Last week I talked about S.M.A.R.T. goals and how being mindful of the elements of a S.M.A.R.T. goal will help you to actually reach your goal. This week I’d like to talk specifically about the writing goals I want to make for myself for 2011.
This year, for the first time, I’m going to break my writing goals into two categories; the actual writing projects I plan to complete, and the promotion goals. These will include my continuing efforts to enter the social media world, along with other ways to promote myself and my books. But more on that in a couple of weeks.
I have a couple of projects I’ve been dying to write for several years now. “There Goes the Groom” is mostly finished, although it needs extensive rewrites. “Always a Bridesmaid” has one chapter completed, and no clear direction as to where the rest of the book is going. Together, these two books, along with my published romantic comedy “Her Best Man”, would make up a series. The common theme is that all three stories begin with someone being left at the altar. I would really like to write these two books this year.
The other project I want to complete is a WIP I’ve had on the go for a long time. It is definitely time to finish “Welcome to Paradise”. This manuscript will require some major rewrites as well, since I’m changing the location from Saskatchewan to North Dakota. This story was in my goals list last year but unfortunately, I never got to it.
S.M.A.R.T. goal #1 - I need to be specific. So my writing goal is to complete revisions and rewrites of “There Goes the Groom” and “Welcome to Paradise”, and complete a first draft of “Always a Bridesmaid” by August 1, 2011. I’m hoping to write most of the first draft of “Always a Bridesmaid” in January during my writing group’s “Book in a Week” between January 15 and 22. Work on the other two books will have to wait until after February 1. I also face major rewrites for another project, “The Girl Most Likely”, and they must be completed by February 1. Also, I am currently promoting the January 5 release of “Flawless” with a blog tour. With so much going on, am I biting off more than I can handle?
I hope not, but time will tell. I’ve got some compelling reasons to complete all of these writing goals. If I complete rewrites on “The Girl Most Likely”, I have a shot at being part of the Class of ’85 series with The Wild Rose Press. This is something I’ve worked towards for the last few months. People love series books and I’m hoping there is potential to make good sales.
I love books in a series myself and I’ve always wanted to write one of my own. If I complete “Always a Bridesmaid” and “There Goes the Groom” I will have accomplished that. More importantly, having two books related to “Her Best Man” which is already published, will bring a whole new life to that book. I’m hoping that it revives sales.
My compelling reason to complete “Welcome to Paradise” is that Susan Wiggs gave me the name of an agent in her agent’s office when I saw her at the 2009 Surrey International Writers Conference and had a blue pencil session with her. I want to know if I have any chance at all in securing an agent and if I can move beyond publishing ebooks to print.
I’ve written books in a short time before, and I’ve done major edits on several manuscripts. I know it can be done. I have to believe I can do it again.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal #2 – Can I measure it? Yes. I need to write 50,000 words on “Always a Bridesmaid” to complete a first draft. The other projects will be complete when I have revised all the way through.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal #3 – Is it attainable? I think so. For the next 2 to 3 months I will map out my schedule in order to make lots of room for writing. I will find ways to make these goals happen, such as getting my family to take over more of the cooking and cleaning chores. I will also stay away from the TV, my biggest time waster, as much as possible. I also need to look after myself so that I have the energy needed to complete these goals. I’ll continue going to yoga and Pilates classes.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal #4 – Is it realistic? Completing revisions on two novels and one novella, while also writing the first draft of an entirely new novel, is a pretty ambitious goal, especially if I want to do it in seven months. But I am highly motivated to complete these goals and I believe I can do it. Like I said, I’ve completed projects under the gun before. I know I can do it!
S.M.A.R.T. Goal #5 – Is it timely? Yes, I’ve set a time frame of completion at seven months for all these projects. When I get to that point, I may have to reassess, but by giving myself this deadline of August 1, I’ve set myself in motion. My unconscious mind is already beginning to work on these projects!
My goals are also tangible. By the end of seven months I hope to have several completed projects in my computer.
What are your goals for 2011? I’d love you to share!