1. mikeinseattle
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    mikeinseattle Member

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    Do you plan to refresh your goals for 2016?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by mikeinseattle, Dec 12, 2015.

    I tend to set and re-set goals all throughout the year. But I also like the idea of January 1st serving as a sort of demarcation to give one a new perspective. Over the next three weeks I'm working on re-booting my goals and routines for the coming year, things which I intend to make my 'new normal' instead of just a hollow new year's resolution. (IMO a resolution that only lasts two weeks gets one nowhere).

    Would anyone like to share their goals for the coming new year?
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm going to do the same word count goals as this year - 365K new words.

    I don't think I really have year-long goals other than that one - lots of "this is what I need to do to finish this project" goals, but as you said, they'll change throughout the year.
     
  3. mikeinseattle
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    mikeinseattle Member

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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    The words/day works for me because I can average it out - I want to write every day, but realistically, if I have a big day at work or a special event, or if I'm busy doing edits or research or whatever, it doesn't happen. But I have a spreadsheet with a running total, and at the end of every writing session I enter what my new word count is, and there's a running total that lets me keep track of the year as a whole. So if I'm on the 90th day of the year and have only written 40K words, I know I need to kick it into gear!

    The hours/day thing is tricky - interesting, but tricky. For me, writing tends to be mixed in with lots of other stuff - some of it legit, other stuff not legit, but it seems to work. So I could spend hours at the computer, but some of that time is checking e-mail, some is doing promo stuff, some is messing around on writers' message boards... and some of this is legit "looking for inspiration" while some of it is just being lazy.

    I guess it comes down to a measure of effort vs. a measure of productivity. There should certainly be a relationship between the two, so maybe it doesn't really matter which we measure? For me, though, it works better to measure the productivity, because creative effort, at least the way I do it, is hard to measure!
     
  5. Bookster
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    Bookster Banned

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    The words-per-day thing has never worked for me. Sometimes I have 1000 cogent words in me and some days I don't. I'm fortunate to be at a point in my life when my time is pretty much my own, so I 'write' six hours a day, every day. I put 'write' in quotes because some of that time is spent doing research and staring out windows.

    I agree that New Year's is a good time to re-assess and consider changes, but I think next year will be the same as this year for me.
     
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  6. mikeinseattle
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    mikeinseattle Member

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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  7. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    I have settled into a comfortable routine with my writing, no need to define goals as such. Mostly wc's of about 1000 per day (with the occassional holiday or need to plan the timeline interferring), more or less what @BayView wrote though I don't keep track rigorously ;)

    However, when I sit down to write for a longer stretch (as in the afternoon after work) I try to finish a scene each time. Else I don't want to stop anyway *sigh*.
    With looking at my current wc and the time I needed for that I can comfortably say that I should be finished with my first draft at the end of March, latest. Then revisit, but my Alpha/Beta are real good so far and I don't think there will remain major issues to change around. Let's see if there isn't something finished by midsummer latest :cheerleader:
     
  8. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    I am hoping to start out the new year with a complete first draft, therefore I want to spend the beginning for 2016 reviewing what I have written and work on editing it. I am not sure how long the process will take, like how long will it take to review 80,000ish words? how long will it take to go back and edit everything in order to get Draft 2? I think I will give myself 1 month to read it over and make changes on paper, after printing the book out, then take another month or so to go back to my word file to make changes on in the electronic document.

    I would like to attend a writers conference this April.

    I want to read more
     
  9. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    Good thread here.

    I woulda thought more people would be interested in this thread, since it's so "timely" for the new year right around the corner...

    :)
     
  10. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    I think this year I will focus more on "process" goals instead of "results" goals.

    In other words I will aim to make sure I put in two hours each day at my desk, instead of shooting for a specific word count each day. Or I may aim to finish the book rather than shoot for having it published.

    Trying to keep with things I can control, not so much things out of my control.
     
  11. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    So BayView is taking Leap Day off? :) Must be that "lazy" period she mentioned - probably the only one considering I have seen at least two book covers as her avatar in recent months.

    My only writing goal for 2016 will be to actually get started again.
     
  12. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's a leap year?!? Oh, no, my entire system falls apart...!
     
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  13. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    I divide my goals into three types: 1) habits/routines, 2) the business, and 3) the actual writing itself.

    My writing goals are more overarching in nature, like which title I need to work on next or deciding between the two mystery series ideas I have. I like your 'word number per day' method. You've got me thinking about that. I read a Steinbeck biography once and I recall he aimed at, I think it was five pages per day, then he'd stop when he hit that mark and go live his regular life. I like that idea, and I sorta see your goal being similar to his except you count words instead of pages. For me, a time quota works better because I can't assure myself I will actually produce pages on any given day, but the work put in is still productive. (notes, outlining, research, character sketches) My actual prose tends to spill out in huge marathon waves, which is why I don't like to write before work because if it starts flowing I hate to stop myself and leave.

