A couple days ago I posted about how my 2018 went. Today I want to look ahead to 2019 and take some time to set some goals for the coming year.
Something I learned years ago, which has changed the way I view resolutions, is to ensure that your goals are:
1. Not dependent on another person’s efforts
Setting a goal to sign a book deal is not a helpful resolution because the ultimate success of that resolution depends on a publisher or agent. Instead, set a goal to approach 10 different publishers or agents.
Being specific is important when setting goals. Saying I want to get better at writing is a really abstract and vague goal that has no practical or everyday ways of achieving it.
3. Attainable through smaller steps.
Continuing from having tangible goals is having goals that are broken down into easy, manageable and bit-sized pieces. Saying I want to write a novel is good, but how do I actually go about setting practical goals that will help me write a novel?
Thinking about these concepts has really helped me as I have been thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2019. Keeping what I’ve said in mind, I have tried to organize my goals first as overarching year-long goals and then breaking them down into more practical and everyday resolutions.
Without further ado, here are some of my writerly goals for 2019
1.Submit my middle grade(MG) novel to agents or publishers.
By the end of the year I want to have queried at least 5 different agents/publishers. In order to do that I need to:
A. Edit the manuscript (by March 31st)
B. Have the manuscript edited by beta readers (by July 31st)
C. Research literary agents and publishers (by August 31st)
D. Craft and send query letters (by December 31st)
2.Read 19 books in 2019.
I hope to read more than 19 books, and I probably will, but I’ve created a challenge list of books I’d like to read as a way to encourage me to be reading throughout the year. If you are looking for a reading challenge, feel free to join in with me. As I progress through the list, I’ll keep you updated on what I’ve been reading and how I’ve enjoyed it.
3.Finish two first drafts.
I have a couple started drafts of novels that are incomplete, and one that I am really looking forward to writing. I would really like to spend some time doing some drafting and getting their stories down. To do this I will need to:
A. Outline my second MG novel
B. Write the first draft of my second MG novel during April’s Camp NaNo
C. Write 1500 words of my pirate WIP every week
4.Keep some kind of journal, writing log, commonplace book throughout the year as I write, read, and edit.
I mentioned last year that I wanted to keep a writer’s commonplace book. Since that post, I have started a commonplace book where I have transcribed a bunch of my random scribbles and ideas from other notebooks, napkins, and phone notes. This year, I’d like to continue adding new notes to my commonplace book as well as writing down my reactions, favourite quotes, and ideas about what I’m reading. I’m a little hesitant to add smaller goals to this goal as I like the spontaneity of writing in a commonplace book whenever the mood strikes. But I do want to be intentional, so this goal is closely linked with my other writing and reading goals I have for the year so that I will be more likely to maintain my commonplace book throughout the year.
And that does it for my 2019 goals. What kinds of goals have you set for 2019? What strategies do you use to help you be successful in creating realistic and attainable goals?