Next year is less than 6 weeks away and I must admit that I am finding the idea a little freaky. If next year is so close, then Christmas is closer and I’m not really ready for Christmas. Yet when I stop to think about it I have my list and my shopping plan so it will come together…
The same idea works for my writing – I have my list to achieve and my writing plans so there is no reason I can’t get done what I want to.
I believe that next year’s goals flow from this year. I wouldn’t just stop what I’m doing and start a whole new set of goals. This is because next year’s goals, like this year’s, are all part of my larger overall goals or long term goals.
All I do, in terms of my writing, is moving toward my goal of writing full time.
At the beginning of this year I made the decision to work harder toward my writing goals. And I have achieved far more than I thought I could. Although I have noticed recently that I have been slipping a little and I could achieve more with some more focused effort.
There is certainly room for improvement and for some projects a clearer plan is needed. Some goals were going to be met easily and now not so well or were a struggle and are now flowing. Others are completely out of my control, such as the edit for Snow which is still with the beta group for review and I can’t action til it comes back.
Now is the time, as the year draws to a close, to review the last year and ensure plans are in place so that the last 6 weeks are not wasted. And then set goals and plan for next year.
Review of 2014
In terms of reviewing we need to look not only at what we achieved but what we haven’t and the reasons behind that. This helps to focus on what is important and which goals we want to continue following. If something is a constant struggle to get done it may be that we don’t really want to do that or it may be something else.
I’m not going to go over my review of every aspect of my writing life, but as an example I’ll look at one goal: publishing a short story before Christmas.
This is almost complete. I have a good story that has been through my reading group several times and I only need to make a slight tweak to ensure one aspect of a character is clear and the story is complete. It does need proofreading, a cover designed and then I can press the button to publish.
This story could have been published weeks ago but I have put off making that final change. I have pushed it down the list of priorities in favour of my drafting. The reason for this? I’m not sure, fear possibly of actually getting my writing out there or that I might not do it right…But I do want to do this and so I need to ensure my priorities are in the right place and push myself to focus on this first and my drafting later.
Once the review is done and you have a clear idea of what you have achieved this year. Use this to determine how you can continue that momentum into next year or what needs to change for next year. Planning for the rest of the year can then occur, such as mapping out time for the final edit, proofreading session, cover design, launch date work and going live.
Next Year’s Goals
Once you have reviewed your current position goal setting for next year is a lot easier. You have a clear idea of where you are going and what you want to achieve. Take the time to think about your long term goals to ensure what you do over the next year is still part of the greater plan.
Once you have your goals write them down somewhere you can refer to them. I like mine in my diary, you might like them on the wall above your desk but they need to be somewhere you can see them. Start thinking about deadlines for each goal as well so that you can start now to plan for them.
Then as the New Year starts you are already working on your goals and moving toward where you want to go.
My Writing Goals for 2015
- I will continue to build website and blog for The Flow of Ink by posting more consistently
- I will work on a greater presence on Facebook and Twitter by being more interactive with what I read.
- Write and publish another short story by Christmas 2015
- I will finish the final edit of Snow and investigate publishing options
- I will finish the first draft and work on second of The Raven Crown Series
- I will spend at least one hour every week playing with ideas for possible future stories or project ideas
Have you started to review how this year’s writing went and are you thinking about next year as a new world or continuation of this one?