The ball has dropped. The music has stopped. The sparkling cider is gone. And I have not written any New Year writer’s resolutions (or goals as I would prefer to call them). This has not gone unaccomplished because I lack ambition or desire, but because I have reached this phase in my life where I refuse to be scattered and unfocused. Last year, I made SMART writing goals. By SMART I mean specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. While my writing goals were SMART, they were also hasty. I resolved to write a rough draft of each a nonfiction book and a fiction book by the close of the year. Decent, right? Well, as SMART as the writing goals were, I did not achieve either goal. However, I did edit five nonfiction books and provided book writing assistance, coaching, or mentoring to a handful of soon-to-be authors. Although, I did not complete a rough draft, I did type 4,000 words in my next nonfiction book. Let me not forget: I became a new mom during the first quarter of last year. So despite not meeting my published writing goals, I should still feel pretty good about what I have accomplished. Shouldn’t I? Honestly, I feel like my BFF is Dumpy Debbie Downer, and she has decided to surprise me with a post-holiday visit. She eats all the chocolate and leaves wet towels on the floor – ugh! DeeDee (her nickname) likes to rag on me about wasting my time and not making goals. She, of course, does this with a mouth full of my chocolate. Homegirl has got to go and take her Eeyore gloom with her. I have a plan to get rid of her… and get my chocolate back. Like most of you, I want to ride the New Year’s train to a better life, or at the least, a better year than last year. However, I want the writer’s goals I make this year to be intimately inspiring. I don’t want to clamorously write a goal – no matter how SMART it is – just to say I made my writer’s goals. So I have decided to use all of January (well, what’s left of it) to pray, seek, and craft my New Year’s writer’s goals. And not only my writer’s goals, but my goals for my personal and family life as well. Maybe it is only me, but 365 days seems to whiz by me at 80mph giving me whiplash. At the end of the year, I want whatever I set out to accomplish to stand for more than just a checked off goal on my yearlong to-do list.
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