At this time of year many people make New Year’s Resolutions. That’s fine, but it is my observation that few people actually keep them.
I prefer to set some firm goals instead, especially in relation to my writing. I find this far more practical and achievable than some nebulous resolution. I shy away from airy-fairy resolutions like “I am going to be a better writer in 2011.” What does that mean? How do I achieve it? How can I measure how successful I’ve been?
My firm goals are often numerically based – so that they can be measured. For example, here are some of my writing goals for this coming year:
- I plan to average 500 words per day. That’s over 180,000 words for the year – quite a significant figure.
- I plan to average 3 hours of focussed writing per day. That’s well over 1000 hours for the year – another large number.
- I plan to write and submit at least 20 short stories to magazines.
- I plan to write and submit at least 50 poems to magazines.
- I plan to edit and submit 5 picture books to publishers.
- I plan to edit and submit 3 novels to publishers.
- I plan to write and post 200 articles on each of my 3 blogs.
That’s the plan at the moment. It may have to be adapted with changing circumstances but they give me something to aim at. I keep detailed records on each of the elements of my plans so it’s easy to see how I am going.
A special note about items #5 and #6 – the texts of these books have already been written. They just need editing, some rewriting and then submission. If I was to allow myself to have one resolution for 2011 it could be: “The year 2011 will be my year of getting published.” And knowing the way publishers work with their long lead times, this resolution may have to stretch into 2012 as well!
Further reading on this topic: