I am an avid list-maker, goal-setter, and researcher of my own life. I study, plan, and strive. However, it’s been a couple of years since I made concrete (or even general) goals to guide my year, season, or month. Marriage, school, moving, and life have kept me distracted but I know that this is a crucial tool for helping me identify my priorities and act in accordance with them. In a series of posts I plan to explore my areas of focus for 2011, along with general plans/ideas for implementation and a few specific goals as well. First and foremost, this is the year for W R I T I N G.
I call myself a writer now, and it is the biggest priority in my life. The book is coming along well, but I want to take concrete steps this year to move much, much closer to my goal of earning a living from writing. I realize many people share this goal and I realize it is a difficult one to achieve – but it is a goal. I accept that writing may never be my full-time occupation, but I know that whatever else I am doing to pay the bills and entertain my brain, writing will be an important component.
GOAL: FINISH THE BOOK, GET PUBLISHED, MAKE MONEY OFF MY WORDS, SHARE MY WORK AND GROW AS A WRITER
Goals: DEVOTE myself to finishing my book, with love and an obsessive intensity, making time every single day to work on the manuscript in some manner. Facilitate success by eliminating distractions – this means cutting back on blog reading during the day, watching less tv at night, and controlling my snacking so I don’t feel compelled to exercise so much to burn off extra calories.
- Finish structural changes in rewrite 3 (By Mar. 1)
- Rewrite 4 – focusing on writing style and character development (By April 1)
- Create Character bible, fact-check, Ensure meteorological correctness
- Share with Eddie, Tyler, first tier readers and my mentor, seeking advice and (this is the hard part) being open to criticism (By May 1)
- Investigate literary contacts, Write pitches and send to everyone I can (by/beginning June 1)
- Draft outlines for next 2 books in series
- Begin writing second book (by Nov. 1)
- Once a week, jot down story ideas besides the book
- Study the craft of writing and work to improve my quality
- Make time to study people, study art of the story, daydream
- Allow others to read and critique my stories, actively seek opportunities to share with other writers and to expose myself to criticism and opportunities for growth
- Submit to at least 3 short story contests this year