that you, personally, can achieve. If it’s not 100% within your power – i.e. “signing with an agent” or “meet my soulmate” – then it’s not a goal. It’s an intention. Have some of those, too. I might even argue that those are actually more important. So, you might write:
Intention: Sign with an agent.
Goal: Send 3 query letters/month – at least 36 letters in 2013, or until I sign with an agent. (I’m not saying that’s the correct way to query; it’s just an example.)
The keys here? Challenge yourself, but don’t be overwhelming. Each list (personal, writing) should contain a number of goals you can hold in your thoughts at the same time. If you’re 100% sure you can meet all the goals, you’re not challenging yourself enough.
In addition to goals and intentions, I also articulate what I call “touchstones”. These may be words – courage, anyone? – or images, songs, movies, people who seem to have that energy…Basically, I have a sense for the energy that I am unfolding into and I make it clear to myself in some way. I realize that probably sounds vague. Hmm…It’s about being conscious of the process of Becoming–being, rather than doing.
Step 3 – Birthday: R&R – Review & Revise
Since my birthday is in September, it’s a perfect time to review and revise my goals. If your birthday is before June, you might pick a different date. This is simple: Look at your list. Which goals have you met? What is left? Anything you no longer want to meet? New goal to add? On Jan 1, you didn’t know how the year would go. That was like pre-mission planning. Now you’re on the ground. Revise accordingly.
My birthday is the time when I take a look at Where I Am, in all aspects of my life: Am I aligned (being true to myself)? I do a lot of personal journaling on this day.
Step 4 – Oct 31, 2013 (Halloween): 2013 Retrospective
Your remember those intentions and touchstones? Time to revisit them. Stuck anywhere? Had a painful year? Now’s the time to get all that out. Stuff to celebrate? New energies unfolding? This is just your time to look over the year, as it was. I do kind of an internal sorting–this to let go, this to carry forward.
Make a clear plan for meeting your remaining goals.
Step 5 – It’s Dec 21, again. Time to draft your 2014 Goals.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Questions, comments? We have a comments section for that. Please scroll down.
You read (or scrolled) this far, so now you get…
My (previously) Top Secret tips for Winning NaNo
& getting that first draft done
Celebrate daily goals.
Okay, everyone. Go forth and set your year-end goal (s)!