Happy 2013! I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season, and has hit the ground running in 2013. I know I did.
And what would the start of a new year be without the obligatory look back and look forward of a goal-setting post?
As I said last year, I’m not a believer in namby-pamby resolutions. But I love me some SMART* goals. So let’s look at how I went with last year’s goals and then I’ll share this year’s goals with you. You’ll keep me honest, right?
Complete First Draft of TNT#1
This time last year, I set myself the goal of completing this first draft by April 30. That date came and went, so I revised my target and set a goal to complete this first draft by September 30. Again, that date came and went without me coming close to achieving the goal.
Research and Plan Novel B
I didn’t even get close to doing this. Bzzzzzt!
I originally had a variety of social media based goals to accomplish. But as the year went on, and I embraced this blog, Facebook, and Twitter, social media become a part of my life rather than another task to be completed. I removed any SMART goals based around social media when I revisited my goals in July.
Write and share 26 Flash Fiction stories
When I looked at how I was tracking in July, I’d only posted 2 new flash fiction stories on my blog. I put my head down and worked on writing more FF and by the end of the year I’d posted 15. Although I didn’t hit my initial goal, I’m pretty happy with that result.
Write and submit 6 short stories to fiction markets
I only submitted three over the course of the year, but again I’m pretty happy with that.
Read 50 books
This was one goal I completely blew out of the water. I read 69 books during 2013, and loved taking the time to immerse myself in reading. And I truly believe that doing so has had a positive effect on my writing as well.
Lose 8kg (17lb) and maintain fitness
I didn’t quite make my goal, unfortunately. But I did lose 6kg (13lb), which is great. (Honestly, I’m just thrilled not to have put back on the weight I lost during 2011!)
I’m pretty happy with my progress over 2012. Although I didn’t meet my writing goals, I made significant progress toward them. And, more importantly perhaps, my confidence in my writing improved and I met a lot of other writers online. I feel that 2012 was a positive year, and I can’t wait to take that positivity forward!
Complete First Draft of TNT#1
With my new writing plan in place, I will continue to write every day. This will allow me to complete my first draft by 1st March.
I will then do a single revision pass to fix the continuity errors I know are present (because I changed the direction of some of the characters midway through the novel), which will be completed by 1st May. Then I will let it sit and marinate for a while before doing a second revision pass. This will be completed by 1st October. Then it will be in the hands of my Beta Readers.
Complete First Draft of Novel B
When I’m not working on TNT#1, I will use my creative time to start writing Novel B. I will complete this first draft by the end of 2013.
Write and share 12 Flash Fiction stories
Once a month I will write and share a Flash Fiction piece on my blog. These stories will be written during the time I set aside for blog writing, not during creative time.
Write and submit 6 stories to contests/fiction markets
I will identify 6 contests and fiction markets I would like to write for, and use my creative time to write short stories to submit to them.
Read 75 books
This is a slight increase on last year’s result, and means reading 6 or 7 books per month. To achieve that goal, I will continue to listen to audiobooks in the car, keep a book in “the smallest room”, and carry a book with me everywhere I go so I can use every spare 5 minutes for reading. I will also do my best to minimise my “Good Book Hangovers” (that feeling after finishing a great book where you can’t bring yourself to start a new one and say goodbye to the characters you love).
This is the year I want to push myself to the next level, and make that commitment to treat writing like a real job. No more excuses. No more “I don’t feel creative” or “I don’t have time” or “I have to do the washing/ironing/cooking/cleaning/whatever”. I’m ready, 2013.
Bring it on.
What goals have you set for 2013? (Feel free to share the link to your own obligatory goal-setting post!)
*If you don’t know what a SMART goal is, you’re missing out on a great tool for success. There are plenty of resources in print and on the interweb to explain how SMART goals work, so I won’t go into too much detail. Let it suffice to say that any goal you set should be:
- Tangible/Time specific.