IWSG: Goals

Happy New Year gang! Hope that everyone had good Holidays and are as eager as I am for 2013. I held off on posting this as a regular post as I thought it fit well with the Insecure Writer's Support Group that I'm a proud part of.

Here's what IWSG is all about:

Click HERE to join the IWSG
The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.
Now that we have that cleared up, I have a confession to make: I'm not a resolutions kind of guy. Resolving to do stuff--in my mind--is just short of making a promise, and that's a serious business. So serious in fact that I'm not willing to make those kinds of lasting proclamations for anything life (or chance) can void on a whim. 

I'm only going to resolve to do something if it's VERY important. And very important things shouldn't be pinned to my refrigerator at the end of the year next to the grocery list and the holiday greeting from Aunt Edna and her cats. 

No, I believe the most lasting and realistic kinds of change are the kinds we tackle at the beginning of each day and evaluate at the end. Change lives and breathes with us, not in spite of us. I think that's why I like to set goals

Goals, I've found, are much more malleable things. They can be contorted, cajoled, and kicked into submission. Goals tend to dance to the rhythm we choose, not swing off with the first hussy or jerk with snappier moves. Goals go on the journey with us, they aren't perched on high, cackling when we fall.

So with that in mind, I'm going to offer up some of my writing goals for this new year. A 'to-do' list to put in front of me, things to aim for, and to adjust accordingly. 

Some of them I do every year, but are worth repeating I've found. :-) You can use them, too. Stick them in your travel pack. But remember, if they get too heavy or cumbersome just cast them off, or simply make them fit. They are ours to command! 

Here's How I'm Going to Kick 2013's Ass

Write only the kinds of stories I would like to read.

Read a book on craft ... maybe even two or three.

For every book I read from my favorite genre or category, read one that isn't.

Draft something really shitty, then revise it until it's less shitty.

Write what I know until I know how to write about the things I don't--which is most things when I really think about it.

Quit being afraid to share my work with others. Growing is painful, but required.

View revision as writing, not work.

Treat writing as work, not art.

Make art out of my writing.

Be hopelessly optimistic about my talent.

Be hopelessly realistic about my talent. (AKA - the key to always improving.)

Write the story I've always wanted to write, even if I have no business writing it.

Understand that publishing is completely within my control. (My eye is twitching...) Quit asking for permission and waiting for an okay if I'm tired of asking for permission and waiting for an okay.

I'll never know if I don't ask, so fire off a query ... or twenty.

Size-up my expectations and reality, then make sure my determination is bigger than both.

Become my harshest critic and biggest fan, then tune them both out completely and write.

Celebrate and cherish every word I put to paper or screen.

Be willing, and happy, to scrap every word I put to paper or screen for the sake of making the story better.

Be efficient with my time so I can waste more of it on writing.

Write without a filter.

Tell someone who doesn't live in the Internet I'm a writer--and mean it.

Always believe a story, and the writing, can be better. Then make them so until the deadline/editor/agent/crit partner rips them from my hands.

Find my voice, even if it means screaming on the page. I can adjust the volume later. (But usually don't have to.)

Treat writing a story like painting a room: Understand it's going to take more than one coat to make it look good; the number of doors, windows, etc. are going to increase the amount of time and effort required to get the job done; rushing things will only make a mess; allow time for drying in between coats; the job is much easier to do with proper technique and a little help...

Believe that if I put my best foot forward, I'm allowed to never look back.

Put more thought into my next story than the last, and worry more about what I can do than what I can't.

Those are just a few of my personal writing objectives for 2013. What's tops on your list? 

~EJW~


62 comments:

  1. You put some serious thought into this! My list of goals is so short.
    You are in control. Make 2013 YOUR year!

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  2. An excellent manifesto for the coming twelve months.

    mood

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  3. I love that list of goals so much I want to put it on my refrigerator right next to my holiday greeting from my Aunt Edna and her cats.

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  4. Well done, E.J.

    I LIKE you list. It is REAL and attainable.

    Wishing you the best in 2013!

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  5. I want to print this list because YES YES YES YES

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  6. I want to print this list too. I was nodding my head as I read each one!

