Theme for the day:
New Year’s Writing Resolutions
- Goal setting basics for writers
- Word count vs Time writing
- Submissions and Queries
- News in the S.C. Writerverse
Get to know Alexa — tell us your writing journey story and where you are now. Then we’ll talk about 2020 goals. Link to her book Sunshine After the Storm. Moved into busy, modern moms with Lose the Cape. This one for being a change agent – Lose the Cape: The Mom’s Guide to Becoming Socially & Politically Engaged (& How to Raise Tiny Activists)
So I’m a goal-oriented person and I have a tendency to set goals daily, weekly, monthly and annually. It comes easily to me because I do it so often. But a lot of people struggle with it.
Let’s talk about the basics. Why set goals? What does the process do for you? What kind of results can you expect?
What makes a good goal? It should be specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-relevant (SMART).
Specific means write it down and identify exactly what you plan to achieve and how. Measurable means you can break it down into doable work that creates a path of milestones to get you where you want to end up.
Action-oriented sometimes confuses people but it means there are tasks associated with it. For example, if you have to generate words you need to be writing. How many words do you need to reach your goal? How can you measure your progress if your goal doesn’t have measurements? Action also means you can work on this independently, you’re not waiting on others to do the work.
Realistic is a matter of physics: time + action = work. So do you have time to do the work? Are you capable of it? Will there be a learning curve and should you build that in?
Time-relevant means this is a goal for which NOW is the time. If, for example, your goal is to be on Oprah’s Book Club list, that is not time relevant. That was decades ago. Make whatever you’re aiming for something that 2020 can deliver.
Let’s set some goals and build some strategic plans to achieve them.
One way to pursue goals like finishing a book or writing stories is to create mini-goals for writing. There are two methods: time and word count.
I like NaNoWriMo because it creates both a word count requirement (50,000 words) and a time constraint (31 days).
On the regular, you should set either time or distance (word count) goals for yourself. Whether they’re daily or weekly, these small achievements will create a habit of writing for you.
What about revision/editing? Can we do a time or word count goal with that?
Submissions and queries are two ways of recognizing publishing goals. Submissions are how you get your work in front of editors and publishers. Queries are how you approach agents and small press publishers.
Both of these strategies are about completed work finding an audience. It’s enough to work toward more submissions and queries but it may also need support like a Writer’s Platform — the social media and digital presence you’ll use to promote the work once it’s published.
Let’s talk about some of these strategies.
Women in Publishing Summit – link here
SCWA Annual Conference – Save the Date! April 24-26, 2020.
Cat Fitgerald’s book, A Seed Planted, will be published January 14th and is available for pre-sale now. Here’s that link
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