Forum: Reach Your Goals

Happy New Year, everyone. May you and yours enjoy a blessed, loving and prosperous year.

So you’ve done it. You’ve decided to set some resolutions or goals for 2010. There are arguments for and against this. Our heroine figures if you’ve come this far and set some goals, dear Reader, you’re either optimistic or used to pounding your head against a wall. Mind you, either can be good. Means you’ve got the stuff to reach out and grab the brass ring in my books. (See what I did there? I crack myself up.)

One of the key elements to reaching your goals is setting them properly. Jennifer Minar wrote an article geared for non-fiction writers that is really just basic goals setting. It’s on WritersBreak.com and is called 5 Steps to Goals Setting.

I found a .pdf I liked very much. It’s called Habits of Effective Writers. Would you believe seven are listed? What are the odds? It goes into good detail, especially regarding the last point: Avoid Common Mistakes. I strongly suggest you take a look at this one, especially the second page that lists so many basic errors writers make.

Now, this article is from a self-esteem site, but if you scroll down you’ll find a handy method for detailing your goals. It’s titled Creative Goal Setting Worksheet. I liked the method, perhaps you will as well.

Another key element to reaching your goals is having the tools available. Information, applications and even support are tools that are helpful in ways you may not recognize at first.

I’ve seen a number of people declare that they will attend a writers conference as one of their goals. Shaw Guides has The Guide to Writers Conferences & Workshops. Failing that, I’ve seen a few people post their locations on Twitter and ask about writers groups that meet. The ones I’ve seen have always gotten replies.

Have you set a wordcount or amount of time per day goal? Bookmark Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die. As Dr. Wicked says, it’s “Putting the Prod in Productivity.” It’s a valuable tool for anyone who’s pushing the clock. Having trouble writing without that inner editor second guessing everything? Use WoD. You won’t have time to listen to it. WoD comes in a site based version, but the desktop edition is very popular and affordable.

Support is important. Even one person can be an accountability partner. Communicate with each other at least once a day about how you’re doing on your goals. Anne Tyler Lord is hosting an online support group geared to the Twitter writing community called #writerlbsOff. The name may mislead, though. They are supporting all writerly type goals and lifestyle changes writers want to make. Check out New Year Resolutions for Writers for all the information.

If you make your goals reasonable and reachable, there’s no reason you can’t get where you want to be. Be sensible, plan ahead and get your tools handy. Pantsing resolutions doesn’t really seem to work out well, in my experience.

What are your goals? You show me yours and I’ll show you mine…

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7 thoughts on “Forum: Reach Your Goals

  1. Anne Tyler Lord January 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm Reply

    Jessica,

    Thanks for the mention in your blog! You have a lot of great resources here. My first blog next week was also going to be about setting reasonable goals, starting slow, and focus on changing habits. So, I would love to also mention this blog as a resource.

    Thanks, and I am so glad we met on Twitter! Isn’t it an amazing world!

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen January 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm Reply

      Twitter truly is wonderful for those seeking out a community of interests, support and information. Your #writerlbsOff is a clever idea to provide support for goals of all types. Is it one of your goals?

      Please feel free to link to this article. I’d be honored.

      Take care and happy 2010,
      Jessica Rosen

      Like

  2. David J. West January 5, 2010 at 8:16 pm Reply

    Goals

    next week or 2-submit my exiled Spartan novel, Bless the Child
    next 2 weeks after that quickly finish up 2 short stories for different fantasy anthologies due end Jan.

    Then begin pre-lim rewrites for Heroes of the Fallen book 2, Blood of our Fathers, need to tweak stuff for what I did in rewrites for book 1.

    finish Dance the Ghost with Me (only 3 chapters in) my weird western.

    now what are you doing? You said you would show.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen January 5, 2010 at 9:23 pm Reply

      Some serious goals! You must be an author or something. I’m really looking forward to reading your Heroes of the Fallen and sharing it with my son, who is 23 and will probably eat it up. I’m especially interested in your mention of a “weird western.” I like weird and I like westerns, so it sounds delightful.

      Mine, hm? For the most part, 2010 will be the Year of the Edits for yours truly.

      First and foremost, I’m rewriting the three novels in the Through the Mirror series. I wrote them in 2009, but they need rewriting and polishing. I anticipate getting rejections for them in the Autumn. One must collect some of those before agenting up. I’m hoping to do that in 2010 as well.

      My NaNo 2008 is gathering dust. It’s about 75% done but is horrible. It needs a rewrite from word one. While 2010 will be the Year of the Edits, writer cannot live on edits alone. Must have new words. During breaks in rewriting the Through the Mirror series, I’ll be working on the 2008 story. I hope to have a rough done by the end of the year.

      I’m toying with some short stories, but toying is as far as it’s gone. I’ll get back to you on that one. I’m enjoying getting the creative buttons pushed by participating in #storystarters on Twitter. Several of the ones posted have sparked ideas for shorts. I suppose I ought to start a doc with notes. Very well, that’s a goal as well. Taking notes for shorts at least, perhaps writing one or two.

      Looks like we’re both going to have busy years. Mazel tov!

      Take care,
      Jessica

      Like

  3. David J. West January 5, 2010 at 9:30 pm Reply

    Yep, besides my short stories everything I am going to be working on (this year) are old ideas. Even the weird western. I put it out real quick last march to enter a first chapter contest-and won-thank you very much-now I just gotta finish the whole enchilada.

    Best wishes with everything you have going.

    Like

  4. […] Rosen, of Girl Meets Word, has a wonderful blog post called, Forum: Reach Your Goals.  It is a summary of several articles and posts that provide advice for writers trying to meet […]

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  5. […] Forum: Reach Your Goals All Friday Forum Posts Jessica Rosen is full of good links as usual. Her first post of the new year concentrates on reaching your goals. The second link will always take you to her latest post. […]

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