‘Tis the season for deciding what you want to accomplish this year, writing-wise. Setting professional goals is one way to take your writing more seriously without sucking all the fun out of it. In general, goals should be specific and timely, among other things, but just a goal – any goal – is the ideal place to start.
There are three general “umbrella” goals you can work toward this year, each of which feed into each other in a potentially endless loop. They are as follows:
- Finish something
- Submit something
- Start something new
Now let’s dive deeper into each of the three before we give you something to practice.
1. Finish something
This might seem like an odd place to start, but think for a minute about your most recent or current project. How close are you to, or how far away are you from, finishing it? This can mean anything from writing to revising to copy editing to formatting. Whatever stage your most prominent outstanding project is, make it a goal, this year, to get it done.
You might be very close to finishing – which might make this seem like a goal hardly worth extending through an entire year. But remember, these goals work together in a loop. Don’t shy away from the idea just yet.
2. Submit something
Professionally, your overall goal as a writer is to get something published. Now you might not quite be at that stage yet. You may have yet to pitch your ideas to an editor, or you haven’t even come up with a good idea to pitch yet. That’s okay. But before the end of the year, make it a point to submit a finished piece of writing somewhere. A magazine or journal, someone’s blog, a contest, anything you can submit to, do it. Don’t hold back. Excuses be gone. At least give it a try.
Submitting your work, it doesn’t matter where, is a huge accomplishment. This is the kind of milestone in your journey that will give you the energy and drive to move on to the third goal in our trio.
3. Start something new
Whether you don’t get to this point until the end of the year or you get here by the end of January, this is another ideal place to be as a writer. Starting a new project could mean several things. Either you have an idea you just can’t set aside, you’ve just finished a huge project and are ready to keep going, or you’re able to dedicate enough time to juggle more than one small or big project at a time.
Of course, when you start a new writing project, your ultimate goal will be to, eventually, finish it. And that, Noveltiers, is where the loop starts over again. Which means you can complete each of these goals on as small or large of a scale as you want this year, as many times over as you want.
It is, after all, completely up to you.
Want to know how to SMART-en up your writing goals this year? Come back tomorrow!
Self-motivation isn’t easy, but with multiple checkpoints to work toward as you write through the year, you just might find that, by this time next year, you’ve gotten more writing done in 12 months than you have in the last five years.
Give it a try. See if you can make writing happen in 2016.
Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.