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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year! Setting Goals

First of all, Happy New Year for all my readers/followers.  Hope you have health and happiness in the new year!   And speaking of the New Year, it's time to do our resolutions...or as I call them, my goals.  Goals are important for writing, as they shine a focus on what we want to do with our writing.  Words don't just come out of the blue (at least they don't for me).  And I also tend to take on a LOT of projects...too many in fact.  So goal setting is really important if I want to succeed in writing.  This is for any kind of artistic endeavor though.  You can apply the tools that I've spoken about here for whatever you do artistically.

Step 1:  Writing down your projects.  (This is a list of all your projects.)  So here is mine: 

Anthology pieces due:

Drowned by Moonlight rewrite mine as a memorial/introduction.
The Longest Nightwatch V3
Daily Sticky Note Haiku book
10 short stories began last years NaNoWriMo.
Only have like 3 so far.
Writers Retreat story for their Anthology
(Fairytale mashup).

As you can see, there are a lot of them.  And I may have forgotten one or a gazillion.  But these are the main ones.  Some of them are in various stages of completion already.  But still, have a way to go before they are published. 

Step 2:   Prioritizing the goals.   I try to do this by a deadline date.  The closest due date will be my first priority.  This can be more complicated, as you may not have deadlines/due dates for the project.  For anthology pieces, contests, and publications, there usually are dates that work is due by.   But here is how I prioritized the above list:

Drowned by Moonlight, the revision needs to be done first.
The Longest Nightwatch V3 (have not gotten my edits back yet.
Writers Retreat Fairytale Mashup fixing/going over maybe adding stuff.
Stormwolf first draft needs to be completed, because of some stuff in it, needs to be added to Stormraevyn.
Then add or correct to incorporate those changes into Stormraevyn
Daily Sticky Note Haiku book (is already in process, but needs to be laid out and the poems moved to where they need to go.
10 5k word short stories last years Nano, need 6 more stories I believe.

In the above, "The Longest Nightwatch v3" is second, as I haven't received my edits back yet.  I have finalized the beta read though, but now am waiting for the editing phase.  So while I'm waiting on this, I've decided to do "Drowned by Moonlight," first.  This is in my revision stage right now, so I'll be fixing it up.  It's going to be the introduction to this anthology (decided after it had been submitted), so I have to fix it to make it more introduction like.

So Step 3:   Making a "To do" list.

I actually have a form that I made up for my writer's group on Facebook.  It's below so you can copy and paste:

Note:  This form is basically used with a buddy system, an accountability buddy if you will.  If you have another writer willing to do this with you, you would just fill out the form and send it to them (so they can keep you honest).   And they would send theirs to you.  This can be done via pm/email or even teleconference (Google Hangouts or Skype).   But you can use this solo, to keep yourself in check with your goals.  You can consider it a checklist too.
Also, make your goals realistic and measurable.  Deadlines that you make on your own, set them with enough time between each step of the project so that you aren't flustered if you miss one. 


Each sheet is per project.  If you have more than one project, print out, or use a separate sheet.  This is what you are going to send to your buddy (if you don’t have one, or just don’t want one, but want to use this form, that is okay too).  You’ll have one for your needs and your buddy’s needs one to help check in on how you are doing with your goals.
I also have put notes to give instructions on how to use these, you can erase my notes prior to use if you wish.
You can also change goal numbers if you need more than one sheet.  Alter this to your needs if you also don’t like this format.  
Though you *could use each goal as a separate project as well, just add the “Project Title”  Which might be good to have all your project deadlines on one, and use another form for the individual projects.
Lastly, you can break down your project into separate goals.  For example:
Goal 1 Outline, Goal 2:  Character sheets, Goal 3: world building  Goal 4: research (though I usually do this step after the first draft as I’m not sure what I will need research-wise).   Goal 5:  First draft Goal 6: editing/2nd draft. Etc.  
Project Title:   Introduction for Drowned by Moonlight Anthology
Goal 1:  This is where the first step in what you need to do with your project should go.  i.e finish first draft (or any part of planning your project).
The first draft was finished, but that was before I was told I could write the introduction.  Needs to be more introductory-ish
Goal 1 Deadline (this is the date you would like your goal to be met, give yourself enough time if this is a NaNoWrimo or Camp Nano project, you could put the end of the month).
January 2018
Goal 2:   
Goal 2 Deadline:
Goal 3:
Goal 3: Deadline.


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