May 28, 2013

Inquiring Minds Want to Know - What are your goals?

We all should have them...goals....long term and short terms. What do you want to have done/achieved by the end of June?  The end of summer?  The end of the year?  Where do you see yourself in a year?  What do you want to have achieved in five years? Ten years?

I can honestly say, I don't really set goals. Which may be were my life has gone wrong, lol.  I did, when I was 45 years old, decide to go to college, finally.  I set a goal of getting my Associate of Arts degree in history and education (had I gone to college out of high school, this is what I'd have gotten my degree in). I did it in 2 1/2 years.  I was going to go on and get my Bachelor of Arts degree, but family issues prevented that. I did start substitute teaching, which I enjoy.  Maybe I'll return to school and get that degree, but since I'm now 53 years old, maybe I'll find other things to do instead.

My other goal in life was to write a novel.  I didn't really sit down and circle a date on the calendar and say "I'll have it done by THIS DATE."  But in six months, after I started writing again, I'd written two (really crappy) 120,000+ word novels.  I've since written another one and several short stories/novellas.  As a panster, I don't really write down goals. This means that I am not the person to say to you, hey, here's what you do to set goals you want to achieve.  However, I did a quick google search and found this website, which looks like it has a lot of neat ideas for setting goals. If you're interested in goal setting ideas, check it out (I in no way endorse it, I just found it on a google search).  

Personal Goal Setting

Planning to Live Your Life Your Way

I have goals, though I don't guess I actually call them that. My end of the June goal is to be having fun in Australia!  I leave June 23rd and will stay with my writer friend Skhye Moncrief until July 10.  Then my goal for the end of July is to survive the Australian trip AND the Romance Writers of American's conference set for July 17-20.  Since I'm planning to drive (2-day trip one-way) there and back, I also plan to veg out the last week of July!  

For several years now, I've had weight loss goals....ha ha ha.  Okay, I did lose 25 pounds (at least.....since I may have weighed more at one time than I say I did when I weighed myself to lose weight).  However, my goal was to lose 35 pounds and since Thanksgiving, I've gained back 10 pounds...fudge brownies!! So, now I have a goal of losing 20 pounds by the end of 2013. And of doing more exercise, which goes hand in hand with losing weight.

Okay, writing goals....I tried last year to write out goals for the this this month, do that by end of Spring, etc.  It didn't work.  My writing muse has not been around for the past 2 years, so first I need to find her, then I need to get to work. I don't know that setting any writing goals between now and the end of July would work...I'm going to be busy (did I mention that for 2 weeks before leaving for Australia, I'll be entertaining my 3 grandchildren, ages 5, 6 and 8?).  So, officially, here and now, I will pledge a goal for the end of 2013....write one novella.  I'm not setting a word count, but I'll say at least a 10,000 word novella (I guess that is a word count, lol).  I really need to start the writing goals.  And I also pledge to write 100 words a day, minimum, starting June 1st.  I'll take a notebook with me to Australia and write longhand.  Hey, it's a 19 hour plan ride to Sydney, wonder what I can get written then?

Oh, I will say this about goals...make them achievable. Did you note that my daily goal is to write 100 words? One hundred words a day. Do you know how achievable that should be?  Much easier than saying 10,000 words a day, or even 1,000. Two hundred words is usually the average for a double-spaced Times New Romans font page.  So, I’m pledging to write half a page a day. Today, as I was driving to pick up two of my grandchildren, I listened to an RWA conference workshop on CD in which the speakers (one of whom was Ruth Kaufman, I apologize for not recalling the name of the other speaker, but I know Ruth from the RWA Hearts Through History chapter).  They said if you want to write a novel in a year, you need to write 8 pages a week…..can you do that if you really want it? Todd A. Stone, the  author of Novelist's Boot Camp says make your goals as achievable as possible and if that’s 10 words a day, so be it. (P.S., this paragraph is 191 words long…I more than met my goal!)

There is my story...what are your long and short term goals?

Never let your memories be greater than your dreams. ~Doug Ivester 


Paty Jager said...

My main goal is to stay sane as I try to promote my books. ;) AS for the rest of this year, Ideally I'd like to get three more books written but seeing as this is almost June I'll settle for getting two more books written. One the first book of a historical western trilogy and the second book is the second book of a new mystery series.

I set goals because it irritates me to not meet them. I find I am a goal oriented person and if I put it out in the cyber that I will accomplish X if I don't then it eats me up. So I get busy. Fun post.

Celia Yeary said...

I suppose I make goal, but haven't called them that. Usually, I'd say they were obssesive desires.
I learned to play golf at age 40,and set about learning the game with a vengeance. I quicly became "adequate," in that I could play and compete without seriously embarrasing myself since I could "keep up." But I wanted to win. So,I analyzed my score into numbers of fairway shot, the number of chips, and the number of putts. I learned I need to improve putting..yes, I did, and lowered my score. Next--practic chipping closer to the hole--so I could one-putt--done, did that, won a trophy. Etc.
Writing--no goals, again just obssesive desires to write something that would get good reviews...if I could get past an editor. Done.
Now, the only real goal/obsessive goal is to self-publish something. One day soon...and look out world.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Anna Kathryn, I do set goals. I used to set so many pages a day, but life is just too hectic lately for me to do that. I work better with general goals such as I will finish this by X date so I have to write Y pages a week. As Paty said, the main goal is to retain any semblance of sanity promoting my books.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Paty, Celia and Caroline - Thanks for stopping by. I love the comments. It's always nice for me to learn how others work. I've never set writing goals, but I think I need to change that!

Celia, congrats on learning golf and how to improve your game!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I set "sort of" goals. I have outlines and blurbs for stories down the line, but I don't have a date set to get them done. I do want to get a story written for the Christmas Anthology. That's about it.
I had to stop reading emails in the morning so I could work on my WIP first. Otherwise, I got so busy socializing that I neglected my writing. I guess that's a goal.
Good blog subject.