    Habits and routines are on my mind this year more than in the past, and I am ruminating over what sort of goals I should set in this area. I am studying my schedule over the next three weeks WELL BEFORE NEW YEARS GETS HERE so I can see where I need to insert my writing time so it won't be disturbed. I'm wrestling with writing before or after work each day. If I write before work, that will mean waking really early. If I plan to do it after work, things seem to interfere every day. So I'm kinda torn on that right now.

    As for my Writing Business goals for 2016, I would like to develop a good ongoing relationship with a real agent. And piggy back to that I plan to do at least three conferences in 2016. Haven't been to one in many years so I'm looking forward to finding a couple of good ones to attend. This year I will be going more for networking, rather than just using the conference as a vacation like I used to do. Also under the 'writing biz' category I am considering whether I need to begin branding through social media in the coming year 2016. This is something I have hesitated doing since I have mixed feelings about it. Not sure I even want to, so I will be exploring this over the holidays. And if I do decide to begin branding then I will set some goals there too. (such as build a website, create corresponding blog/facebook/tweet feeds, etc)


    I have vacation days coming up over the holidays so that's why I am trying to ponder my goals a little early, to gain insight on what they need to be, so that I'll already know what they are when I sit down during "quiet time" over the holidays to actually write out specific goals, and expound on them. (don't want to get too uptight or technical though; I think goals should be specific yet flexible & organic, or you feel pinched and suffocated)
     
  14. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    That's a great idea, I love it. Relieves the pressure for any one day, since you can make it up elsewhere. Brilliant!

    Totally agree, totally agree. I think I tend to favor the butt in the chair method at this point because I'm wrestling with the routine issue presently, kinda fighting against procrastination at times. Not procrastination because I'm lazy; that's not it. It's from having other obligations like you mentioned which feeds the procrastination for me, since they are 'legitimate' issues and writing is 'fantasy/playtime' and takes a back seat to paying bills, etc. (it shouldn't, and it doesn't, really... but that's what the mind says when something from real life looms and I give in to skipping a writing session to 'go pay bills' or whatever)

    I thoroughly agree with your 'measured' productivity point, since that's the real goal anyway. I think the 'butt in chair' thing is just a way for some people to induce the bigger goal of productivity. (others may already have a firm grip on the productivity thing and not NEED a butt in the chair goal to spur them. :)
     
  15. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Two goals for 2016: #1 is to do my level best to get Rosa's Secret published. #2 is to move forward with my new project.
     
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  16. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    For me, 2016 will be mostly a return to writing. I'd like to finish the first draft of the novel I'm in the process of starting. If I can get my normal momentum going, it should be more than feasible.

    I'd also like to fully edit all of my previous novels. I'm approaching halfway with my second novel (I'm not including the first one, as that's past its usefulness), so as long as I stay disciplined that should be more than feasible as well.

    But then life happens, so you never know :)
     
  17. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    My only goal is re-reading through an old story I had written six years ago, to see how I can fix it, and then resume it. Before the 1st of the New Year, I'm going to use the remaining days of this month to pick out which parts to cut. Which to keep. And which to edit. I find the cutting process the most fun, so I'll start with that first. It helps that it was my favorite work in progress before I quit, for some mysterious reason.
     
  18. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    That's awesome. Sounds like a solid plan. And like me you aren't waiting to get started, you are using the remaining days of this month to get a head start. I want to get a head start to 'feel' some momentum when New Year's Day hits.

    I have decided to alter my goal from the long'ish ones above to:
    • Finish my current novel
    • Attend one conference (maybe more)
    • Sign with an agent
    :write:
     
  19. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, definitely re-booting. Seeing as last year I both failed and succeeded. The goal having been "finish first draft and get to a certain point in the larger story."

    I think I've either finished or come really close to finishing a first draft of a novel, but I'm only halfway to the point in the larger story I wanted to be at. The more I write the more I realize that it takes longer to tell the story than I thought it would.

    So I guess this year's goal is to see if I have a finished draft and (if so) polish it into something pitchable by April so I can hit the nearest major writing conference to where I live...and plow ahead in the overall storyline to try and get to the parts that really interest me.
     
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  20. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I think 2016 will be the year I actually, for the first time ever, let go of the death grip I had on my writing and just write what I want. And what do I want to write about? That old Colonial mystery set during the American Revolution, the thing I used to talk about a lot here. I've collected all the old drafts I could find (and cringing at them as I scan through), got everything prepared. Now it's time for me to start. :) One word at a time.
     
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  21. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sounds like an awesome plan. Do it!
     
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  22. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    I want to do in 2016 what I did in 2015. Just keep on plugging away doing the same thing. There's a couple of places that I didn't manage to publish in last year, that I'll be having a good crack at this year.
     
  23. huskies
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    huskies Member

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    My goals are to just do better, i need to give my head a little wobble.

    I have 70k words wrote and i feel it is a good storey but i haven't touched it for a long time as family commitments took over. All is calm again now so onwards and upwards.
     

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