Monday, November 30, 2009

New approach on goals

Current Project: Derby book
Status: Slow going

So NaNoWriMo was a total fail for me, but that's okay! I'm thinking of doing my own NaNoWriMo in December. I respect the fact that November is a busy month and if you can write 50,000 words then - wow you're a superstar!! That's a great intent with the program. But, I just couldn't do it. And that's okay - I made a choice to put classes and work above my writing in November. But, classes are basically done this week and I'm taking a week of vacation this month, so I think it's a good time to do it. I had hoped to have a first draft of a book by the end of the year, it's not too late to nearly reach that goal.

I've also been thinking about long-term goals, particularly for next year. I've done major goal setting a couple of times, just never really stuck to the goals. I want to give it a valliant effort this year. I recently bought this awesome planner that has sections for charts and goal setting and other things that would make most sane people want to run for the hills. That will allow me to see my goals each week and chart progress toward them. So we'll see!

Typically when I set writing goals, I go overboard and it feels overwhelming. I'll make goals about how many queries to do, how many books to write/draft, etc. I spread myself too thin and get overwhelmed. But 2010 will not be that way.

Here are my goals:
1) Write every day. Even if it's just a sentence.
2) Get a polished book that I can query.
3) Begin querying.

That's it. Broad goals, not too specific. Enough to keep writing a focus in my life and move toward a career in it. I've noticed that I'm trying to move away from too much planning and plotting in my writing, and it seems to be carrying over to how I think about my writing. Maybe that's a good thing :)

Do you have any goals for next year?


wavybrains said...

Great post Lisa. I did really well in 2009 by setting weekly goals and by making checking into the Weekly Check-in thread a non-optional event for me. The contests REALLY helped me as well. November just isn't a good month for me either--it kind of sucks for those of us in academia. And I get the point that if you can write then, you can write anytime, but blood from a turnip, you know? I'm ending NaNo with a little under 40 pages. I'm happy with that.

I'm planning a big push in December, another in March, and another in June. I have to work with the academic calendar. My goal for December is to have the first 25 pages of my manuscript ready for a contest which has a deadline of the 31st (and yes,I know I should have a finished book to do that . . . but this is more about the deadline + feedback aspect for me) and to make some steady progress word count wise.

My writing 2010 goals look a lot like yours:
1)Write everyday even if just a sentence.
2) Finish draft of WIP by end of June.
3) Enter the warm up contests + Golden Heart with that WIP
4) Do some queries for previous YA manuscript

wavybrains said...

Oh and what is the name of the planner?

Paty Jager said...

Sounds like a smart plan for you, Lisa. I agree if you set too high of goals it's more daunting than helpful. And if you exceed your goals then you are twice as excited. But I think goals are necessary to keep anyone moving forward. You do it for every part of your life so it makes sense to do it for writing as well.

My 2010 goals are to finish the last Halsey book and the second book in the spirit trilogy. That's the concrete goal. Ideally, I'd like to finish both of the spirit books and be working on the Intrigue by the end of the year. We'll see how that all pans out. So mainly my goal is to get my obligations to TWRP out of the way.

Kendra said...

My Franklin Covey catalog came in the mail today. It always inspires me to be organized, but not enought to spend a fortune on their products.

My writing goals for 2010. Hmmm. I want to finish the book I'm working on and write another. Pretty basic.

Lisa Leoni said...

Thanks, Wavy! It's called the "uncalendar." I got it at Powell's. I LOVE it. It makes keeping track of work to-do, personal to-do, writing goals, roller derby, other activities, etc - super easy. Blood from a turnip - love it! November is definitely one of the worst months of the year, particularly for schools on a quarter system. Great idea about the big pushes. I may try that too my academic sistah! Love your goals :D You can do it!

Paty and Kendra, those are great goals!! One of my goals for next year is to keep track of people's goals and *actually* check in on people this time.

And Kendra, I love the Franklin Covey calendar. So addicting. Looking at planners in bookstores is my kryptonite.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Paty, what Intrigue? And what did you mean by "rethinking your strategies" in the Sat. check-in post?

Elisabeth Naughton said...

I like your goals, Lisa. :)

I haven't thought much about goals. I want to put together a proposal for book 3 in my eternal guardians series. After that...I'm not sure. If my adventure series doesn't sell, I may be coming up with a new idea. Right now I can't see much past the wip.

I have three releases next year. I think a big goal is not going crazy with all the promo. ;)

Katie said...

Whew, looks like I need to write a sticky note to keep in an I-look-here-at-least-once-a-day place to remind me to write. NO MATTER WHAT. :D That's my short term goal. My long term is to have my WIP as perfect as possible by this time next year. I think I can do it. I KNOW I can do it... if I stop being lazy. ^_^ I've been sooo much better about writing this month, though, it's amazing. So it's going to work.

Hooray for goals! Let's all reach 'em and then go out to ice cream. And maybe cake, too. Sound good? Luck, ladies!

Paty Jager said...

Eli. I have an idea for a contemporary cowboy intrigue that I want to get written. And my rethinking is sitting for three hours with Minnette and Lisa Hendrix. They picked my brain about where I wanted to go and what I planned to do about it. In other words they pushed me out of sedate I'm happy with where I am to I need to try harder to get a contract from a big publisher.

Deborah Wright said...

Timely post, Lisa! December's always the month I start thinking about goals for the coming year. Might as well get a start on them! I've decided to cherry-pick the best of what worked for me during NaNo, as well as some of the ideas everyone else has talked about, for 2010.

First, though, my NaNo update. NaNoWriMo was a success for me -- not in reaching 50,000 words, but in learning more about my process and about my story. My final word tally was 17,812!

Here are my goals (so far) for 2010:

1. Write every day. This was part of my NaNo goal and I found that while I had a few days where I didn't write, so long as I didn't go more than a day or two at the most, I was in good shape.

2. Make the Saturday Check-in on the blog mandatory. (Thanks, Wavy!)

3. Blog about my progress regularly--at least 3 to 4 times per week. Another thing I did with NaNo that worked well for me. Not only did it help keep me focused, it was another way of writing every day, even if the words didn't add to the story.

4. Reassess monthly. That is, treat each month like my own private NaNoWriMo and review and regroup at the beginning of each month.

The big goal, of course, is to have a finished manuscript. What I'm not going to put down as a goal, but what is my ultimate aim for next year, is actually to have a manuscript that's ready to submit to the Golden Heart. I believe if I keep my attention focused on the four concrete goals I've set that the bigger goal will fall into place as a result.

Genene Valleau said...

Hey, Lisa! I recently read that if you learn something from your experiences, they aren't "failures." Learning what works for you and what doesn't is great progress!

My writing goals for 2010 are pretty broad also: I need to write another romantic comedy novella and pretty much get to the halfway mark with my nine-book series.

Becoming more productive seems to be an ongoing process for me. However, with each new experiment, I come up with something more that works. So I'm gradually coming up with a process that works for me--at least for now!