Personal Writing Goals for 2014

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When you set goals, you tell your subconscious mind, “Work on this.”   Even if you’re not so sure how to go about reaching a goal, just setting that goal down on paper makes it more real than if it continued to float aimlessly about in your head.

As an example, I am setting my personal writing goals for this year in the paragraphs below.

Overarching Goal: Write through a rough draft without editing.

The Overarching Goal is my aspiration. This is the ideal I hope to attain. I want to set this goal just out of my reach to make me work harder. I’ve met the goal if by the end of the year I have moved toward the ideal. Doing this gears my subconscious to accept less than perfection. As some of us know, perfection can be as great a saboteur as lack of organization.

Sometimes I think the crying pie is a little too small in this graphic...
Sometimes I think the crying pie is a little too small in this graphic…

Now I’m going to set up my Sub-Goals. The Sub-Goal addresses a self-imposed obstacle that is holding me back from achieving my Overarching Goal.

Sub-Goal #1: Complete my romance novel. I am notorious for half finished stories and half-finished does not sell.

Sub-Goal #2: Take on writing assignments with deadlines. I want the pressure of a deadline to hold me accountable to my writing.

Sub-Goal #3: Post on my blog at least twice a week. Inertia is not my friend and I want to keep this train moving.

Sub-Goal #4: Structure and schedule the social media forums that I enjoy using. I use social media to avoid writing, especially when I’m stuck.

Now that I have sub-goals, I need to break them down into an Action List.

Action 1: Set a deadline to complete the first draft of the romance novel and write to meet that deadline.

Action 2: Accept the publisher’s assignment to a series with deadlines and multiple publication credits and attend the conference call.

Action 3: Create a list of blog topics and set up a blog schedule. (One of the previous action items was to join a Blog Hop. Now I’m committed to generating one blog post every two weeks.)

Action 4: Select the three most enjoyable social media applications, make pros and cons lists for each, and select the one with the most advantages to devote 10 minutes of activity a day.

Once I’ve completed this Action List, I can create another Action List that moves me forward. One action a week in each sub-goal will move me towards my overarching goal. I can do more than one action, but I must commit to one action per week and that will help me set realistic goals based on what my schedule looks like that week.

The Overarching Goal, the Sub-Goals, and the Action Lists can change at any time as I discover what works and doesn’t work. My writing career is a work in progress and I’m okay with that. I’m learning that accountability is a key to my success so I will give updates on my goals throughout the Blog Hop.

To see all the posts in this Blog Hop, click here.

Copyright © 2014 iokirkwood.com. “Personal Writing Goals for 2014” by I.O. Kirkwood. All rights reserved.

17 comments

  1. I really liked your suggestion of setting one over-arching goal for the week. I think that would help me. I always focus on what I don’t get done rather than on what has been accomplished.
    You mention drafting without edits. Have you done National Nov. Writing Month – http://www.nanowrimo.org/? I found it a great help to get 50,000 words of skeleton down for my book She Does Not Fear the Snow. A friend did it in 2013 and sent what she’d scribbled to a publisher who’s now asking her to tidy it up for publication…

    1. Yes, I signed up for it and did move forward, but it was lonely going. My attempts to meet up with other writers during that time met with some serious logistical obstacles. I’m actually moving ahead on that goal as I’ve hit a rather difficult scene and I just set down a couple of goals and moved around it to the next. It was liberating!

  2. Hi I. O. Kirkwood. I love your process of breaking your goals into sub-goals and action steps. That’s definitely how to move toward the mark! It would be interesting if, at the end of the year, we all reported on how we did. All the best in finishing that novel!

  3. I must say I’m a little jealous of your goals. They’re so structured and defined, I can definitely see success in meeting your goals this year. I have to agree with you…I also use social media as a distraction and I need to work on pulling myself away from it a bit. This is a very good post. I hope that 2014 is very good to you.

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