Whelp, we have officially wasted half a year. Only six month remain to make what we want to out of 2016. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not mad at myself for what I have/ haven’t achieved so far this year, but I can say I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped, particularly on the writing front, which means maybe a new tactic is in order.
Luckily the latest newsletter from The Writer’s Table, from the charming and brilliant Eleanor Brown arrived with not only the reminder that the year is half done, but also a way to set realistic goals for the rest of the year.
The goals work backwards from the big picture to today, and I think this will be a technique I can really work with – because let’s be honest, part of my not accomplishing writing goals for the first half of 2016 was not having clearly defined goals. Hard to achieve goals when they consist mostly of a nebulous “I should write more.”
The questions Eleanor recommends you ask yourself when setting your 6 month goals are:
- Where would I like to be with my writing by the end of the year? [12/31/2016; 183 days away]*
- In order to achieve that goal, what do I need to have accomplished by Halloween? [10/31/2016; 122 days away]
- In order to make it there by Halloween, where do I need to be by Labor Day? [9/5/2016; 66 days away]
- In order to reach that Labor Day goal, what do you need to do right now? [7/1/2016; right now]
*Dates and # of days away are my own addition, to help me conceptualize this better. And I know this post is several days after 7/1/2016, but work with me here 😉
Upon reading the newsletter, I came up with these possible writing goals:
- Time writing per day/week
- Finish and begin submitting Here There Be
- Write and submit to critique group the Garret short story (to send to Writers of the Future in Spring)
- Write first draft of Casey Watkins and the Missing Mascot
- Complete second draft of Foxglove and Queen Anne’s Lace – find Gamma readers
- Expand the Snow White inspired story to novel length
- Get to halfway point of next draft of Divine Madness (1/2 point defined as 1) through second trail or 2) 60,000 words)
As you can see, I have too many writing goals to do them all in the next six months (or the last six months, which is probably why I stalled out). I have decided to focus on the two in purple text, one is polishing a short story, and beginning to send it out, the other is working on a second draft. I chose that one because it sounds difficult – I find generating story ideas and coming up with a first draft relatively easy – the part of my craft that I need the most work on is editing/ getting to the point of submission.
Wish me luck, and best wishes to all of you taking the opportunity of the new month to reevaluate goals.