Happy New Year!
I hope you’ll enjoy this new writing challenge that is focused on getting started on the right foot in 2014. There will be a new task each day, and it will add up to a lot of productivity by the end of the month that will hopefully send you into February and the rest of the year with plenty of positive momentum.
(Share your progress this month on Twitter with the hashtag: #gswc.)
Today’s task is simple: Make a list of your short-term and long-term goals. A short-term goal is anything that might reasonably be completed in 2014; long-term goals are those that will likely take longer than that.
For instance, here are some of my writing-related goals for 2014:
- Write a story each week (can be flash fiction).
- Write a poem each week.
- Learn something new each day.
- Complete the 2015 editions of Writer’s Market, Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition, Poet’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing on time–and have them be the best editions ever!
- Complete appearances at events like AWP Seattle, Poetry Hickory, Business of Writing Summit (Louisville), and others.
- Improve my personal website design, functionality, and content.
- Publish new poems.
- Put together and publish a new collection of poetry.
- Put together and publish a short fiction collection.
- Write a novel–and get it published.
- Win all sorts of awards and honors.
- Make a difference in the world.
(Want to get published in 2014? Here’s how to make it happen.)
My list is a little weighted with short-term goals, but I do have some long-term goals thrown in at the end. For instance, getting books published and winning awards–those are things mostly out of my control and will happen (if they happen) when they happen.
Why set goals?
It’s good to ask why bother setting goals. The main reason for setting goals is that it helps give us focus. I’ve found that focus helps a person find success.
Consider this scenario: A helicopter drops you into the middle of a field. You can run (or walk) in any direction you wish. A city is to the north, a forest is to your east, mountains are to your south, and an ocean is to your west.
You might want to visit all these places eventually, but you can only get to one of them if you set your course. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck in that field wishing you could get somewhere.
So set your goals today, and there will be a new task tomorrow. We’re going to get out of the field this year!
Get Started in Writing!
Make 2014 the year that you rock your writing career and goals with the Getting Started in Writing Premium Collection from Writer’s Digest. Especially helpful for writers who want to write that first book, this collection includes seven books, two webinars, and more.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He stayed up late last night watching the New Year celebrations and Twilight Zone marathon, but he’s ready to make 2014 the best year yet for his writing–and his life! He’s married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.
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