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2020 Writing Goals!

So, in previous years, I’ve done really badly with getting my writing goals both known and accomplished. In 2019, I accomplished 8 out of 15 goals, which is actually pretty good, considering one of those goals was “beat cancer.” So there’s a bit more context here, these were my 2019 goals:

2019 Goals

# Submit to 5 Paying Places
# Edit Siren’s Calling/Rename
# Edit Confession of the Damned?
# Plot/Figure out Murdercorn
# Restart Epic Fantasy [P]
# Edit/Re-Write Wretched & Divine
# Learn Chainmail Weaves (again)

Completed (2019) Goals
√ Revamp Patreon
√ Finish Sketched Scars Draft
√ Start posting to Reddit
√ Nail Down Plot for Bound Series
√ Beat Cancer (live to 169) [Nice]
+Edit: Spicy says 269
√ Find Reliable Beta-Readers?
√ Write BOUND
√ Plot/Figure out Asgard

That is, aside from a few naming tweaks on titles, exactly what my goals were. In my goals were to write four books. And edit/re-write two more. I’m not the best at coming up with achievable goals. I mean, I wrote two of them. I wrote Sketched Scars for Camp NaNoWriMo in April, and I wrote BOUND for November’s NaNoWriMo. However, much of the year was recovering from all that writing (much of which was done while I was going through chemotherapy and radiation.) It wasn’t a great idea for me to push myself so hard.

So how do you come up with achievable goals?

Great question. I have a few ideas on how I can do that, so maybe they’ll work for you, too.

Keep Goals Realistic

Writing 6 NOVELS was not a realistic goal

Give Equal Attention to Creating and Editing

I shot myself in the foot by telling myself this year was going to be a constant create year. I’m now buried in editing which is hindering my ability to manage both like I usually can.

Work on Time Management

This is a huge pain point for me. I’m just not good at time management. I love to think I am, but then I spend hours surfing Twitter for no reason when I’d rather be writing or editing, and it turns out I’ve wasted my whole night with getting nothing done.

Try to Keep Goals Flexible/Evolving

I have a lot on my plate for 2020, too. I haven’t seemed to take my own advice of setting achievable goals. I want to edit many of the things I’ve either had sitting or wrote last year, which is almost the opposite of what I put above. I’m not, though, thinking that I’m going to do everything back to back. If I can do an editing pass on one of the novels, I’ll consider my goal for the year complete. If I can get two passes done, that’s a bonus, but keep in mind a bigger picture, which is getting things done the right way, not the quick way (for once.)

As of right now, my 2020 goals look like this, which is an awful lot of work ahead of me:

# Submit to 5 Paying Places
# Story of the Week
# Edit Damned
# Edit Bound by Shadows
# Edit Siren’s Calling/Rename
# Plot out  Moonlight
# Work on Asgard
# Plot for Epic Fantasy
# Write  Anthology
# Re-Write Wretched & Divine
# Edit Sketched Scars
# Edit VB
# Edit Short Stories

Some of them I know I might not get to, such as writing Asgard. A lot of it is editing, because I have a tendency to be bad at splitting focus between the two things. I’ve made myself a ‘daily’ checklist (which really just means every time I turn on my computer to write) to try and keep myself working/focused on everything that needs to get done. If I can start the habit now, it might make it easier when we actually get into the new year.

  • Here’s my checklist:
  • 15-30 min/blog post
  • 15-30 min/movie reviews for blog
  • Hydrate, stretch, move around
  • 30-60 min/editing short story
  • 30-60 min/story of the week
  • Get snack, make cocoa/tea
  • The rest of the night: work on ‘big’ project

I think breaking my routine down into smaller portions will stop me from feeling like I have to do everything all at once, and try to counteract some of the executive dysfunction that tends to follow. So far, it’s been working, and is actually leading me to be more productive throughout the night, especially early on when I have smaller blocks of time.

I’ll keep updating throughout the year with how it’s working, and give any tips I’ve come up with for maximizing productivity after a long/busy/tiring day at a day job.

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