Win a Writer's Digest subscription!

Hi Writers,
I know it’s a crazy time of year, and you probably have your writing career set in neutral at the moment, but it’s time to put the credit card away for a few minutes and start thinking about what your goals are for 2008 (just 20 days away—eek!).

To get the creative wheels turning forward, I want to make you an offer you simply cannot refuse.
I have 10 Writer’s Digest magazine subscriptions to give away over the next two weeks, and here’s what I decided to do to motivate you.

Post your 2008 writing goals here in my comments section. I’m going to choose my favorite 10 and post them here on “The Writer’s Perspective.” So not only do you have a good chance of winning a one-year subscription to Writer’s Digest, you get me, the Writer’s Digest editor, digitally nudging (okay, bugging) you to make sure you’re accountable to your own writing goals next year.

So writers—let the goals begin!

Keep Writing,
Maria
“The world is always ready to receive talent with open arms.”
-my favorite quote from a fortune cookie

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80 thoughts on “Win a Writer's Digest subscription!

  1. Victoria E

    I have no idea how I initially missed this post on my feed reader – quite tragic! My 2008 goal for my writing is to be published in 3 national magazines that my work has done yet appeared in.

    The past few months, I have been able to post at least 3 posts a week on my blog/official website, and I’ll be keeping that up as well.

    Doesn’t seem like much, no? Maybe I should formulate some more …

  2. Vicky P.

    Hi Maria,
    For a subscription to WD, I can do almost anything.
    My goal is not just for 2008 but runs over 2 years. By 1-12-09, which co-insides with my 50th birthday, my goal is to be an Internationally recognised motivational speaker and author.
    To accomplish the speaking, I shall:
    • prepare and deliver 1 speech at my Toastmasters clubs each and every month
    • deliver a speech at Odd Fellow or similar club at least every second month.

    To accomplish the author part, I shall:
    • write and post an article on a writer’s web site once a month
    • submit an article idea to a magazine or paper once a week
    • complete a new post for my coaching blog every week
    • complete the outline for my first motivational book by 31-3-08
    • find a publisher for my motivational book by 30-6-08
    • complete my motivational book by 31-12-08
    • have my motivational book published by 30-6-09

    A tall order? Perhaps, but I believe in pushing myself. How do I know what I can accomplish before I try.
    Vicky

  3. Chris

    All I would like to do is find one project and stick with it; work on it and finish it. This past year was about working out the desire to take writing seriously, but has come up against a veritable hydra of ways in which to pursue the endeavor. Every time I think I’ve eliminated another obstacle, two more grow in its place — most of these are probably self-imposed. I want to simply stop, sit down, and really get into it. I hope God’s resolution this year is to lend me a little insight and steadfastness.

  4. Scott B.

    After reading all these comments, I get some of the drift of what it’s like to be an editor! lol

    Oh, and speaking of editing, that’s my New Years Goal: Edit that mound of already written material.

  5. Debbie Mason

    A couple of years ago, I decided to go back to school and earn a degree in anticipation of retiring from my regular job in 4-5 years. I have a great job and love the university where I work but I have wondered what would I actually like to do if I could pick anything…much like “what do I want to be when I grow up?” I enjoy writing and my current job responsibilities include various forms of it, so being a writer was my first thought. This past semester, I finally gave in to my inner voice and took a creative writing class.

    Simply put…wow. I now know (and can admit) what I want to be when I group up. To say I was overwhelmed but excited is an understatement. I can now actually envision myself with a writing career. So, while a large part of me now seems in a big hurry to learn as much about writing as fast as I can, the rest of me knows that I have plenty of time….and a full time job and part-time education to concentrate on too. The writing course this semester has gotten me into the habit of writing regularly and simply writing for fun (a very new phenomenon to me!) I’ve started keeping a writing journal and (per a requirement for the course) have submitted two pieces of work to a literary magazine…one of which was accepted! My goals for the next year probably are pretty simple and definitely show what a newbie I am at all this but I want to proceed slowly and relish the experience; take my time and do it right. So my goals for 2008 include:

    1. Meet with an advisor to declare my major and chart my course for completion of a degree in English: Creative Writing
    2. Read, research, and learn from books, articles, websites, and blogs about writing, writing opportunities, and writing career options.
    3. Continue writing on a regular basis and expand my writing horizons with genres, voices, and styles that are different than my comfortable norm.
    4. Continue adding to my “List of Interesting Words to Use in My Writing” list. I’m a fan of new, different and/or interesting words and am always on the lookout for one to add to the list.
    5. Learn the very necessary skill of revising, putting aside, revising, putting aside and revising.
    6. Be a writer. I don’t have to wait to actually have the degree in hand to be a writer. I am a writer now and I’ll be a writer next week…and next month. I’ll just be a better writer then.

