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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Writing Goals and Objectives 2014 (2nd in series)

I hope that amid all your parties and shopping, you took the time to do a little math over the past week, and I hope you thought seriously about your goals and objectives as a writer for the New Year. It is important that we not make a list of New Year Resolutions that we jolly well know will be ignored by January 15th.

Whether you freelance, self-publish, traditionally publish, or are still in the wanna-be stages of writing, it is vital to your future that you focus on what will help you grow and develop as a writer. Not only do we have to write, we must market our work, network, and manage our time to have a chance at being successful. There are no guarantees, of course, but, come on folks, if we don’t give it our best, what’s the point?

                We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent.                 Because this is our life.          Steve Jobs

Writing is a lot like cooking. Without a recipe, it’s guesswork at best. You kinda, sorta know that basil and tomato taste good together, but how much of each do your use to create a spectacular spaghetti sauce?  How many hours or words a day does it take to create a plot?

Does a cake need eggs? How many? How many characters are too many in sci-fi or literary fiction? You get the idea. Take the really big ideas you identified this past week—the ones you want more than anything {your heart’s desire}.

I have five books in various stages of completion. Is it plausible that I will finish and publish them all in 2014?  Sure it is, if I want shoddy unedited work, subplots left dangling, and more “to be” verbs than the law allows. That’s not my heart’s desire. I want my work to be recognized for its excellence, so I’ve chosen as my goal to focus on the first book of my trilogy. My objectives are measurable:
1.   Complete adding notes and revisions. 2/28/14
2.  Take the entire book through a panel of beta readers and while that’s going on,
3.  Revisit agents and publishers of interest, draft query and synopsis templates. 3/31/14
4.  Review feedback from readers and make changes as appropriate. 4/15/14
5.  Begin queries. 4/1/14 {yes, I know what day that is.}

I also have goals for my freelance business that include a new website, expanding my writing classes and summer camps, and a strong marketing plan to pursue more B2B clients. I won’t bore you with the timeline for those. I have some educational goals and other freelance writing goals, some of which are continuations from 2013.

In summary:  (1)  decide what you want to accomplish with your writing {think plot}
                         (2)  decide what is doable in the next 12 months {think chapters}
                         (3)  break the doables into a list to follow {think scenes}
                         (4)  put a deadline on the doables {think climax}
                         (5)  check them off as your finish them {think denouement}

Next Sunday, we will look more indepth at how to schedule what you need to do and how to work your way through the list. We will also talk a bit about networking and investing resources for the greater good of your writing career {even if it’s not your day job.}


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