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Who Else Wants to Set Reachable Writing Goals for 2010? (part 1 of 2)

by Jennifer on January 12, 2010

By Jennifer Blanchard

Now that the New Year’s Resolutions frenzy has started to die down a bit, it’s time to think about setting your 2010 writing goals.

As many of you already know, I’m not really a fan of making resolutions. For a few reasons:

  • Making a “resolution” means you’re trying to change something about yourself, but there’s nothing wrong with you. You are whole, perfect and complete exactly how you are.
  • People don’t tend to stick with resolutions. Resolutions are made annually by people who are inspired by the brand new year and want to make big changes. Problem is, simply making a resolution is no guarantee for success.
  • Resolutions made during New Years tend to go away quickly; usually by the end of January.

That’s why I recommend you, instead, make New Years goals.

“Goals” is a much more positive word. It gives the connotation of following your dreams and making things happen.

I’m also a huge fan of birthday goals, which I feel are more personal and, therefore, you’re more likely to stick with them.

If you haven’t had your birthday yet (or you didn’t set any goals during your last birthday), then today is your day to figure out what you want to achieve in the next 365 days.

Why You Should Set 2010 Writing Goals
You should set writing goals for this year because without a plan, without goals to work towards, you’re less likely to make any changes. And you don’t want to spend another year not writing, do you?

Your 2010 goals don’t have to be anything earth-shattering (although if they are, good for you!). Your goals just have to be in alignment with what you want in your life.

So if you want to find more time to write, that’s what your goal should be. If you want to finish writing the novel you’ve been working on for however long now, make that your goal. And if you want to finally get up the nerve to submit your short story to a writing competition or finally query the agents you’ve been researching for months, make that your goal.

You can have whatever you want in your life. Whether you believe it or not, you can.

Here’s how:

  • Sit Down and Figure Out What You Want—This is your year. You are going to do big things in 2010. So what do you want? What’s your most important writing goal? What have you been dreaming about forever, but haven’t made a reality yet? What are you super passionate about? What makes you the happiest?

    Those are the goals you should be aiming for this year.

  • Get Specific—The more specific, the better. Sure, you can just set your 2010 goal as “write every day,” but why not be more specific about it? Why not, instead, aim for “write 500 words every day?” Or “write five pages every day?”

    By being specific, you make your goals measurable. And being specific really allows you to attract what you’re dreaming about.

  • Write It Down—Now that you have an idea of what your writing goals for 2010 are, it’s time to make them concrete. Write them down. Keep a list of all the goals you want to achieve this year. Hang it somewhere you can see it often—On the bathroom mirror, on the dashboard of your car, etc. Remember, when you write something down, you intend it.
  • Commit to Your Goals—As the saying goes, “shit or get off the pot.” This is it. It’s time to commit and get moving on making your writing goals happen. Decide that what you want is more important than anything else. Choose to believe that what you want is coming to you. Then go and write your heart out.
  • Make a Declaration—After you’ve written your writing goals down, declare them. Tell your friends, your family, your significant other. Tell your kids, your co-workers, your neighbors. Tell whoever will listen. Declare that this is your year to make your writing dreams a reality.

    It may seem scary to share your goals with the world, especially if you’re still not convinced you can achieve them. But by declaring them to the world, you’re showing that you believe in yourself and your writing. You’re showing that you are willing to do what it takes to make your dreams happen. You’re proving that it is possible.

After you’ve completed the above-mentioned steps, then comes the fun part—Making your dreams a reality.

As far as I’m concerned, setting goals, intending them and declaring them to the world are really the hardest parts of making your dreams happen. They’re the hardest parts because they force you to own up to what you want. They force you to believe and to get real with your dreams. And they become measurements of your success.

Once you’re committed to something, once you’re all-in, it’s easy to make the rest happen. In fact, once you’re fully committed and are willing to do whatever it takes, your goals will happen so easily you’ll wonder why you waited so long.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for part two: Making a Goals Contract with Yourself. Or subscribe so you never miss a post.

Also, for those who aren’t ready to commit to your goals just yet, stay tuned for my very first writing productivity eBook, coming in March.

About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is founder of Procrastinating Writers. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 K.M. Weiland January 12, 2010 at 11:58 am

I agree with your thoughts about “resolutions” vs. “goals.” I’m also more fond of birthday goals than New Year’s goals. The New Year is usually a time of hustle and bustle, and I’m more inclined to be reflective around my birthday in November. Either way, I believe goals are very important. How can you achieve what you want if you don’t *know* what you want?

2 Megs - Scattered Bits January 12, 2010 at 1:03 pm

This is a wonderful breakdown of all the steps that go into making our goals for a writing year. When I made my goals, I took a long look back at everything I had already done and decided how I wanted this year to build on last year and how I wanted it to be different. I think the only problem I’ve spotted so far is that I might have overestimated how fast I can learn how to write short stories. But it makes such a difference, as you say, to be “all in.” I’m already accomplishing far more than I thought was possible.

As for my declarations:
WRITING http://writing.smeganpayne.com/4/post/2010/01/looking-back-and-looking-forward.html
READING http://writing.smeganpayne.com/5/post/2010/01/bookends-in-review.html

3 ami@40daystochange January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I like the suggestions, especially the one re: figuring out what you want from your writing. That’s a great way to get away from the “I should” goals that tend to fade away.

I love birthday goals, either goals to accomplish by my birthday or goals set on my birthday for my upcoming year. As to declaring my goals, I posted about mine on my blog, then I set up a tab with my goals accessible from the home page for everyone to see. Now FEAR will kick in to ensure they get done!

4 Elspeth Antonelli January 12, 2010 at 7:13 pm

I’ve never thought of ‘birthday goals’. This idea appeals to me. Thanks!


5 Andrew Toynbee February 18, 2010 at 2:47 am

After having written many, many, many ‘never-ending-stories’ in the past I am determined that 2010 is the year that I finally evolve from writer to Author. I have enrolled on Holly Lisle’s How to Think Sideways course and have already begun to create the framework for my first, real ‘novel-shaped’ story.

Here’s to goals and all that we land in them!

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