  6. Patricia Harrelson

    •Be dangerous and daring.
    •Write at least one entertaining, enticing, descriptive, and succinct pitch a week.
    •Focus my free lance writing on the subjects/topics I most enjoy.
    •Stick to a schedule that divides time between writing and self-promotion.
    •Make time for literary projects along with the journalistic money making stuff.
    •Finish what I start (“The road to hell is paved with unfinished manuscripts.”)
    •Create a tightly organized web page that confirms I’m the woman for the job (in /out in 2 minutes).
    •Spice up bland topics with humor, a current event hook, or a self-interest angle.
    •Don’t save an idea for a better day or a better offer. Write it NOW!
    •Recycle work—reframe pieces for different publications.
    •Put my ego aside and try ghostwriting.
    •Fail and fail and fail again but don’t stop writing.

  7. x&al danzabel

    dear letter fairy,

    what an enticing idea
    > to dream into 2008 with 2007 still in full swing
    > i have published the po’m bunch xada with 1.219 po’ms in 7 languages while studying in oxford in year two > english studies and critical practice with a b.a. hons in 2009 at the age of 70 > dao willing…
    > from the po’m bunch xada 1 have selected 138 po’ms into a book ‘suicidi po’ms’ for which i might look for a professional publishing house in 2008…
    > for 2008 i have lined up 44 short stories which are written already, but need detached editing.
    > i am also working on creating an e-zine ‘wind drops’ for children 10-15, translating their global po’ms and poshos = a hybrid between po’m+prose shorts, into 3 languages, with hints as to editing and literature per se.
    > i am a voracious reading mind of ‘nsatiable curiosity and it is great fun indeed and a blessing to study in a group of young minds in young bodies in an oxford college as a young mind in an old body…

    so there!
    thank you for making me put into words what was loitering in a mind wave vaguely…

    ciao for now with a wideopenoxfordwinterskysmile from

    x&l danzabel

  8. Colleen

    My writing goals for 2008 are:
    Finish the book I started, its about half done now.
    Edit it and have it prepared for submission.
    Stop beings cared to submit it and actually do it.
    I know it has to be good if it can bring tears to my husband’s eyes, who hates reading "that kind of stuff".
    Have a little confidence in myself.
    Start my second book.

    Colleen

  9. Mary Ruth Dilling

    My writing goals for 2008 are:
    Finish second boook by April. Have it ready to be send to send to editor by June.
    Enter a minimum of 5 contests.
    Blog a minimum of 3 times a week.
    Start making some money writing this year.
    Write 5 times a week.
    Start 3rd book.
    Submit 3 magazine articles a month.

    maryruth

  10. Karen O'Brien

    My writing goal before the curtain closes on 2008 is a rejection letter. Just one simple, beautiful rejection letter and my year will be a complete success. How? That letter would have been made possible by a series of events that started with my organization (finally) of all those seemingly random bits of story and unformed characters in my “Ideas” folder and ended with a completed work of fiction in my hands.

    A work of fiction that formed during the course of the year because of a disciplined adherence to a daily writing routine, regular input from fellow writers, and constant revision. A work of fiction that finally appeared “good enough” to send out into the wide world like a kindergartener walking to the bus stop on the first day of school. And like so many hopeful school children making their inaugural school bus rides only to run afoul of the class bully, my work of fiction would have its lunch money stolen and receive its first official black eye.

    Then I’ll rework it and put it right back on the bus. And that will be a great success, indeed.

  11. Cindy Adams

    Thanks for the incentive to write down some goals, Maria.

    1. Complete my YA novel and have it ready to shop by mid-June.
    2. Continue to hone my humor essay writing and have at least three more published this year.
    3. Keep my website/blog updated, at least 3 times a week, to increase exposure.
    4. Join a writing group, which I was going to do last year but couldn’t due to other commitments. I’m attending my first meeting on 12/18/07 and will continue monthly, thereafter.

    Methinks that’ll do, for now. Happy New Year!
    Peace,
    Cindy.

