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Assessing writing goals halfway through 2012

July 6, 2012

Past posts have talked about goal-setting and using project-planning techniques, like setting interim goals, to determine whether you’re progressing as a writer.

Hard as it is to believe, 2012–that shiny new year we celebrated a few weeks ago–is halfway over (and we’re only a little more than three months away from the conference). Today’s a good time to track your progress against goals and see how you’ve done this year, writing-wise.

Before we assess, a few words about goals:

  • Goals are tools you can use to help you achieve what you want. They’re stepping stones, not hair shirts.
  • If you didn’t make your goals, it doesn’t necessarily mean you were lazy. It might mean you weren’t as far along as you thought.
  • If you didn’t make your goals, but you learned something that will help you scream through future work, it’s a valuable detour.
  • If you didn’t make your goals because life exploded and even a full night’s sleep is a luxury, life happens. You should be aggressive with your goals, but not a Nazi slave-driver.
  • If you didn’t make your goals because you’ve been spending all your spare time watching House re-runs on virtually every channel on cable TV, well, you might want to reconsider your priorities.

That said, here’s where I am:

  • Blogging. I have exceeded my goals. I have a ton of posts in the can. Traffic’s up considerably. I’d like to think that has something to do with quality, considering we don’t give away any valuable prizes. (Though many thanks and much credit must go to the other bloggers, Mary Ann De Stefano and Julie Compton.) I’ve also added some links to the widgets to the right.
  • Writing outside the blog. I’ve written a lot of words, but I still have the problem of revisions turning into rewrites. I believe this is a process issue, rather than an effort issue. Maybe I write too fast with the first draft. Maybe I don’t spend enough time mapping out my characters. I simply don’t know. I do know that each time I rewriter/revise, the story and characters are sharper. The characters are certainly more complex. But I can’t sustain a successful writing career this way. My goal for the second half of the year is to figure out how to do revisions without writing another first draft.

How about you? Where do you stand?

One Comment
  1. rich permalink
    August 1, 2012 4:36 pm

    well written. thanks for informative article.

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