2011 was a whirlwind year on my end, and 2012 promises to be even more so. That’s why, I propose to make it interesting: 12 Writing Goals For 2012.
Why 12? Because that breaks it down nicely into 1 goal per month, it’s easy to remember, and it makes a good blog title.
I think it’s important for everyone to have goals, especially those of us in the creative disciplines. It’s far too easy to just drift around, letting the Muse take us wherever, not committing anything because we don’t want to stifle that creative drive in ourselves with deadlines. And while drifting with the winds of inspiration is a fun and vital part of being a writer (or artist, or whatever), those of us who really want to make something of it do have to knuckle down at times and commit. Just like our characters need to move and grow to make a story, so we writers need to move forward.
How far you move forward, to where, and at what pace is up to you. One writer may commit to searching for a publisher/agent for that fermenting manuscript, while another may just want to finish a sonnet started a few months ago. Some of us may want to move into freelancing full-time, go back to school, try a new genre, or market an already-published work. Some of us have goals of finally cleaning out that spare corner of the basement to make into a personal writing space.
Whatever your goals are, I encourage you to commit them to paper and keep them somewhere you’ll see them everyday. Shoot for the big pie in the sky, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself or make a “goal” out of something you really have no control over. By that, I mean, don’t try to tell yourself you’ll have signed a publishing contract by December 31st, since even the best writers really have no control over whether or not someone offers them a contract. (Unless, of course, you have publishers knocking down your door to publish your novel, in which case, I envy you and implore you to make signing a contract a goal.)
So, instead of saying, “I will get a contract!” say, “I will send my completed manuscript to [X number of agents/publishers] by [date]!”
So sit down and think about your writing goals (and other goals) for 2012. Write them down, think about them, talk them over with a trusted friend or fellow writer. Revise them as necessary. Share them on your favorite writing website, on your blog, over dinner with your family, with random strangers. Make yourself accountable for achieving them and come up with a rewards system when your do.
I’ll be back on December 31st to share my goals and see how you’re doing :)