    Happy New Year to you, EJ! :)

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  7. This is a really great list. My favorite goal by far is this one,
    "Draft something really shitty, then revise it until it's less shitty." Because had I been drinking milk, I would have squirted it out my nose.

    Love it!

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    1. Excellent list EJ! I'm on it like frost on the weeds, like the dog on the warm mat, like my writing heart on fire.

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  8. We've all decided to print your list. *grin*

    I especially like getting rid if the filter. Mine strangles me sometimes.

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  9. Can I copy and paste and print!

    Love setting goals -- love achieving goals -- go for it!

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    1. Absolutely! Just make sure it goes on the fridge. :-D

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    2. Done, I'll send you a picture!

      Thanks for the lovely comments on my post.

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  10. I'm not a resolution person, but I do like goals. I like measurable, attainable goals. Things like, I'll write X words over the next week. My attention span isn't great, so I can't create year long goals.
    I love your last line about concentrating on things you can change.

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    1. Sign me up for the 'Lack of Attention Span' clas Ciara! A few concrete goals sprinkled in with a few of the general ones is just the ticket I've found. :-)

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  11. Great goals and objectives. Write on! You will feel success in creating.

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  12. Very inspirational post. I'm sure you will have fun ticking them off, and you'll own 2013, I know it!

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  13. What a great list~ I share a ton of your goals/objectives. Here's to knocking a few item off the lifelong-to-do list this year (in terms of writing, anyway)! Happy New Year :)

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  14. This is an amazing list of goals. Wishing you luck in the New Year.

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  15. I love all your goals. This year my main goal is to post less blogs so I can focus on finishing up my newest project. A series...

    Got a copy of your newest work. Excited to read it, too.

    Hugs and chocolate.
    Shelly

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  16. What a great list! My main goal is to finish my MS before Feb. =)

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    1. You can do it EA! The month is still young. :-)

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  17. Sounds like a good plan, EJ.

    I can't read your entire posts--there are a row of buttons, blocking the text....

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  18. I love your list. You put lots of thought into them. I hope you reach them all. Telling someone 'not on the internet' that you're a writer is a big thing. Go do it.

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  19. Hussy. I haven't heard anyone use that word in a while. LOL - Love it! :D

    I read Moonsongs 2. Good stuff. ;) I hope you'll put these in a collection when they're all written. Looking forward to the book tour. Woot! :)

    Great post!
    IWSG #137 until Alex culls the list again.

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  20. I love this post! Great list, E.J., and may you have a stellar 2013! :)

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  21. That is a long list of goals! :) But I agree that it's more about lasting goals than last-minute resolutions. Happy New Year!

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  22. High fives, Baby!! we are going to kick 2013's behind and then some. And we'll be so good at it, they'll be asking our advice for the Bears. :) I always feel great after I've read one of your posts.

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  23. I think your 2013 ass kicking list is the best I've read! "Draft something really shitty, then revise it until it's less shitty." That's totally making it on my list, LOL! Seriously, with a list like that, 2013 better start runnin' (;

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  24. These are some great goals. Good luck and go get them E.J.

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  25. Loved that paragraph about goals being malleable and being able to kick them into shape! And I loved your goals, but especially the one about celebrating and cherishing the words you write. That's awesome and golden and wonderful. Thanks EJ for inspiring me to do the same. Best of wishes for 2013!

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  26. I'm also anti-resolutions, pro-goals. You expressed it well.

    With self-publishing being so easy now, we do live in an age in which publishing is completely under our control - provided we relinquish a need for publishers to say "I like this and I'm going to make you the next JK Rowling."

    Thanks for dropping by. It's great to meet you thru the IWSG.

    Happy New Year.

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  27. I'm not a resolutions person, either. Goals are much better! Good luck with yours!

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  28. Very impressive list, EJ. If you haven't read The Breakout Novel by D. Maass yet, I highly recommend it. Happy New Year! Looking forward to hearing more about your writing life.

