Tuesday, January 6, 2015

January is the Perfect Time for a Bit of Goal Setting

"The greatest thing about writing is that it’s just you and the page. The most horrifying thing about writing is that it’s just you and the page. Contemplation of that dichotomy is enough to stop most people dead in their tracks."
MIND GAMES [Excerpt from THE CANNIBAL’S ART (not published; in progress). Copyright 2014 Diana Gabaldon]


It's the time of year to make resolutions...What? Have you already broken yours? ;-) 

As writers, we all have to set goals if we're going to ever finish our stories. So, here's a few idea for you to try out for your writing resolutions for 2015. 
  • List all of your dreams for 2015 and then prioritize them.
  • Divide your dreams into monthly goals.
  • Select small manageable bits for weekly goals that add up to the monthly and yearly ones.
  • If you achieve the week's goal, there's no reason you can't dive into another the next week's goal. ;-)
  • Recognize the times that Real Life throws you a curve and don't beat yourself up. Remember the goals will be there when you are ready to dive back in.
  • Think about trying some writing prompts on the hard days when words are illusive. Charlotte Rains Dixon has a great new book of prompts with suggestions for how to use them.
And if your goal is the dreaded Query, look at these ideas:
Yes, that dreaded "Q" word that strikes terror in the heart of many a good writer. And I'm reaching the point that I need to get serious about it.

Julia Sondra Decker has some great tips.

Another suggestion is to try to write a query for the first twenty to fifty pages of your WIP. Check out agent Kristin Nelson's post on this technique for pitches. And her videos about finding the plot catalyst.

Also, try these questions:
  • Who is the MC?
  • What does the MC want?
  • What's in the MC's way?
  • What happens if the MC fails?
 What's your main goal for 2015 or for January 2015? I'd love to hear about it and cheer you on. If queries are in your near future, good luck and happy hunting!

Next week: What it takes to be in the five percent of writers who get published.  


  1. You know my goal. Finish the query. Send query out. Blow agents away. Have multiple offers. Sign with agent. Sell book to publisher for lots and lots of money....Oh, wait. I think I got away from myself. I'll settle for finishing a very good query that gets me MS requests.

  2. Go, Sara, Go! I love that you're dreaming big, but doing the work step-by-step!

  3. I like Sara's goal. Have a book traditionally published, that sounds like a good goal to me... But seriously, getting some editing done would be a good start!

  4. Deniz, it's step-by-step. Editing comes first.

  5. Zan Marie,

    I think mine is to not lose sight of what's important as I continue on this writing journey into the more stressful stage of querying. I have much to be thankful for and must never forget that.

  6. Happy New Year, Zan Marie! I'm looking forward to another year of your blog. :) Wishing you prolific words in your writing and wonderful reads in 2015. May you meet or beat all your goals!


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