My (penciled) writing goals for 2014

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Goals - Plans - Aspirations - Dreams Can you believe we’re almost halfway through January! By now those wonderful New Year’s Resolutions have been tested, perhaps broken (if you made any). And what about writing goals?

I always start the year full of bubbly optimism. The year is new. It’s a clean page. I can begin again. The possibilities are endless. Writing down goals is one way to attach a string to my helium-filled balloon. Having this topic as the first one in our BLOG HOP  gets me tying on that string in real time!

Goals are as useful or unrealistic as we make them. They  are most helpful when they come with details like what, how much, by when. Some folks split goals into two parts: Goals and Objectives. That’s what I’m going to do here.

I’m defining goals as  overarching ends I’d like to achieve.   Objectives are  the specific measurable steps that I need to take to achieve those goals. This article about writing goals and objectives  (PDF file) uses a helpful mnemonic for objectives:

SMART mnemonic

S – Specific
M – Measureable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-bound

Here are some of my 2014 goals and objectives:

Goal 1:
Contribute to the conversation about God, spiritual things, and what it means to live as a Christian.

Objectives:

  • Continue to post daily devotions at my devotional blog Other Food Devos. (Some of these are reposts.)
  • These will be written between 5:30 and 8:00 a.m. daily and scheduled ahead.

Goal 2:
Do my part on special projects and assignments (two poetry books and my FellowScript columns) to which I’ve committed myself.

Objectives:

  • Work with my colleagues on these projects by meeting the deadlines we set up. (Vague but some of  these projects are not in my control.)

Goal 3:
Make a little money with my writing.

Objectives:

  • Send out one article/poem/devotion/kids’ activity etc.  to a paying market the weeks I’m working (not during holidays and times of family obligation).

Goal 4:
Improve as a poet.

Objectives:

  • Write at least one new poem per week, with the exception of April (National Poetry Month) and perhaps November, when I usually join in on challenges to write one poem a day.
  • Enter at least six poetry contests this year.
  • Research and submit to poetry publications (try for one submission per month).
  • Read and review at least one book of poetry monthly on my poetry blog (Violet Nesdoly / poems).
  • Continue to be part of the Kidlit Poetry Friday community by posting weekly poems and hosting when it’s my turn.

Goal: 5
– Write another novel.

Objectives:

  • Work a minimum of 60 minutes per day on this (whatever stage I’m at: research, plotting, character development, writing, editing etc.) five days a week.

Goal 6:
Broaden my author platform.

Objectives:

  • Post a monthly Freelance Writers Almanac article on this blog.
  • Read and comment on colleagues’ blogs (Regularly; I’m not putting a number on this because I don’t want to track it).
  • Remain active in the writing and friend communities to which I belong by posting to Twitter and/or Facebook/Facebook author page.
  • Continue to read publisher- and author-offered books and review them on my blog, Goodreads & Amazon within the time frame that the publishers request.
  • Research publishing a newsletter.

Goal 7:
Work towards self-publishing some of my previously published blog posts, stories, poems etc. (This goal is at the back of the queue; I’ll be considering it later in the year).

Objectives:

  • Learn to make book covers using Photoshop Elements by ordering a Dummies book to help me understand the software and spending at least an hour each week working in Photoshop so I get some hands-on experience with the program.
  • Work on getting my U.S. ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) in order to circumvent the IRS withholding royalties should I choose to publish with a US publisher like Create Space.
  • Continue mulling over the idea of publishing an author newsletter.

Yikes, I feel like I’ve bitten off some rather big chunks here. I’ll definitely need the word I’ve chosen as my inspiration this year:  FOCUS. It’s what I’ll have to do in order to make progress on any one of the above, let alone achieve them all!

I remind myself, too, of something a speaker at one of our women’s events said:

“Remember, you write your plans in pencil. Only God writes in pen.”

21 thoughts on “My (penciled) writing goals for 2014

  1. Violet, thanks for sharing your goals. I love the quote, “Remember, you write your plans in pencil. Only God writes in pen.” It’s a great reminder to be flexible with our goals and adjust as God prompts us. Best wishes in your writing journey in 2014! I’m excited to see where God leads us this year.

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    • Thanks, Ruth! And for organizing this. It looks like a good response. I’m looking forward to going through the goal articles everyone has submitted! It was good to be ‘forced’ to sit and think, then write things out.

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  2. Practical goals, Violet, and I agree with Tracy — would love another novel from you. Thanks for this quote. Sometimes the process of setting goals feels daunting, but knowing we’re ultimately in God’s hands helps a bit.

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    • You’re like me, Violet. You have lots of goals! But you sound like something of a philosopher in the way you put them forward… I like the theme of Focus. I really need to find a theme for 2014 myself. I’ll be praying about this.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this Violet – very well articulated goals. I’ll have to come here more often as I missed interacting with you during NaNoWriMo this year. May God bless you and the work of your hands in the year ahead.

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  4. I like the way you’ve broken your goals down into objectives. Good luck with the new novel! 🙂 Have you played with Picmonkey? It’s a free, online photo editing tool that I find VERY easy to use. Right now I’m trying to learn Gimp (which is also free but similar to Photoshop) and finding it very frustrating. 🙂

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    • Thanks for the photo editing tips. I also have Comic Life, which lets me do some amazing things with photos, and it’s pretty intuitive as well. I don’t know what it is with Photoshop but I can’t seem to get the hang of it.

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  5. Hello Violet! Just wanted to say your post and that quote were very inspiring. I can’t wait to read your book – I added it to my list of novels to read. Blessings to you for 2014!

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