Posted by: anitanolan | December 31, 2010

Writing Resolutions for the New Year

Several years ago, a monthly writing group I belonged to kept track of our monthly goals. We gave chocolate each month as a reward for those who made their goals (it is amazing how big an incentive a piece of chocolate can be!) and we got prizes at the end of the year for the people who made their goals most frequently.

What I noticed was that some people met their goals, and some rarely did. (Yes, for a time I was the goals nag–err, record keeper.)  We came up with a few ideas to help people set achievable goals. (Goals that aren’t achievable are: “I will get published this year,” or “I will get an agent this year.”)

Since it is resolution time, here are some different goal ideas that might help as you think about the writing resolutions you want to set for the new year.

  • Make a goal to write every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.
  • Set a number of pages to write each day, whether it’s one or five or 10.
  • Or set a number of words to write each day. (If you make it just a few, like 200, you’ll be surprised how often you write much more once you get started.)
  • Assign a time to write each day for writing. (9-12, for example.) If you’re published, assign a time for writing, another time for publicity or querying, and still others for answering email, etc.
  • Make it a goal to write five days a week, or a certain number of pages a week.
  • Come up with a goal for the year, and then break it down to a monthly goal, and then a weekly goal. For instance, if you want to write one 200-page book this coming year, break it into doable pieces. Perhaps 40 pages a month (10 per week, or two per day five days a week) for five months, and then perhaps a month for rewriting, another two for revisions, and one for editing and polishing, and the last month or two for querying.
  • Write down how many pages or words or how much time you write each day. Keep a list. Add up how many pages you write each week, and compete with yourself to see if you can write more than the previous week.

I hope these options help you set and attain an achievable writing goal for the coming year.

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