December is well and truly here.
Seems like only yesterday I was writing a post about the most important thing you’ll write this year—that is, a list of your writing goals.
In June, we also checked in and redefined some of our goals which were unrealistic.
Have you given any thought to the fact that there are less than four weeks left in 2010? If you set writing goals at the beginning of the year, will you be able to complete them by December 31st?
My 2010 writing goals
In January, I decided to complete a novel this year. I’d just had a baby and had little idea of what I was actually committing to. Come June, I’d written around 50,000 words of my novel, which was awesome.
But, then I went overseas to visit my family for six weeks, which—with packing, unpacking, and jet lag—really took closer to two months out of my writing time.
In the middle of the year, I decided to re-evaluate my writing goals and change my aim from completing a novel to completing a first draft.
I’m happy to say that as of right now, I have a first draft of my novel which weighs-in at about 70,000 words.
There’s a whole lot of fleshing-out that needs to be done, and I suspect the finished novel will be between 85,000 and 90,000 words long.
Although I didn’t reach my initial writing goals, I’m very pleased with my progress this year considering the circumstances.
Also, I managed to write at least two blog posts per week for Write It Sideways, release a free eBook (Read Better, Write Better Novel Study Workbook), become a semi-regular contributor at Writer Unboxed, as well as contribute articles to several other blogs.
Will you reach your goals this year?
If you’ve already completed your writing goals for 2010, or if you’ll likely be finished before the end of the month, congratulations!
Did you set your sights high enough, or were your goals too easily obtained? If you didn’t struggle at all to meet them, consider giving yourself an extra challenge next year.
If, like me, you were unable to stick to the original goals you made, are you close to achieving your revised goals?
Race to the Finish Line
Planning to hunker down and complete that one unfinished project before the 31st of December?
Here are some articles that might help:
- Three Words to Help You Finish Any Writing Project
- How to Finish a Stalled Writing Project
- The #1 Reason You’ll Never Finish Writing Your Novel
Damage control for unreached goals
Let’s be honest. A lot of the goals made in January of any year are forgotten within a matter of months, if not weeks.
If you didn’t meet your goals this year:
- Take into account everything you have accomplished. I could focus on the fact that I didn’t complete my novel, but that doesn’t do justice to all I have written this year. Instead, I choose to focus on the smaller victories: I wrote 70,000 words of a novel, maintained a blog, wrote an eBook, contributed to other blogs, all while raising two children—one a baby!
- Set more realistic writing goals for 2011. My goal would have been absolutely attainable if it weren’t for having a newborn in the house. So, although the goal wasn’t unrealistic in itself, it was unrealistic for me in 2010. Next year I’ll spend more time considering my circumstances and choosing more attainable goals.
- Take the FREE 31-Day Better Writing Habits challenge in January 2011. Over the past six months, Jennifer Blanchard of Procrastinating Writers and I have been collaborating on a project which will help you take your current writing habits to the next level: Better Writing Habits: Make Over Your Writing in 31 Days. Learning better writing habits early in the new year will help you reach your goals. You can learn more about the challenge here.
Did you, or will you meet the writing goals you set out for yourself in 2010? What helped spur you on? What caused detours along the way?
Join the discussion
jennifer blanchard says
I did pretty bad on my goals this year. I did, however, learn a lot about myself–as a person and as a writer. I’ve discovered that summers are my no-write time. Every summer I try to get writing done and work on my goals, but I end up doing nothing. So now my new goals for 2011 will include me taking a hiatus from writing during June thru August to focus on resting, relaxing and focusing on my personal, non-writing related goals.
Although I didn’t meet even half of the goals I set for myself this year (I didn’t reach 50,000 visits a month on my blog, I didn’t write a novel draft, etc), I DID accomplish several things, including ones I didn’t even have on my goals list originally: I wrote and published an eBook, I guest posted on Problogger and StoryFix.com, I completed NaNo Tips for Procrastinating Writers 2010, I managed to send out my weekly newsletter every week (except the week my blog got hacked) and I stated the Better Writing Habits project with you.
So while I didn’t hit all my original goals from January, I DID accomplish plenty to be proud of. Thanks for reminding me to focus on all that I actually got done this year. You rock!
That’s great that you’re going to set aside a writing hiatus next year, Jennifer. I think it’s important to have that to look forward to, especially if you know you don’t accomplish much during that time, anyway. Everyone needs a break now and then!
Also, good point about accomplishing things you didn’t even set out to do. And how could I forget to mention the BWH challenge amongst the things I’ve done this year??? Especially since I mentioned it at the end of this post… My mind must be ready for one of those breaks you mentioned!
Eva Porter says
First of all, congratulations on getting anything done with a baby in the household! And 70,000 is a huge chunk of writing, not to mention the time and effort here on your blog.
As for my own goals…I had a goal to finish a story I started about 4 years ago, then sort of re-started last year. Didn’t finish it. Hardly wrote it at all, as a matter of fact. I had a goal to blog but deleted two. I think my main distraction this year has been an extremely demanding full time job where I spend about 9 hours of my day. It seems to have caught me in a trap of non creativity where all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch TV (entertaining, witty shows, but still, TV shows).
I’m looking forward to 2011, hoping for some creative renewal. I’ve felt a bit of a groundswell toward short stories but I really need to pick something and stick to it, lest I start many projects and finish none.
And I’m going to try to get on the better writing habit bandwagon with you two ladies. Here’s hoping!
Thanks, Eva! I remember from experience that it’s incredibly difficult to get anything done when you have a full time job. By the time you get home, understandably, all you’ll want to do is veg out.
Hopefully the BWH challenge will help you get on the right track (or the write track) for 2011!
When you speak about how many words you have written is this more important then the number of pages as an author? I am writing a fiction novel but for some reason I am obsessed with the number of pages I need to complete the story. After I read the outline I see that I may have a story of depth but not a lot of “pages”. So which one is more important as a writer of substance, 100,000 words or 150 pages?
There are many variables as to how many pages a manuscript turns out to be once it’s typeset. It really depends on the size of the printed book, the space left between lines, the size and type of font, etc.
So, word count is more important. Because modern word processors give you a word count these days, it’s easy to keep track.
Different genres are allowed different word counts (fantasy can be longer than, say, cozy mysteries), but I’d say the average novel is from 80,000-100,000 words.
I didn’t have a written writing goal last year. But I managed to do something anyways. I started a blog and took a blogging class so now I am adding something every week. This next year I will have real goals and make plans so I can fulfill them. I signed up for the BWH challenge so I’m looking forward to getting a jumpstart!
BTW, although you fell “short” of your original goals, the fact that you accomplished anything with a baby around is nothing short of a miracle!