It’s that time of year: people everywhere are making lists of goals to accomplish in the new year. Some want to exercise more, others want to try a new hobby, other still hope to work on being more confident, the list goes on. We as writers have unique writing goals, ones related specifically to our creative projects.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the number of tasks you want to complete in 2019, never fear. I’ve definitely been there before. When everyone is posting on Facebook or their blogs about what they’re going to do come January 1, it can be easy to feel like you aren’t doing enough or that you don’t even know where to start.
Luckily, I have some prompts to help you decide what writing goals you want to focus on next year.
What do you want to write?
Everyone has that one project, that special story stirring in their souls. What’s yours? Have you written it yet? Sometimes some ideas feel so special, we hesitate to start writing them; we don’t want to risk seeing them fail to meet our expectations.
But procrastinating isn’t going to do you any good. Writing is always scary at the beginning. First drafts are rarely exceptional. Use 2019 as that push you need to finally get started on the story tugging at your heart.
What do you want to revise?
What projects have been collecting dust in the depths of our computer files? We all have half-finished, abandoned stories and articles and poems shoved deep into our documents. Some definitely deserve to stay there, but others might only be there because we’re too intimidated to start fixing them.
Revisions are daunting. The messier a story is, the less likely we are to want to polish it up.
If you aren’t sure how to begin editing, try reading through the draft as nothing more than a reader. Takes notes on any problems you see, but don’t focus on the solutions just yet. Recognize the holes, but don’t rush to fill them.
By taking it one step at a time, it’ll be a much smoother process.
What do you want to publish?
Very few writers don’t have dreams of publication, but even if we want to share our work with readers, it’s still terrifying. What if people hate it? What if you’re rejected by thirty agents? What if nobody’s interested in buying it?
These are all valid, stressful fears, but you shouldn’t let them stop you from achieving your dreams. You will never get a five-star review, fan mail, or royalties from your creative work if you don’t publish it.
Take the plunge, whatever that might look like for you. Query an agent. Submit to a contest. Post on your blog.
Do anything you’d like at all, so long as it’s pushing you out of your comfort zone and propelling you towards your dreams.
Don’t try to do everything at once
Finally, don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you give yourself a checklist and end the year with more empty boxes than checked ones, you’ll become disheartened at how little you’re finishing, which could prevent you from completing the rest.
Focus on a few, very specific writing goals that will challenge you, but that you can reasonably accomplish. If you’re looking for more help with this, I highly recommend you read a recent post Sarah wrote about reflecting on your 2018 writing goals.
What writing goals do you have for the new year? How do you come up with what needs to be done? Let us know in the comments.
The new year is almost here, but there’s still a little time left to wrap up your 2018 goals. Is there a writing project you’ve been working on this year that you haven’t quite finished? Take fifteen minutes now to continue writing.
When your time is up, share your writing progress in the comments below. Be sure to leave feedback for your fellow writers, too!