Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Writing Goals: 2011

I got hit with some sort of flu bug yesterday that left me exhausted, achy, and headachy. I slept most of the day, but by last evening, I was feeling somewhat better. I decided to open the laptop and look at the novel largely because 1) my daughter told me it was strange that I hadn't worked on my novel in awhile and if she notices I'm not writing, then it really has been too long and 2) my brain finally felt ready to tackle something other than Christmas gifts, travel plans, and family get-togethers.

I'm back in the writing saddle again, so what better time to make some goals for 2011?

So here they are, for all the world to see:

2011 Writing Goals

1) Finish novel by end of January. Completely do-able since I have about 15,000 words left to write.

2) Edit novel by end of February or March. That's a flexible enough goal (I love flexible goals!).

3) Start querying agents.

4) Begin work on next novel in April.

5) Start stretching myself with my writing projects. Instead of just my freelance work and my novels, I need to write some articles (which I jotted down ideas for yesterday) and maybe even try some short stories. Haven't done either of those in awhile.

Of course, I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't make these goals by a specific date. I've been tough on myself in the past and it just backfires. Besides, I also have some other, non-writing related goals that need to take top priority in my life related to my health. When my health isn't good, the writing suffers, so this is a win-win situation.

Your turn! Do you have any writing goals for 2011? Do you give yourself flexibility with your goals, or are your deadlines hard and fast?

11 comments:

  1. Hope you're feeling better!

    I've always wondered if I could write professionally but I don't think I'm a good enough wordsmith to pull it off. I admire anyone who does.

    I created a second blog that focuses more on homemaking related things and it's my goal for 2011 to post regularly!

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  2. I hope you feel better soon. My husband is suffering with a similar bug.

    My 2011 writing resolutions are similar to yours. I was intending finishing my wip by the end of this year, but am working on edits at the moment for another novel, so it's having to wait.

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  3. I want to finish editing my novel by June and have another one written by this time next year.

    Of course, like you said, all goals are flexible.

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  4. My writing goals for 2011 are mostly centred around blogging! That's all I can manage at the moment. They are simply, to post consistently and to vary my writing style as much as possible. I do intend to, at some point this year, re-read a novel I finished (the only one I've EVER finished!) before my daughter was born. I'm still unhappy with it and I'm never able to decide quite why...

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  5. A great and do-able list. Good luck with it.

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  6. Glad you had a wonderful Christmas, and I am also glad you are feeling better too!

    As for your novel-you can do it!! I am rooting for you!!

    Happy New Year Melissa-I hope it brings many good things for you and your family!

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  7. I'm with you...I think it's best to be a bit flexible. I tried hard-and-fast deadlines with the novel I just finished, and all it did was make me frustrated (especially since I kept setting completely unrealistic goals.)

    Happy New Year! I bet we'll read a post a year from now about how you met everything on your list. :)

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  8. Ginger - I love your new blog and I'm glad you combined the two. Can't wait to read your posts!

    Debs - Here's hoping you'll meet your goals, too!

    Patti - Unflexible goals are a waste of time for me. Unseen forces work against me when I set hard and fast goals. Good luck on getting your novel edited!

    Erin - Maybe you've had enough distance from the novel now to pinpoint what you don't like about it? Or maybe it's one of those novels that just wasn't meant to be written. I have a few of those half-finished manuscripts. :-)

    Diane - Thank you. And good luck with yours!

    Valerie - Thank you so much for cheering me on! Very much appreciated. Happy New Year to you and yours!

    Christine - Kindred spirits, we are. I also don't like the overwhelming stress of those hard and fast deadlines. There is enough stress in life without adding to it. And I hope you're right that everything on this list is met! (Getting an agent this year would be SWELL.) Happy New Year!

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  9. I have to be flexible this year because I've made hard and fast deadlines in the past and onyl failed miserably. But I have some general goals for the year and I think I can manage as long as I don't set dates for completion. :) The early months, I want to work on writing and polishing some short stories (and hopefully publishing them) and then I want to write the second draft of my historical novel from November. After that, who knows? :)

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  10. Hello! I'm discovering new blogs by aspiring writers. I'm about the same place as you are--revising a (YA) manuscript, hoping to begin querying agents around May 1.

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  11. Elisabeth - Setting dates for completion seems to be my downfall, too. If I just know it needs to get done, I am much more apt to do it than if I tell myself it needs to be finished by a certain date. Weird, but it works!

    Hi Catherine! Thanks for stopping by! Best of luck in revising your manuscript and hope the agent hunt goes well!

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