'Tis the Season to Set Goals

One of the members of my critique group suggested that we have a separate meeting in January at one or our favorite coffee shops, away from our usual critique sessions, for an informal discussion about our goals for 2020. And to arrive with our goals in writing. Throughout the year we can check in with each other, see how we’re doing.

Yay. This method can work the way successful weight-loss programs work: by making ourselves accountable to someone. Why not do this for our writing? As a veteran of years of goal-setting and goal-breaking, I find myself excited and motivated by the prospect of putting my goals in writing and sharing them with my critique partners. This way my projects have an excellent chance of progressing, maybe even being completed.

Here’s what I plan to take to our meeting:
  • A 35x24 white board has sat in our garage gathering dust for years. I rescued it, cleaned it off, bought a brand new set of dry erase markers, found my old eraser, and propped it up in my office. The months are listed on the left, projects on the top; goals filled in now and will be updated throughout the year.
  • My goal plans were born on paper, typed up and ready to post on my goal board for the world to see. For my first book, about to be published, I typed up part of my marketing plan (the more detailed plan is kept in a three-ring binder), and to save space, I labelled its parts in phases. At the meeting I can explain the phases from my typed-up version, and throughout the year, as I go along completing my goals, I can erase them from the board and cross them off on paper.
  • Most of the goals I’ve set are short-term, aiming toward the long-term drop-dead goal.
Take a Step Back to Leap Forward
Another member found a terrific “Best of My Year” set of questions we can ask ourselves about how we did in 2019, which were recently posted on Emma D. Dryden’s blog, and can be found here:

What excited you this year about your art or writing?

What are you grateful for in the progress you’ve made in your art or writing and your goals?

What did you do this year to propel your story forward and/or to propel your career forward?

What did you do to invest in your art or writing?

What did you do to invest in yourself?

Emma’s last words:
Bring it back to you and your creativity.
That's what matters most.
Hard to do, I know, but worth it.
You're worth it.
(And separate from social media if you have to!)

Let's make a date to meet back here in December 2020 on my monthly post date, the 27th, and see how much we've accomplished. If we take the time to set our goals, put them in writing, and follow through with them throughout the year, I predict we will be pleased--maybe even ecstatic--at what we've accomplished!
Introductory image courtesy of: Pinterest
Biggie 2020 goal: Use less paper!
Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 150 articles for adults and children, and several short stories for children. She has recently become editor of the New Mexico SCBWI chapter newsletter, and is working on several projects for children. Follow Linda on Facebook.


Karin Larson said...

Terrific idea! Thanks for sharing, Linda. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Karen Cioffi said...

Linda, how nice that you have a group you can meet with motivate each other. And, great ideas on how to review last year's goals and make new ones for the New Year! Thanks for sharing!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Linda, glad to see you do this for your first book. Too many authors don’t have enough information at Han much less gals. You may already know that my book on book proposals is really about organizing— organization of stuff many authors don’t even know about. Check my publisher’s special page at http:// modern history press.com/frugal. Use GOFRUGAL code to see the offer! . Also our own Terry has a new book your group should consider ANd @DebEckrrling will soon release her book on gloal setting! In my The Frugal Book Promoter I suggest that one book on a topic is never enough. Ha’. Just too much to know. It is hard to set goals for stuff you don’t know you will need! Hugs!

Linda Wilson said...

Thank you for your comments! Carolyn, I bought and read Terry's book, 10 Publishing Myths, and found it chock full of helpful information and to-do's for me in my ever-challenging process to publish my first little book (a mystery/ghost story for 7-10 year olds). Also, your Frugal books have been a great help. I'm looking forward to reading the third edition of The Frugal Book Promoter. I will look into the suggestions you made in your comment--always helpful. Happy New Year everybody!

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