New Year’s Resolutions: Creating Writing Goals that Stick!

Do you start the new year off by making New Year’s resolutions? If so, what’s on your list for 2017? Are you good at keeping your resolutions throughout the year or does your resolve fizzle by mid-February?
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In the past I’ve started off with what I call my “New Year’s resolutions-lite.” I call them “lite” because I don’t broadcast them, or post them on Facebook, or even share them with family members. I keep them “hush-hush” in the likely event I crash and burn, rather than keep them.

I’m like most people who make New Year’s resolutions. I start off excited and all geared up, but by early March that plan to work out five times a week or drop those extra pounds picked up around the holidays somehow has lost its appeal.
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So this year I’m taking a different approach altogether. I’m not going to bother with making New Year’s Resolutions. For me, it a colossal waste of time!

This year I’m starting with a more focused and defined approach. Sounds good so far? I hope so.

Rather than making New Year’s resolutions this year, I will be setting goals. And since my primary focus is enhancing and elevating my writing career, my goals will be centered on improving certain aspects of writing and publication.

I’ve found that when I set goals, I’m more successful at keeping them. By establishing target dates, I have something to work towards. If I don’t set dates, more than likely I won’t accomplish the task.

Below are examples of writing goals that may help you with establishing and customizing your own goals.

Success Goals for 2017:

1. Writing

Set daily productivity goals (number of words to be written per day) New York Times Best-selling author, Taylor Stevens has a writing goal of 1,000 words per day. “My minimum is 1,000 words a day – which is sometimes easy to achieve, and is sometimes, frankly, like shitting a brick, but I will make myself stay at my desk until I’ve got there, because I know that by doing that I am inching the book forward.”

I used my own manuscript to figure out how many hand-written and typed pages a 1,000 words would be. I came up with roughly 10 hand-written and five typed pages.

Another goal could be to complete your manuscript. If you’ve completed it, get it edited.

2. Publishing

Complete and polish your query letter. Write your synopsis.

Send out “X” number of query letters. You determine what the number is.

If you’re self-publishing, determine your “next” steps and move forward.

3. Platform Building

Create a website if you don’t have one or a blog site. You must have a landing page for prospective readers, literary agents, or editors to find you.

If you have a website or blog, but you’re not getting the traffic you’d like. Improve the appearance and functionality of your site, perhaps by purchasing a premium template; add e-mail list builder; grow e-mail subscribers.

Research writers’ interest and write more engaging blog posts based upon research results.

Create Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media accounts to establish your digital footprint. Establish a plan to engage on those sites regularly.

4. Education

Plan to attend at least one large writers’ conference and/or a couple of writers’ workshops. If you plan to pitch your manuscript, you will need to attend a larger conference where literary agents generally also attend and allow pitch sessions.

You could use an Excel spreadsheet with specific actions and completion dates for your success goals using SMART goals. This has worked pretty well for me in the past.

So, what about you? Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Do you keep them? What about goal-setting? Is this a plan you use to accomplish important task?

Drop me a line and let me know how you plan to make your writing life more successful in 2017.

Thanks!

Catherine

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