Posts Tagged "goals"

Writing Goals: One month check-in

Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 in Writing Inspiration | 0 comments

Writing Goals: One month check-in

A month ago I wrote about my experience with a writing workshop about energizing our writing and setting some goals.  I’ve decided to do a check in on my blog to keep myself honest and to see where I need to make adjustments. After setting broad goals for 2014, noting what I wanted to accomplish in each month, I identified goals day by day for January and February. As mentioned in my February 3 blog, I completed a decent draft of my YA novel and sent it to my critique group a day ahead of schedule. Since that was the only goal I had for January, I noted which scenes/sections I needed to complete each day and that helped me stay on track. I felt great to have met this goal! I did my happy dance, took the weekend off (which I’d built into my February calendar), and then jumped into my goals for February. I’m doing well, but learned a few things I’d like to share. When setting daily goals, check your appointment calendar! This may seem obvious, but in my enthusiasm, I opened a blank calendar in Word and filled it with mini goals. As I began, I realized that I’d overbooked myself on a few days. For example, on one day I had noted “shoot About Me video” for my website. On that same day, I was scheduled to take my husband in for a routine medical procedure, get my daughter to school, have a consult with a new writer, and meet with some folks for SCBWI planning! Hello? Needless to say, I needed to shift the video shoot. Mix up your goal types. February is a heavy marketing/nonfiction month for me. I’m creating videos, writing my e-book gift for newsletter subscribers, and creating content for both my blog and my newsletter. I began enthusiastically but realized that, though I enjoyed writing all of these things, I needed to also be writing fiction to feel balanced creatively. I had a new picture book on the calendar, but have decided to include some outlining and pre-writing for the chapter book I plan to work on in March. Build in some cushion. I actually did this and it’s helped when I’ve miscalculated how much time something might take or if I finish early, I have time to do something else – either personal or professional. If you’ve created goals for yourself, I hope you are making progress and giving yourself pats on the back for your accomplishments! Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new...

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At the Core of Our Resolutions

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Writing Inspiration | 0 comments

At the Core of Our Resolutions

Back in July, I wrote about digging a little deeper when it comes to why we write. Goal setting is great and I thrive on it (I love checking off tasks and gaining that sense of accomplishment), but it has been amazing how answering deeper questions about why I write – in general and also a particular story – has given me more motivation and a deeper sense of responsibility. This past Saturday, I was thrilled to attend the “Day-Long, Kick-Butt, Get-Your-Writing-Year-in-Order Workshop” at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, which the instructor, Shari Caudron, had renamed “The Day-Long, Violence-Free, Energize-Your-Writing-and-Feel-Great-About-Yourself Workshop.” This workshop rocked. One of the best things was the way she had us start with questions and exercises that really got us thinking about how we see ourselves as writers, why we write, who we write for and so on before moving into more concrete goal-setting. As I noted, I’d already been working on re-visioning myself as a writer, and Shari’s workshop helped solidify and clarify how I see myself and where I want to go. (NOTE: Just now I wrote “hope to go” and backspaced over it to change “hope” to “want.” “Hope” feels like it could hang out there forever and I don’t have to do anything about it. “Want” makes me feel like I can make it happen.) The themes I kept seeing as I completed the exercises were: “uplift,” “inspire,” “provide hope and meaning” – all things that attracted me and I absorbed as a young reader and still look for in the books I choose to read. Why do you write? What do you hope to share with the world? You don’t have to share your reasons here, publicly, but I hope you’ll take time to really explore that question and answer it for yourself. You may be surprised how it affects your writing and your writing life! Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new...

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Friday Focus: Progress Check in

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013 in Writing Inspiration | 0 comments

Friday Focus: Progress Check in

So back in January I set up my 2013 Writing Goals and for the first time ever, tried to set goals that I could actually meet. I’ve actually completed goals 1 and 2 and am focused on #3, where I am trying an experiment. I’m using Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat Beat Sheet to structure my YA Novel and had set sub-goals for meeting each beat. My original plan was to report back in June when I was planning to be finished, but I’ve really hit my stride, even though I’m slightly behind on the sub-goals, and just wanted to bask in that. I’m big on basking because writing is such a solitary pursuit and it’s easy to get discouraged with waiting and rejections, etc. So, I wanted to see where I was now, not in June. So, by the end of March, I’m supposed to have completed Beat #11, which is the “All is Lost beat.” I know exactly what that scene is, but I’m still in Beats 8, 9, and 10. The thing I’ve discovered about applying these beats to a novel is that some beats definitely are more involved than others. I didn’t really think about that when I divvied up the beats by month, but I’m finding that to be the case and feel like once I get through Beats 8-10, the rest will go a lot more quickly. I wrote like a madwoman this week, but also had to divide my time between the novel and prepping for the South Dakota SCBWI conference in mid-April. Lots of work to do for that! If you created writing goals or resolutions for yourself and you haven’t looked at them for awhile – do it! See where you are and make adjustments as necessary. And let me know how it’s going! Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new...

