When I set this year’s goals, I drew on past experience. I reminded myself that it doesn’t pay to set too many goals because it’s easy to be overwhelmed by them. So in 2010 I set myself just six:
- Finish rewrites/edits for Street Racer
- May Gibbs fellowship – first draft of first book in the series and complete series outline for The Chat Room.
- Apply for funding to work on The Chat Room
- Get The Chat Room accepted for publication
- Get more ‘writing coach’ work
- More school visits
Looking back on the year that was, I’m surprised to discover that I have achieved nearly all of them. In fact the only one I haven’t succeeded in is number 4 – and let’s face it, that goal was just not realistic.
I know from experience that starting, finishing and getting a novel finished in the same year is pretty much a pipe dream. I know it happens for some people, but I don’t think it suits the way I work. I need to write, then set my work aside for a month to get some distance from it – to have objectivity in my editing. I really need to do this for every draft.
Then after I think the novel is ready I need to send it to my beta readers and rework it based on their feedback.
So that’s my lesson for this year…don’t set goals that aren’t realistic – that aren’t attainable.
Another thing I have realised is that goals should be the things YOU WANT, not the things you think you should be achieving based on what others are doing around you. Every writer works differently, every writer has different backgrounds and financial restraints and commitments.
So, what do I have planned for 2011? More of the same:
- More school visits
- More editing – this time focussing on getting my two YA novels, Cutting the Ice and Head On to the ‘submission ready’ stage.
- Reworking my 2010 NaNoWriMo mg novel, Text Me When You Get There to completed second draft stage
- Get my Halogen Watts inventor series ready for submission to a publisher
- Helping my 12yo edit the next draft of his novel
- Complete the second draft of book one in The Chat Room series
Some things I do haven’t been listed as goals because these are things I have done all through 2010 and will continue to do in 2011 – for example, blogging here every week and at my Kids’ Book Capers blog.
* Things I want to achieve
* Things I can definitely achieve – that I have control over (you’ll notice there’s nothing there about acceptances or publication dates)
* A manageable number
* Specific but realistic achievements
I hope you achieved your goals in 2010 and that you have a great writing year in 2011.
I’d love to hear your tips for goal setting. Feel free to include them in the comments section of this post.