Do you set achievable goals?
When it comes to starting and finishing long-term writing projects, I don't know how I'd get to THE END without goal setting. Before 2019 gets here start thinking about where you want to be this time NEXT YEAR with your writing.
Goal: the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something.
The two definitions are so close to each other, but what I love about goal-setting (as opposed to, say, New Years Resolutions) is there is an aim, a desired result. With resolutions we generally decide to start doing something (like writing more) or stop doing something (like quitting smoking).
But goals force us to measure our ambition, our desired result. Goals hold us accountable to our dreams. For aspiring writers, that generally means writing something that has the chance to be published. Surviving the draft and getting to THE END is the trick.
What is your process for measuring your ambition? For charting your goals? Is it a daily word count? A chapter a week? A rough draft of your manuscript six months from now? Landing an agent? Getting published? Hearing from readers who only know you because of your work?
I like to start with the end point and figure out how to get there. I break goals into actionable steps so I don't get overwhelmed. If I want to write a book I need to start with a first sentence. That sentence leads to a paragraph, to a scene, to a chapter, to a completed rough draft.
What if you're still dreaming about starting or finishing your book at the end of 2019 (a full year from now!)? You will have let another year slip away. Literary community is one way to help keep yourself on track. In the coming year we hope you'll get plugged in somewhere, find a writing group or a critique partner who can hold you accountable to your dreams.
Understand what your desired result is and figure out how to get there. The steps are manageable and the path is clearly before you.
Executive Director, Writing Workshops Dallas
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