The Mid-Year Goalpost

Goalpost

I love goals. I’ve mentioned this before. I grew up in a family where setting goals was as commonplace as brushing teeth and complaining about siblings. So I’ve developed something of a tradition here on my blog. In January, I set my goals. In July I revisit them.

That’s a bit misleading, though. I’m actually re-evaluating my goals on a weekly and monthly basis. Because goals are living things, better set in silly string rather than concrete.

Nonetheless, tradition is as tradition does. Here’s how I’m tracking with the goals I set in January.

TNT#1

Achievement unlocked!

I had set a goal to complete the first draft this by March 1st. I actually typed ‘The End’ on February 1st.

I also set a goal to do a once-over revision by May 1st. I actually completed it on Marsh 14th.

Moving forward, my goal is to finish revisions on this novel by October 1st, and have a query letter ready to go by November 1st.

Novel B CST

I set a goal to complete this first draft by the end of 2013. Really, that was a generous time period. I knew that even when I set it. And considering I’m 2/3 of the way through it, I’m revising my goals for this novel to:

  • Finish first draft by 1st September.
  • Finish revisions by 1st November.
  • Have query letter written by 1st December.

Novel C

Because… why not? I have three ideas that I really want to write, as well as the sequels to TNT. So come the end of the year, I will have decided what I’m writing next and got to work. Really, my only official goal is to have an outline done by December 31st. But I’ll be thrilled if I’ve started writing it as well. (Comic dystopian? YA Urban fantasy? Paranormal Thriller? Or something I haven’t yet dreamed up…. Only time will tell.)

TNT#2 and #3

I’ve got the stories mapped out in my head, so my goal is to have the outlines written for both by November 1st. It never hurts to be prepared.

Flash Fiction

I set a target to write and share 12 flash fiction stories, and so far I’ve done none. As you may have noticed, I haven’t been blogging as often. This is partly because Life has thrown me some curve balls, and I don’t have as much time as I expected, and partly because my main focus is on novel writing. So I’ve officially removed this goal from my 2013 plans.

Short Stories

My goal was to submit six short stories to contests and/or fiction markets. As with above, my priorities have changed. I have submitted one, and have plans for another. But I don’t anticipate any more than that. So consider my goal down-graded to two.

Reading

I was going to read 75 books. I was. And then… life. So I’ve only read 20 books at this stage. I’m revising back down to 50 books for the year, and that will be a stretch target.

Overall

What a great year so far! I’m loving my novel writing, and can’t wait to get stuck into writing every day. I’m part of a great writing community on Facebook (seriously, if you’re not part of Writer Unboxed, you have no idea what you’re missing out on!) and have made amazing, supportive, and encouraging friends and colleagues through both WU and a second, more intimate writing community.

I said in January that this is the year I’m moving from “enthusiastic amateur” to “professional writer”, and I feel well and truly on the way there.

How are you tracking with your goals?

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “The Mid-Year Goalpost

  1. Wow, that is very inspiring! I find it very beneficial to write my goals down too, it is so satisfying to physically cross them off a list 🙂 Well done, and good luck for the rest of the year!

  2. Yes, both inspiring and impressive! All power to your elbow (or at least keyboard fingers).

  3. My goal to not start any work that I do not finish is going well: I have one short story ongoing that I last worked on yesterday.

    My stretch goal of finishing at least two of the works from last year has not really moved forward: I have picked the two I want to finish and tinkered with outlines for the missing pieces but not managed to re-engage with either of them.

    • Well done on the first goal. That’s great to hear. Maybe you’ll do better with finishing your works in the second half of the year. Plenty of time left yet! 🙂

  4. Good for you!

    As for my goals, I’m doing OK but running behind. My basic goal of publishing two novels and writing two novels is doing OK. One book is already published, and the second one is with the beta readers right now. November/December look likely. As for the writing, I’m behind (drafting the first one now), but I’m settling in for NaNoWriMo-level efforts on it.

    • Sounds like you’re doing well, Dan. Congrats on getting the first of this year’s novels published, and good luck on getting the rest of your goals completed. 🙂

  5. No formal goals for me this year, and if I had them I probably wouldn’t be meeting them (at least not writing–I’ve accomplished some major home maintenance projects). Lots of blog posts, columns and articles written, very little progress on either editing or writing novels in progress. Reading: bookmarks currently in books number 21 and 22. Off to RWA conference this month, hoping to come home inspired. And with a submission request or two.

    • I’m pretty sure that your work on Scrivener makes up for the not writing. I’m so impressed with your blog posts about the program. Good luck at the RWA conference! 🙂

  6. That is quite a case of hyper-positive activity. Well done. I wish I could be both as productive or indeed as focused as you. I think I have spent the better part of this year procrastinating, and making excuses then taking a guilt trip for doing both of those things.

    It would be good to see a new flash fiction from you, I think I’m getting a weird kind of withdrawal.

    • Ah, see, the first step is admitting you have a problem. I’m not sure what the next 11 steps to beating procrastination are. I couldn’t be bothered finding out… 😛

      It’s great to see you over at WU. It’s a really active community, so check in regularly for a hefty dose of craft and industry info, as well as plenty of procrastination-beating encouragement. 🙂

    • Oh, and just for you I shall endeavour to write and post a new flash fiction this month. Because flattery totally works. 😉

  7. That’s quite a list you’ve got there–but if anyone can complete those goals, you can. I’m very impressed with your organization and writing-as-a-business attitude. You’re giving me inspiration to do the same. 😀

    • Thanks, Denise. You inspire me every day, so I’m glad to be able to provide a modicum of inspiration in turn. 🙂 I feel pretty good about completing these goals, largely because I have a plan in place and I’ve already proved to myself that I can reach daily writing targets. My only real concern is the editing on TNT#1. The more distance I get from it, the more I think that it’s going to need a major overhaul to get it to the place I want it to be. Fortunately I have this great tribe of people who I know will support me when I start pulling my hair out. 🙂

  8. Congratulations.
    I’m a bit behind but cancer does that. I’ll catch up at the back end of the year. It’s winter here and I have been working more than I usually would.

    • I’m in the throes of winter at the moment as well. Howdy! I’m sorry to hear about your cancer. My best wishes to you. Good luck with achieving your goals, and never be afraid to re-evaluate and modify them if you need to.

  9. I finally got around to taking a look at my goals mid-year. My outlook was not as kind on me as yours was for you. At least on novel-writing, it looks like you’re going Gangbusters! Good on you! For myself, I’ve had to expand my time horizon from “this year” to “this decade”. Not an easy thing to do when you’ve already developed a strong, irrational fear of your own mortality by your early thirties…

  10. Pingback: A Year in Review: Revisiting 2013 | The Happy Logophile

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