It’s tough getting anywhere without first setting a destination. And with 2018 on the horizon, now’s a great time for us writers to think about where we want to go in the new year. Here are some goal-setting tips that have worked for me. Hope they do the same for you!
Identify the Steps to Your Destination
Define everything between your current location and your ultimate destination. For example, my goal for this year is to publish my first novel. I’ve outlined my steps as follows:
- Complete a first draft.
- Delude myself into thinking I got everything right on the first try.
- Get realistic and re-read the draft. Make tons of edits.
- Share the draft with beta readers.
- Make more edits.
- Repeat step five.
- Repeat step five again.
I’m on step four with my current manuscript, which is farther than I’ve got with anything. There’s still lots to go, but I’m more confident in my process now that I’ve broken things down.
Try doing the same. No one jumps from step one to step eight without accomplishing everything in between.
Be Realistic With Your Goals
To paraphrase Freddie Mercury, sometimes we want it all, and we want it now. This mentality tends to produce unrealistic goals, which can be damaging to our fragile egos.
For example, let’s say my goal for 2018 is to publish not one novel, but three. I haven’t published any, so what makes me think I can do three in twelve months? Seems unrealistic.
Bottom line: Don’t set goals for yourself that you can’t achieve. This leads to frustration and a false notion that you aren’t doing enough. Set your goals high, but don’t commit to the impossible.
Don’t Get Competitive
When setting your writing goals for 2018, be introspective. Commit to your goals based on what you can do, not what others around you are doing. Just because Stephen King publishes two novels a year doesn’t mean you need to do the same. Your writing is about you, and no one else.
I hope these thoughts will help develop your writing goals for 2018. Enjoy your year!
Kyle A. Massa is a speculative fiction author living in New York (upstate, not the city). His stories have appeared in numerous online magazines, including Allegory, Five on the Fifth, and Dark Fire Fiction. To read more of Kyle’s work, subscribe to his monthly email newsletter. He promises not to spam you.