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  29. Great post EJ!! Loved the bit about giving up waiting for permission. I've only submitted to 3 agents, and find myself feeling almost apologetic for troubling them. Perhaps, in 2013, I'll take to kicking their door down, clearing the contents of their desks onto the floor and sitting their until they've read, and liked, my work.

    Not sure it will get be published but at least I'll get a reputation!!

    Hope you can stick to yours - keep the volume LOUD!

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    1. Loved the mental image Neil! Although, we may have just frightened off a few agents... lol

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  30. Wow! You have a lot of goals. And all awesome. You're gonna make it EJ, I can tell. I just started Blood Fugue and I'm loving it. You def have talent :-)

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  31. Last year my goal was to publish three books, and I wound up publishing just two. So this year my goal is to publish just two. See where I might be heading with this one?

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    1. Always keep pushing my friend, and when that doesn't work, pick yourself up and drag your behind along. :-)

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  32. Okay, so I love this list. LOVE IT. I wish you the best in 2013.

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    1. Best to you as well Kari! Great things follow great effort, so here's to the glorious struggle in 2013! :-D

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  33. Those are some pretty hefty but good goals. I like the one to read something from a genre you don't like. That's something I need to do too.

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    1. Thanks Donna! (For all of the comments you left. ;)

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  34. Too many amazing things to comment on here, EJ. YOU, my friend, are an inspiration. Love the way your brain works and how you think. I know for me, I focus on each day--whether I'm doing the very best I can in the moment. And then repeat. And FYI, you've found your voice. I love your voice! :D

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    1. Would you say my brain works in mysterious ways, Morgan? Because I think my family would agree! ;-)

      Seriously, thank you for your kindness, as always.

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  35. I agree about resolutions and those are some mighty fine goals. Good luck with everything E.J. You are an inspiration to many. Keep up the great work.

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    1. I draw MY inspiration from the best (like you), so thank you. :-)

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  36. You amaze me, on a regular basis. THANK YOU! My personal favorite from the list above: "Draft something really shitty, then revise it until it's less shitty."

    Thanks for the inspiration. :)

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    1. Thank you Margo! Hope that your '13 is off to a great start gets even better. :-)

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  37. A few of your objectives? A FEW? LOL. Loved them all. Great goals for the upcoming year...I liked these three:

    View revision as writing, not work.

    Treat writing as work, not art.

    Make art out of my writing.

    Great post, EJ!

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  38. Wow! Lots of goals for 2013! Having them written down to refer to will help! :) You have set some fantastic goals. My goals include working on balancing my time, reading more books I want to read, and writing more. :)
    ~Stephanie

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  39. Awesome list, EJ! Giving it a tweet now.

    And you know what, I believe you can do all these things with flying colors. Go get'em, brother. Kick 2013's ass!! ;)

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  40. Wow. You have a lot of goals! But I agree with you in that these are goals that will travel with you throughout the year, rather than be broken a few years into the New Year. Have an awesome 2013!

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  41. I haven't done my list yet, so I think I'll just adopt yours. Saves tons of time.

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  42. Hi E.J. - spotted your link at the Ink-slingers League so popped over for a visit. Can see a lot of familiar faces in your comments - feel at home already! Enjoyed your list - liked your positive approach - Sharon

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  43. Great list, EJ!

    My general goal for the year is to keep writing.

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  44. You have some great goals! Write without a filter, for one, and for every book you read from your favorite genre, read one that isn't. I might have to do a 2:1 (or 3:1) ratio, but it's a good goal. Reading crafting books on writing is also really helpful. Some of the ones I worked in last year were short, or more like resource books rather than one hefty "How to Be an Awesome Novelist" with a bunch of dense pages.

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    1. Thanks for your email response! I've read Donald Maass' Breakout Novel book, but I haven't tried his workbook. I'll have to look that up.

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  45. Those are amazing goals for the year. Good luck!

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  46. Those sound like really great goals. Mine include applying for 4 exclusive writer's workshops this summer, and getting beta-readers for the novel that I've almost finished revising!

    By the way, I just wanted to mention that the floating share buttons actually make it very hard to read your content, as they're always covering the first word on each line. :(

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“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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