Setting Writing Goals for the Rest of the Year
By Author Kelli A. Wilkins
Remember a few weeks ago when you were talking about making changes and setting goals for the New Year? That was great! Then life happened. You had stuff to do and maybe your “fresh start” got pushed back a little. Don’t worry. It happened to me, too!
But now do you find yourself gazing at your new calendar, wondering, “How is it 2019? Where did January go? I had all those plans…”
If so, don’t stress out. Take some time to look back at what you achieved last year and start thinking about this year. Evaluating your writing goals and setting reasonable action steps now will help you get on target for the rest of 2019. Even if January is over, you still have eleven more months ahead of you and plenty of opportunities to make changes and meet your goals.
Perhaps you took time off from writing and want to get back in the swing of things. Maybe your writing muse went on vacation to Hawaii and hasn’t come back yet. That’s okay. It’s fine to take a break from writing for a while—but not too long. (If you rest too long, you’ll rust!) Writing exercises, journaling, and freewriting story ideas are great ways to revive your motivation.
Keep in mind that everyone’s writing career and writing goals are different. Think about what you want for you. Do you want to finish the novel you started last year (or haven’t started yet)? Send out a dozen short stories? Enter a contest?
If you write magazine articles, are there any major publications you’re targeting? Start brainstorming ideas now, make a list of places to send queries, and check out potential markets for their latest submission guidelines. (It’s also time to be thinking 3 to 6 months ahead and plan those spring and summer articles.)
Write fiction? Have you found any new markets? Signed up for online market newsletters? If you’re published in one genre (say, romance or horror), are you going to expand your horizons and write a different type of story this year?
Is the writing part going fine, but you need to develop (or enhance) your online profile and/or marketing? Explore writing-related websites and blogs, Yahoo Groups, social media groups, and advertising opportunities for your work. Are your blog, website, and author page(s) up-to-date? Should they get a refresh (or a major overhaul) for the new year?
Make a list of all you want to accomplish in the next few weeks and months. Having a list of projects and priorities will help keep your writing objectives on track. For example, if you want to explore new markets for your short story, put “find new markets” on your list.
If you’re determined to write a new book, make a timeline for research, character development, plotting, etc. Give yourself a deadline for when you want to start writing and stick to it. Decide how many pages or chapters you want to finish each day/week/month. Little by little, your book will take shape, and you’ll be amazed at your progress.
No matter what your writing goals are, a little pre-planning will help you focus and allow you to flow from one writing project to another. Preparation also keeps you motivated and fends off writer’s block, because you always have “the next thing” to work on.
When you write down your goals, start your sentences with a positive statement, such as: “I will finish the rough draft of my novel by June 1” or “I will submit six articles to magazines.” After you’ve made the list, note what you need to do to get started. This could include setting aside specific times to write each day, getting writer’s guidelines, or sending out query letters. Then, pick one project (the most time-sensitive one, or your personal favorite), and get to work. Spend time targeting your goals now, and you’ll be on your way to success!
But keep a balance. Don’t let yourself become so goal oriented that you burn yourself out, stress yourself half to death, and let the writing life take the place of your real life. (Believe me, I’ve been there and I’ve learned.)
Family, friends, pets, neighbors, and having fun are all important parts of being alive. Make time for your writing, but also make time for yourself and those you love. (Yes, it’s perfectly okay to leave the husband parked in front of a movie and go write for two hours. But make sure when you turn the computer off, you focus on the present moment.)
Every new day is bursting with hope, possibilities, and opportunities to make this year really great. Set goals for yourself. Write as much as you need to (or want to), and then sit in the yard and watch the world go by for an hour. You’re worth it!
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Happy Reading… and Writing!
ABOUT THE AUTHORKelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.
In January 2019 Kelli released the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.
She also authored her first online writing course, Fiction Writing for Beginners, through Teachable. This course is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: for more details.
Kelli’s historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past, was published in 2018. This full-length Gothic novel is set in the kingdom of Hungary in 1723 and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.
Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: . and Twitter:Visit her website and blog to learn more about all of her writings.
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