I just posted this on Facebook:
Time to set writing goals for the year. After 17,000 words in 5 days — one of those a work day, one a holiday with the relatives, and one a New Years Eve party with friends — I kinda feel an obligation to set my goals high. Either that, or I’m foolishly optimistic based on a false sense of accomplishment. But either way, here goes…
A short story or a novel chapter completed per week.
If I fall short, you all have my permission to sneer, as long as you do so in a motivational fashion.
But here I should be more specific. Dean Wesley Smith has his annual post on goals. I like his distinction between a dream and a goal: a dream involves factors you absolutely cannot control, while a goal involves only factors you can control. “Sell a thousand books” is a dream because you can’t control the buyers (unless you go out and buy them yourself, which is kinda cheating). “Submit a dozen short stories,” “Submit a novel,” and “Self-publish a novel” are goals, because they’re entirely up to you (unless life seriously gets in the way).
Dreams are good. They’re motivating. Goals are good. They’re concrete and measurable. And done right, goals improve the odds on your dreams. But don’t confuse the two, and don’t judge your progress by your dreams. Judge it by your goals.
My writing goals for 2013:
1. My first goal is a repeat of my goal from last year, one where I had only middling success. At the end of every week, every completed story must be one of the following:
B. In the hands of an editor who might buy it.
C. Self-published to Kindle and other platforms.
D. Free-published on my blog. (This is only for works that I do like, but I think are too short or otherwise too noncommercial for self-publishing.)
I would say I met that goal about half the weeks of the year. This year I’ll aim for every week.
2. Write more.
3. Finish more. As above, my goal – and yes, it’s a stretch – is a story or chapter per week.
4. Set up my publishing house as per Dean’s Think Like a Publisher series. I already have the domain name, the web site, and the DBA. I have two titles published under Old Town Press. It still needs more structure to think MORE like a publisher.