Writing Goals for 2015

As promised a couple weeks ago, today I will share my writing goals for 2015. You'll notice that, as discussed in this post on dreams vs goals, I do have a "dream" for the year, but that dream is broken down into goals. And as you might remember from that previous post, those goals are all things I can control.

Sharing goals publicly is, for some people, an important facet of the goal setting process. It creates an additional layer of accountability. This type of public accountability works well with my personality, but for some people it can be very intimidating or anxiety-inducing. If that's the case for you, absolutely feel free to keep your goals to yourself. Alternately, consider sharing privately with a close friend if that feels like the better option. To each their own!

A final note before I share my goal list for the year is about goal visibility. I find that having my goals someplace where I'll see it every day makes a huge difference to my success rate. I keep my list of goals taped to the wall beside my computer, just under my sticker calendar. This way, on the days when I'm not feeling like writing, I have a reminder of what I'm working towards.

All right, enough stalling. Here are my goals for 2015!

Overall dream: Get an agent and then a book deal for The Trial

Short term goals (first half of year):

  • Complete 3rd draft of the Trial
  • Get YA League approval to query
  • Prep query list, create query and synopsis
  • Query the Trial
  • Draft mystery novel

Long term goals (second half of year):

  • Do initial revision of mystery novel, send to David
  • Write another novel in the fall (whether NaNo or another time)
  • Start third draft of mystery novel
  • Look into running a local writing workshop (for teens?)
  • Plan next writing retreat with the YA League (update: booked tickets today for a retreat for this April in Wales!!!!!)

Contingency plan:

Should the Trial fail to find an agent, have mystery novel query-ready by January 1, 2016
If I have an agent, but the Trial doesn’t sell by the end of the year, have mystery revised enough to send to my agent before Christmas.

The contingency plan is something I started using the last couple years for my big goal lists. The reason I like it, especially if the major "goal" for the year is actually a "dream" (as mine is), is because I still have ways to be successful (meeting the contingency plans). As such, it's important that those bullet points are true goals, not dreams (i.e. they are things I can control). As I've mentioned before, even if I make The Trial as perfect as possible, timing and luck does still play a part in getting an agent/book deal and is therefore not something I have control over.

One parting thought before I go: remember that goal sheets can (and maybe should!) be living documents. Life changes and sometimes our goals no longer work for us. It's possible I may have a much cooler book idea than the mystery idea I plan to write between now and when I'm ready to draft something new. If that's the case, I just break out a pen, make a couple of notations on my sheet, and keep on writing!

Wishing you all the best at the start of the new year! If you want, please leave me a comment with some of your goals for the year.