Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Setting My Writing Goals for 2010

I was lucky enough to spend five years as Director of Education at a Sylvan Learning Center. During that time, I not only took care of all the administrative work, but I also often got the chance to teach at the table. Because I never had more than three students, those hours were most enjoyable.

One of the courses we offered was a Study Skills Program, and one of the components of that course was goal setting. I learned a lot from teaching about goals, and it was interesting to see the successes of the students who were willing to implement this component into their scholastic lives.

That was a lot of years ago, but four things about setting goals have stuck with me:

1. Goals need to be achievable.

2. Goals need to be measureable.

3. Long range goals need to be able to be broken down into short-term and intermediate-term goals, which in turn must be achievable and measureable.

4. Goals need to be written down and posted where they will be visible to the goal-setter constantly.

In our family we often tell the goal-setting story about my mother. On January 1, 1977, while on a self-improvement kick, Mom declared that she would read six uplifting religious books during the year. An avid reader, she read at least a book a week, but it was mostly fiction.

When the year was over, Mom had read nary a religious book. On January 1, 1978, she announced that this year, she was going to adjust her goal: she would read twelve uplifting, self-improvement books.

So much for being achievable.

With the four goal setting rules in mind, I’m writing down and posting my writing goals for 2010.

1. Blog at least once a week on Liz Sez and at least once a month on Make Me a Story, LDStorymaker’s writing-oriented blog.

2. Complete a new novel this year. This goal is broken down into these shorter-term goals.

A. Have the book completely blocked by January 31.

B. Have a detailed outline by February 28.

C. Have chapter thumbnails finished by March 31.

D. Write one complete chapter per week during April, May, June, July and August

E. After the manuscript sits for two months, re-write and edit during November.

Okay, folks. I think these goals are realistic and achievable, though it will take organization on my part.

The goals are printed in 48-point font and taped to the closet door in my office. If it works, by year's end I'll have a publisher-ready romance/intrigue.

I'm looking forward to it!

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