  12. Rosemary Mentz-Sutton

    My goals for 2008 are to continue to write and transform manuscripts to digital files for submission to my fav. publisher, Infinity Publishing.

    I will publish one, if not two books before the end of 2008.

    I will overcome the horrific fleecing given by Outskirts Press in 2007 in which they stole my $999.00 and my digital book files.

    My book, The Baptism of the Holy Spirit 101, will be even better than before, and my second book, If It Be Thy Good Pleasure…, will also be a hit.

    I will continue to write every day and continue to study to improve my writing and editing skills.

    I will continue to be part of the Writer’s Digest Forum to learn and to help where I can.

  13. JohnOBX

    My Goals:

    1. Work with my wonderful new writing group to help everyone get their stories in shape for the brutal world of publishing.

    2. Finish the revisions on my novel "The Boar" and push it out of the nest by late spring/early summer.

    3. Find homes for the stories I’ve already written and get some more writing creds under my belt.

    4. Contribute more to the WD critique forums, excepting, of course, the poetry section.

    5. Weave together the various thought-strands I have for my next novel and get a first draft finished by the Fall.

    6. Read more books and read more writing-specific books.

    Thanks for the kick in the butt, Maria,

    –John

  14. Yeo Teck Wei

    By next Jan i want to set up my own newsletter, and by next Jul make sure it is running smoothly with increasing readers. It is still sketchy, but here are the rough plans :

    The newsletter will be called "The Paper Model". It will be circulated monthly, and it will publish articles on almost all kinds of topics. For every month four articles will be published, either two short articles and two long reviews, or 3 short articles and 1 review. The name suits it perfectly because even though the topic in the article may be plain, just like a piece of paper, but it can be uniquely crafted to educate the reader just like in the way a paper can be folded to produce various form of origami. The rest of the details are still forming up, but this is the brief outline. If i do win the subscription, i can learn more about the writers’ market and i simply hope to use the knowledge to promote Singapore literary market.

  15. Virginia Murr

    Before I blink and the final sunset of 2007 has passed, I will have my book on the Philosophy of Art ready for publication. To ease publication of this book, I will have had several more articles published in reputable journals and magazines.

    Before I open my eyes and 2009 upon me, I will figure out a more organized way to edit my manuscripts. Printing a hard copy of every draft is expensive, time-consuming, and wasteful.

    As my eyes observe the sunrise on January 1, 2009, I will be proud of my accomplishments.

  16. Mary Ulrich

    Hi Maria,
    Whenever I was depressed in 2007, I would go to the library and pick up WRITER’S DIGEST. Getting a subscription would be a monthly gift of hope for my dream of becoming a writer. My writing goals for 2008 are in two categories, SAFE- writing I know how to do, and RISKS- writing that makes me sigh and scares me.
    SAFE:
    1. Start a monthly newsletter for my company.
    2. Write and Field Test a new curriculum to train direct support staff.
    RISKS:
    1. Read two bestsellers every month by different authors. Then analyse each for overall plot, character development, surprises, twists, complexity of the storyline, voice (written in first, third person…), dialogue, beginning and closing chapters….
    2. Stop rewriting the first chapter of my current novel and either throw it out and start something new, or finish at least chapter two by February 1st and the entire book by May 1st.
    3. Lose 50 pounds. Don’t laugh! This is a writing goal because I will write for one hour and then actively walk and process for the next hour. Two hours on actively working toward my goals will definitely be therapy for my body and soul.
    4. I will actively market my work.

  17. J. M. Strother

    For me, New Year’s resolutions are often exercises in futile self deception. Yet I continue to make them, year after year. Sometimes, I even manage to keep a few of them. I consider that a success, in and of itself.

    As writing goes, I have three resolutions. Three, I think, are manageable. No top ten list from me.

    First, I intend to submit a short story to Writers of the Future. More specifically, I intend to send in a story in time to make their March 31st deadline. I have sent them a story before, and feel comfortable both with the organization and their process. This resolution is certainly achievable.

    Second, I will rewrite and edit my first Max Mann mystery novel, and submit it to an as yet to be found agent or slush pile, whichever comes first. I am leery of agents, in that my brother-in-law was badly burned by one. He quit writing for years, until his contract expired, because he found it impossible to deal with the man. Since hearing his tale of woe, I have always submitted to slush piles – perhaps to my own detriment.

