HAPPY NEW YEAR!
*cue fireworks explosions in the background*
As we face 2019 with both apprehension and excitement, we turn inward. That’s right. It is the time of New Year Resolutions. Personally, I’ve never had any luck with them, so instead of resolutions, I want to talk about GOALS.
What are Goals to a Writer?
Goals are coals to our fires. They keep the writing train chugging on ahead—and other coal analogies—by providing a destination that we need to achieve in a seemingly endless stream of words upon words upon words.
Think about it. What would Nano be without word count goals every day? Where would our manuscripts be without chapter and scene goals we need to achieve? Even our characters have goals for crying out loud!
Basically, goals are what writers need to survive and to keep moving forward. But often, I find that many of writerly goals (at least mine) are sometimes out of our hands or unattainable, either because of the publishing industry, or we let our self-doubt from crippling rejection get in our own way (and honestly, who can blame us?).
So I’ve developed a list of healthy goals that might be helpful to other writers:
My Writing Goals
1.Write five times a week.
I’ve got a full-time day job that I love, but it’s often mentally taxing. Sometimes I can’t write every single day because honestly I’m just too tired—and I do believe in mental health days. But five days a week is doable, and as long as I keep that word count high and consistent on those days, I can hit those deadlines! It’s challenging without being overly stressful.
2. Write things I can be proud of.
Obviously I want to continue to grow as a writer and write more books (ideally two books and one sequel for 2019) but this goal is about more than that. And I’m not just talking about beautiful writing, with amazing plots, deep themes, and dynamic characters (though that’s part of it), I want to write respectfully. I want to be conscious of things like race, sexuality, and mental health.
3. Provide more helpful, thoughtful feedback to my critique partners.
My CPs are my lifeblood and I want to give back more than I take. I want to make more time to provide them feedback and discuss their projects with them. Besides, working with them becomes a learning experience for me most of the time anyway!
4. Expand my vocabulary and that of my characters.
Sometimes words get stale. I want to keep my writing fresh and give younger readers a challenge in expanding their vocabulary. I mean, not John-Green level, but I can certainly do better.
5. Connect to more readers and fellow writers.
One of the best things about this industry is its community. I can’t wait to connect with more readers and meet fellow authors and learn from them. There’s nothing more exciting to me in publishing than the people within it.
6. Believe in myself more.
There is a quote from an anime I really love: “Don’t believe in yourself, believe in the ME that believes in YOU.” If you think about this quote, it’s really quite beautiful. It’s saying that you don’t always need to rely on yourself to be strong, you can lean on others who love and support you.
Faced with rejections, negative reviews, and rough feedback, I want to remember the victories, the glowing reviews, and the editorial praise. Because there are people who love me and my work, and that helps me to believe in myself.