My Personal Writing Goals
This year I’ve been working to focus heavily on my writing. I was working happily last year on my first book about a young woman named Aramis (well, first book I’ve committed to finishing no. matter. what.), but I was also trying to do a lot of other stuff too. I’m still trying to do other stuff, but I’m making my writing more of a priority than ever. So I thought I would talk about it a little bit here.
My first and most important goal is to write every single day. You have to practice at your craft, no matter what that craft is, and even though I’ve been writing my entire life I still think I need more practice at writing fiction. I know I’ll be practicing the rest of my life because I want to be a great writer, and I’m good with that. So each day I aim to write 1,000 words. Those words don’t have to be dedicated to the same project, though they usually all go towards Aramis and her story, but I want to hit 1,000.
It doesn’t matter if I think those 1,000 words are good or bad. The important thing is that I sat down and I wrote until I hit those 1,000 words. Any writing here on the blog doesn’t count simply because this feels more like journaling and I don’t want to ever stress myself out here. This is my fun place. Although I don’t mean to make it sound like Aramis and her story aren’t fun. They are. The stakes are just higher in her world so I’m not quite so flippant there.
Also, - I’ll be up front about it - I don’t always get those 1,000 words done. Some days are nuts, some days I stare at a blank page, and some days I simply need to think about what’s going to happen next. There are some weeks where I don’t write for three days or more. Those weeks I find I’m in a bad mood, so it’s probably best I’m not taking my personal negativity over to Aramis. To be honest she has enough on her plate without me dragging her down with my writer woes.
Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot better and I think gaining better stamina as a writer. I’ll be honest, writing for long periods of time can feel like a creative marathon. So fulfilling, but also so draining.
My second goal has been to put my work OUT THERE. I haven’t done much of this just yet since Aramis hasn’t reached her conclusion, and I haven’t written many short stories in the last year. Although I did just submit to my first contest since high school! Not too long ago my little brother and I went down a rabbit hole over some cookies and essentially came up with this entire story. I started writing it, then I got distracted, but it was still begging me to finish it so I picked it back up. Once I finished, I sent it on it’s merry way to the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition.
It’d be super if I won the whole shebang, but I’m not entering with that as my goal. Of course I want to do well in the competition and get the exposure. This is my first writing competition as an adult though, and the most important thing is that I have the courage to submit it. I’ve always been so guarded about my writing. I’ll talk to you about it all day long, but I never ever ever ever let anyone read it. Except my wonderful friend Chris who I love to share scenes and backstories with. Putting my work out there is the important thing, and continuing to put my work out there is even more important. It’s just like writing every day. I’m trying to get in the habit of writing something, finishing it, and then letting it out into the world.
That’s it, really. I know from experience that if I set too many goals at one time for myself I’ll end up not getting anywhere on any of them. These two large and important goals feel really good right now, and they work well together. They’re basically steps. Step one: do the writing. Step two: share the writing.
Of course I have larger writing career goals, but they’ll come to fruition in thanks to these two I’m focusing on. Although, I don’t know if calling them career goals is really right. They’re kind of like a writing bucket list of different genres and forms I want to try. I do want to be published, that’s a huge goal, but with the rise of self-publishing its much more within my control and grasp. I won’t have to wait for traditional publishing to read my manuscript. I can publish my work as soon as I’m ready to, and that’s pretty amazing.
There you have it: a little peep into my writing goals and how I’m doing on them. I’ll try to give another update in the future after sending more work out and when a new piece gets finished. Fingers crossed the next finished project is Aramis’s first book!