    Finally, and definitely the most difficult and least likely to be kept, I will dedicate more of my time to actually writing, rather than wasting my time playing Sid Meier’s Civilization III. Any serious writer should purge their hard drive of all computer games, and then burn all the installation CDs in the barbecue pit. But I know I won’t. I may as well resolve to lose weight!
    ~jon

  18. Stephanie

    1. Enter more short story contests, since I truly love them whether I win or not.
    2. Finish my manuscript.
    3. Focus on improving descriptive writing.
    4. Take short and silly, but much needed breaks.
    5. Edit my manuscript, in between the above mentioned breaks.
    6. Write the elusive ‘query’ letter…again and again and again.
    7. Submit my finished and edited manuscript with version 1,239 of my query letter.
    8. Take the rejections with a grain of salt and submit again.
    9. Stand out from the slush pile and snag an agent.
    10. Start all over again!

  19. Meg

    I am going to take myself seriously as a writer. I will believe in myself and my talents. I will talk to people who have been published and gain advice and wisdom from those who have been there. I will start sending manuscripts instead of holding them for years hoping they will miraculously send themselves. I will work hard to be what I’ve always wanted to be. I will devote a certain amount of time every day to writing. Then I will read and gain ideas and inspiration from studying the work of others.

  20. Debra Wofford

    My goals for 2008 are to believe in me and my writing talent more,remain happy so I can become a very successful writer,and get my five children books published.

  21. Jean Wise

    I have begun a huge (probably too ambitious)list of writing and speaking goals for 2008 but will share only as few of the new ones I hope to accomplish next year.
    • Expand my relationship with the local newspaper by proposing a column idea
    • Help others by starting and leading a local writers group
    • Develop a “coaching session” on a specific topic to offer on my web site.

  22. Lori

    My top goal is to focus more energy to the marketing of my services. Without it, the career goes nowhere. It will be active marketing – reaching out beyond the Internet to companies that otherwise may not have asked for help formally. The brochures are ready, the game plan’s been set, and it’s time to get back to basics!

  23. Debbie Patrick

    I am so proud of myself already, because after sending an essary to the local newspaper editor last May (on a whim during indoor recess) he decided he loved it, and I am now doing a monthly column and an accompanying blog for the local paper here in State College. (The Centre Daily Times.) I just love it! It’s perfect for my writing style (Don’t we all write little essays in our journals at night?)and my teaching coworkers are loving it as well! However, I have some new goals for my future. I am very happy with my job as a kindergarten teacher(I laugh every single day), but have always wanted write children’s books. I have three in a journal of mine, so my first goal is to find the time to send them out somewhere! With three kids, one going off to college next year, it is easy to get caught up and the busy-ness of life! I’m determined to make the time to send them out! Second, I need to make sure that I sit down and write something every night! No more claiming exhaustion! Just because I am running one daughter to field hockey, one son to basketball, wondering where my senior girl might be, doesn’t mean I can’t think about me. Right? These two goals are enough for now, I think! Thanks for this great idea to get a little nudge from others!

  24. VK Entreken

    Maria,
    I love that you’re doing this. I went through this exercise a couple months ago for the rest of 2007 and all of 2008 in an effort to turn this into a true business instead of a hobby. That’s my overall goal.

    1. Complete necessary (business) training and identify/schedule ongoing 2008 writer’s workshop training by end of first quarter.

    2. Maintain an ongoing flow of at least 6 freelance submissions at all times.

    3. Obtain and build at least one agent and/or editor relationship that will welcome submissions based on past work by end of year.

    4. Create a unique website by end of 2nd quarter, and maintain a process enticing visitors to return monthly.

    5. Complete first draft of novel by end of third quarter.

    6. Submit a book proposal to three agents by end of year.

  25. Tawnya

    My goal is simple. After having a baby, I want to write again. Anything. Something. More than a quick email to my husband! By the end of 2008 I would like to have the outline to my ongoing book done and work started on the meat of it.

  26. Christa Nilsen

    Being a sophmore in high school, my goals for this next year don’t include things like finding a publisher, but I would still like to post mine (Maybe it will get me actually *doing* some of these things). My goals are…

    1) Write one respectable short story per month.
    2) Plan and hopefully start a Lit Newspaper with my English teacher to incourage writing in my class.
    3) Write the first draft of a new novel and/or restart my forgotten vampire novel. Maybe also begin busting my best friend for letting her story die off too…

    For now, that’s about all, but I’m sure something will pop into my brain as soon as I post this…

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