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!