All good writing starts with a goal, either modest or lofty. I issued a challenge last week on this blog—to post your writing goals for 2008.
80 writers answered my goal call. With the help of my editors, I’ve picked 10 of those lists to highlight. The following 10 writers win a Writer’s Digest subscription! And their 2008 goals follow:
My Writing Goals for 2008:
That sounds very simplistic. Like I could step out the door and throw pages into the wind and have them show up at Barnes & Noble printed and bound. I have the stories written, now I need to keep myself in the chair to edit them. Then, terror of all terrors, I have to let go of my babies and let someone else take them, first an agent then an editor. Discipline is the key, it's time to buckle on the armor and toughen my resolve. A good friend told me the other day that I have to play to win. I think she meant the lottery but the statement goes along with writing. So my goals are as follows.
3. Move to the next story.
4. Rinse and repeat.
My writing goals for 2008 are:
1. To write like there's no "tomorrow" or "sometime" or "later"
2. To recognize that a writer living in her comfort zone is not experiencing new things and has little or nothing to write about
3. To FINISH the myriad projects that are written, planned or hiding in my desk drawer or imagination
4. To take the advice of my brilliant daughter, whose birthday message to me was, "If you don't write your story, no one will ever read it".
5. To be courageous in the face of my Internal Editor (that picky, over-critical bitch) and write because I cannot not write
My goal to 2008 is to write something non-academic. I've been working on my MLIS for over a year and all I ever seem to write is term paper after term paper. I have 1 1/2 more years to go and wonder if I'll ever write creatively again. I want to find my creative voice that disappeared deep inside somewhere. When I find some free time I love to pick up a WD issue and dream about writing like I used to. I'd like to write poetry again and start a play I have been working on in my head. I love that WD offers writing prompts...If only homework didn't have to come first.
1. Finish what I've started! I've let 20+ years of procrastination, another load of laundry, a research question to answer draw me away from my writing. I can't let another 20 years drift. I'm on chapter 7 of my romance novel and oh by gosh, by golly...it's time for mistletoe, holly and me to type THE END.
2. Stop thinking that because I've done research or bought a new journal or picked up the latest How to write book that I've written! It's fun buying that new journal and following research leads, but baby...got write!
3. Keep up my confidence level. I am good. I am good! I have something to say in a unique way!
4. I've asked Santa for a Writer's Digest subscription—winning one would be a great surprise!
Thanks! Happy Holidays!
My goals are more about attitude. I'm already on board with discipline, so I vow not to give materials away or write for free any longer—there must be some quid pro quo with whatever I do.
1. To not be obnoxious with marketing and promotion (I can't stand those pushy authors,) so, be circumspect about self-promotion and use it with the utmost taste whether that is at conferences, online or in e-list groups.
2. Network more but with the intention of making true relationships. I do this now, but this year I will really listen instead of poised waiting my turn to speak.
3. Edit my student's (I teach e-courses) work kindly, by always providing a plus before I stress the minuses and needed corrections.
4. Lower the bitching quotient around my husband and up the "good things" comments about this career. He's making more sacrifices than I am.
Goals for 2008:
1. Find ten minutes every day to daydream. No pen or paper allowed.
2. Take myself out on a date every Tuesday night. Agenda: explore my creativity in new, interesting and solitary ways.
3. Subscribe to and support the literary magazines I like best, and who I hope will support me.
4. Read every story in the Best American Short Stories of the Century.
5. Begin, fearlessly, to write my novel.
6. Write more letters to friends and family.
7. Call my Gran whenever I think about her, and ask her to tell me her stories.
8. Be mindful of my physical health, and treat my body like the instrument it is: if I feel like crap, I probably won't be writing.
9. When there is a social engagement I *really* don't want to go to, I'll go anyways, and take a pocket size moleskin and a pencil stub with me.
10. Show up at my writing desk every day, keep my eyes open, and try to be useful.
My modest goals:
1. Win a Nobel Prize for Literature (for my unpublished works that the Nobel Committee hears about and requests to see)
2. Top the New York Times Bestseller List for the last six months of the year (need to get the book rushed to publication for its brilliance in the first six)
3. Chat with Oprah about how much she loves my book
4. Build my custom-designed writing retreat in Colorado overlooking the mountains.
5. Get a law passed that flays alive anyone who thinks it's okay not to pay writers, claiming they should work for free to get "quality clips." Later amend law to pouring lemon juice on them after flaying.
6. Hire someone to talk to all the people introvert me does not deign to speak to now that I have much moolah from #2. I vant to be alone to create art my dahlings.
7. Pull a J.D. Salinger at the end of the year and refuse all interviews. I need no stinkin' publicity.
8. Allow myself to be coaxed out of Salingerhood to do another interview with Oprah.
-Tricia D. Grissom
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.
1. Start a monthly newsletter for my company.
2. Write and Field Test a new curriculum to train direct support staff.
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.
1. Write regularly.
2. Revise ruthlessly.
3. Release repeatedly (i.e., submit for publication).
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 s
end 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.
Feel free to keep posting. And remember to stay true to your writing goals in 2008!
"To thine own self be true" -William Shakespeare