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My 2013 Writing Resolutions

Posted by on Jan 1, 2013 in Writing Inspiration | 0 comments

My 2013 Writing Resolutions

Happy new year! If you read my post yesterday, you know that not only did I promise to post my goals, but I also mentioned that during the writing of my #4 tip, I actually went back and removed a goal from my list. Things always seem to happen during the course of a year – last year it was family stuff, lots of author events and classes that I taught, and two graduations…so I’ve pared my list down to three. They seem achievable and  posting them makes me feel more accountable. I really want to be able to report here in June that I completed these goals! The other thing I realized was that, as I wrote my mini-goals for the novel, I needed to adjust the date to give myself more time because of vacations and classes I’m teaching. So it was good to write the mini-goals to see how my time would unfold and forced me to evaluate and adjust my bigger goal. I really, really, really hope I finish sooner, but I’m giving myself six months because that should be plenty of time and allow for some unforeseen events since I’ve written a good chunk of Act I. Denise’s 2013 Writing Resolutions 1. Set up GoodReads Rock On paperback giveaway/send out announcement postcards (January). Write copy by Jan 15 Set up contest Hand off mailing labels, cards, and stamps to my sister for mailing 2. Write Fact of Life #31 short story and submit to critique group (February). Finalize 1-line “what’s it about” summary by January 7 Write 1-2 pages per day January 7 -22 before vacay to complete first draft. Revise and submit to group (February). 3. Finish new YA and submit to critique group (June). NOTE: I am using Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat Beat Sheet to plot my novel so have set mini-goals related to that (factoring in my vacation during which I won’t be writing and the fact that some beats require more scenes/chapters than others). I’ve completed some beats, but changed one so that will involve some additional writing/rewriting. January: Beats 4, 5, 6 February: Beats 7, 8, 9 March: Beats 10, 11 April: Beats 12, 13 May: Beats 14, 15 June: Revise and submit to group I will report back in June on my progress. I just realized that all of these goals are supposed to be finished by June. That means if I meet them, I’ll have the second half of the year to meet other goals – like revising the new novel after feedback and getting it to my agent! Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new...

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6 Tips for Setting Realistic Writing Resolutions

Posted by on Dec 31, 2012 in Writer Tips & Tools | 0 comments

Today will be a different sort of JumpStart Monday. If you haven’t already, I challenge you to come up with some clear writing goals for the coming year, using some of my tips below. If you’re like me, you start the new year bright-eyed and optimistic that this is the year you will write faster, smarter, better, more, etc. And as the year wears on, you find you aren’t doing any of those things. Every year I help round up the writing goals for my critique group, the Wild Writers, and every year I either set too many or goals that are too involved to complete in a year. Coincidentally, some of my tips are similar to the SMART methodology that Julie Anne Peters writes about on our Wild Writers blog today. I’ll leave the more detailed description to her – here I’ll just provide some tips I’ve developed that I hope will help me (and you) do a better job of setting and achieving goals. Set goals that are within your control (achievable). In other words, instead of “get a publishing contract” or “get an agent,” neither of which you have absolute control over, set a goal you do have control over, like finishing your manuscript or sending out x number of queries to agents. Break your goal down into smaller goals. If your goal is to finish your novel, set mini-goals for accomplishing that such as the number of words, pages, scenes, chapters you will write each day/week. If it’s to market an existing book, list the things you have to do to make it happen. Give yourself deadlines. In addition to setting a goal you can control, give it an end date and then put it on your calendar. This includes deadlines for mini-goals. Put your list where you can see it every day. The last two years I’ve forgotten to put my list on the wall by my computer. This meant I went along per usual and eventually forgot about my goals until it was time to come up with them for 2013. This year I’ve decided to set reminders that will give me an electronic nudge that pushes me toward my goal. Be realistic about what you can accomplish. Can you really write a full novel, two short stories, revise another novel, set up your website, and create a marketing plan in a year? Take a good look at what other responsibilities you may have–family, work, community–and make sure you can reach your goals. Better to have only one or two goals that you can actually complete than several that you don’t even get to. For 2012, I set five goals and only met one of them – marketing for Rock On, which was released in March. It was the most straightforward of the goals so it was the easiest to accomplish; but I was disappointed not to have met any of my writing goals. Just now, during the writing of this post, I went back to my 2013 goals and removed one of them–if I happen to do more, great! But let’s see if I can get the three done that are now on the list. Reward yourself for your accomplishments. I like sharing my goals with my group and then being able to report when I’ve reached a milestone because their enthusiasm and encouragement boosts me and makes me believe I can keep going. But a reward can be anything that marks your accomplishments and makes you feel good about your progress–anything from buying yourself a new book to new writing supplies,...

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