Monday, January 2, 2012

Writer's Goals for 2012 by Susie Sheehey

New Year’s Resolutions can be double-edged swords, if you let them. The typical resolutions to lose weight, earn more, quit smoking, drinking, or whatever other vice (Diet Coke for me) seems daunting and casts negative air over what resolutions are supposed to be about.
Improvement. By either pledging to do something positive or remove something negative from your life.
Resolutions aren’t a reset, but a re-check. Make sure your headed in the right direction.
For many people, 2011 was uncharacteristically harsh. Judging by the Facebook and Twitter posts I’ve seen recently, most are happy to close the door on last year and usher in 2012 with the promise of something better. At least more hopeful.
I learned a lot from 2011. Mostly learned a lot about myself, my limitations, discovered new strengths, and new ‘areas of improvement.’ I met new people that have become invaluable to my writing endeavors- my ‘specialized supporters.’ (Listing them all here would take at least twelve lines, but you know who you are!)
Most importantly, I think I discovered how to let go of this illusion of control that I tried desperately to keep a grip on last year.
Things happen despite my best abilities to prevent them, other things don’t happen no matter how hard I tried to make them flourish. And other sideswipers come out of no where to make life even more chaotic.
This illusion of control stems from my ever-consistent behavior to internalize everything. And God love my husband and family for helping me to let that go. (I shouldn't bash those chaotic swipers~ I met my husband that way!)
So this year, my resolutions are aggressive, but much more forgiving if I lose track along the way. Just as I know my family and friends are. Supportive. Always trying to help me be my best, and forgiving when I lose track.
In addition to a few personal goals regarding family, and overall health and wellness (no New Year’s resolutions would be complete without them), here are my targets:
~Reduce my Diet Coke intake to 1/week (gradual, to prevent nasty withdrawals).
~Gym twice a week.
~Blog twice a week.
~Submit to other blogs I partake in at least once a month.
~Read 1 Book/month.
And for the daunting writing goals:
~Finish rough draft of WIP (Audrey’s Promise) by March. Specifically, write 5K words /week.
~Finish Audrey’s Promise revisions by November. Meaning, 15 pages/week.
~Finish my previous manuscript’s revisions (Rip It) by May. 20 pages/week.
~Submit either of these manuscripts toRWA's Golden Heart contest in December.
~Query Rip It to agencies/publishers starting in June. Specifically, 4 queries a week.
~Finally, plot my next novel (middle grade) by December.
These goals are evenly spaced out over the year, so I’m constantly busy with writing, but not overloaded. I think that’s my husband’s Project Management job rubbing off on me. Leave it to him to create a timeline spreadsheet for me, to help track my goals every week down to the individual word and page count. Goal tracking on steroids!
As always, love more, laugh more, and keep writing forward.

Member Spotlight
Susie Sheehey is the President of Greater Fort Worth Writers. She is a former Medical Distribution Sales Representative and now is a stay at home mom who writes contemporary romantic fiction full time. Please leave a comment.


Ruby Johnson said...

Ambitious goals, but I know you can do it if anyone can.
Planning or not planning for obstacles to succeeding at a goal is a biggie for me. You get what you focus on and you definitely are focused on what you can create through writing.

Jerrie Alexander said...

Great post and some nice goals! I have this fab critique partner who has a marketing degreee. She almost had to beat me to get me to develop a business plan for my writing, complete with goals and benchmarks. It worked so well in 2011 that I've completed 2012. (Don't tell her)

Ruby, misssed you at the NT meeting last month.

J.A. Bennett said...

Susie, awesome article and so inspring :) Thanks for getting me fired up for a productive new year!

Jeff Turner said...

My overall 2012 goal is to get Notes To My Kids up for sale sometime in late spring. I gave my kids a deadline of the end of February for their review.

After that, on to book #4 which is nothing but a list of chapters now.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Motivating post. I have an excel sheet for tracking Amazon Kindle sales, but haven't made one for my writing goals. I'm going to be doing something like that for Yellow Rose RWA this coming year so we can encourage one another.

I gave up Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper, and really, really, miss it. I'm trying to drink more water and become healthier for the future.

Thanks for the jump start.

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