Happy New Year!
Can you believe it’s 2022? I know I sure can’t. This year, I will have my ten-year blogging anniversary in September. That fact alone gives me a lot of reasons to reflect. But enough about reflecting. What about taking action?
Setting goals can be a tricky business. How many should you set? What kinds are viable? Is it better to be realistic or dream big? Which goal should be your #1 goal?
Honestly, the answers to these questions will vary from person to person, but here are my basic tips for setting writing goals (including that #1 focus):
Make realistic goals that are within your control: This means the goal is focused on actions you control. “I will write 1,000 words a week” is a great example; so is “I will query 25 agents with my new project by June.” Those actions are within your control. What’s not in your control? Goals like “I will get a book deal” or “I will get an agent.” Those goals are not in your control, because it requires someone else’s actions in order to make it happen.
It’s okay to still have goals like “I will get an agent/editor.” Those are valid goals to be working toward. I, myself, am hoping to start querying this year and find that perfect champion for my work. Granted, because you can’t control the scenario, it’s closer to a dream, isn’t it? That’s why I call these types of goals dream-goals, and I believe in setting dream-goals, too.
For every realistic goal, set a dream-goal, too. Not with the idea that you MUST succeed at it. But with the idea of dedicating yourself to realistic goals that will set that dream into motion. By doing this, you are giving yourself energy to manifest.
My realistic goals? Revise my verse novel by the end of January, research agents in February, and send out a batch of queries in March.
My dream-goal this year? Connect with a new agent who believes in my work and (maybe) (hopefully) (by golly I can dream) that I go out on a sub and my work connects with an editor, too.
So what about that #1 goal?
This is just my personal opinion, but no matter where you are in your writing journey—if you are just beginning or a seasoned authorpreneur—I believe there’s one universal goal that helps all writers.
Your #1 goal should be to put yourself out there. By doing so, you will share your work, make friends, and get the opportunity to give back and help other writers, too. You will build a community.
Without my writer friends, I’m not sure how easily I would’ve gotten back up from the blow of losing my agent. One message to my group and two people offered to help revise whatever work I had right away. Another invited me to her group for querying writers who’d parted ways with agents before. When I started writing my query–and realized times have changed since 2019–I had two friends step in to help. Another sent me resources on trigger warnings when I couldn’t find a list anywhere after searching myself.
They have been unbelievably helpful, supportive, and uplifting.
Without their support, I know it would be that much harder to accomplish any of my goals–my realistic ones or my dream-goals. With their support, I feel a lot more confident paving my way into 2022.
What are your goals for this year?