I do quarterly goals instead of monthly or yearly goals. Three months is long enough that I can keep an eye on my overall vision, and short enough that I can regularly evaluate and make adjustments when life throws a curveball.
The thing about having a blog is you can stick your goals and your wins/fails out there for all to see, so it helps keep you accountable. Here I am being accountable for the goals I set last quarter:
Second Quarter Goals, Wins & Fails:
1. By the end of April, polish first 5000 words of Manor House. I will submit this sample writing to the Horror Writers Association in hopes of entering their mentorship program.
DONE! I got a writing mentor from the HWA! Awesome! (I would say who it is, but I’ll respect her privacy.)
2. By the end of May, complete first edit of Manor House.
3. In June, attack (like an animal, grrrr!) whatever assignment my mentor gives me.
Done. Lordy, I learned a lot about how ghost stories start, especially the difference between literary haunted house stories and commercial fiction haunted house stories. Which means I went back and changed the beginning of Manor House and changed characters, and that rippled through the rest of the book . . . it’s like rewriting the whole darn thing. But when Kelly Martin (the talented, prolific author of Trinity Row plus a whole bunch of other books) said her first book took NINETEEN versions to get it right, I didn’t feel so bad.:-)
4. Make deep, focused work a daily habit.
This was a win for me, but it’s still really hard. I have to turn off every frickin’ audible and visual notification, no dings, popups, or trills. And no background music, TV, or scrumptious plate of cookies.
5. Outside of my WIP, study the craft three hours per week.
Fail. It’s hard to squeeze everything in time-wise. I think it’s important to keep learning, though, so it’s going back on my goal list for third quarter.
6. Read through my already-bought TBR and attack my to-purchase (or borrow) TBR as practicable.
I made progress . . .
And now, my third quarter 2019 writing goals:
1. Finish this new draft of Manor House while telling myself it’s okay even if I have to do 16 more drafts.
But what does this have to do with my DOG in the feature image of this post? Nothing. I just love my dog.
2. Do whatever other writing assignments my wonderful writing mentor suggests.
3. Research China and bugs for my November Nanowrimo book.
4. Read through my already-bought TBR and attack my to-purchase (or borrow) TBR as practicable.
Shirley Jackson was rather verbose.
5. Study the writing craft three hours per week. (This week I’m studying the narrative voices of various authors. Shirley Jackson was rather verbose, but not in a bad way.)
I wish you the best on your writing goals!