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This Writing Life: Re-evaluating This Year’s Goals

15 September, 2011

Over at Magical Words, there’s been a bit of talk lately about revisiting writing goals which were set at the start of the year. When I read those posts, it occurred to me that, after the first few months of 2011, I completely forgot to even look at my sheet of goals. I was too focussed on accomplishing the work I’d set myself to look again at what I’d envisaged that work would be.

There’s something about reaching September though, and realising that you’re two-thirds of the way through the year, that really sharpens your mind when it comes to goals. I find myself with a sense of urgency that wasn’t there before, and a desire to actually get things finished, so now is an excellent time to re-evaluate my earlier plans.

Having not looked at them for a while, I was a bit apprehensive, but I’ve found that I’ve actually stuck to my goals quite closely. Some are further along than I’d expected: I wanted to reach at least 50k words on a new novel by the end of the year, and I’m already at 35k. Conversely though, some of my goals have fallen behind: I really wanted to have started querying my finished novel by the middle of the year. In the end, editing it took much longer than I’d anticipated, and writing the synopsis and query has been a struggle. I might be querying by the end of September – but I equally might not.

What does this all mean for the rest of the year, and for next year? Actually, all it means is that I need to keep going in the direction I’m already heading in. All my work this year has stuck closely to my goals, so I don’t feel the need to either work on something different or make new plans.

However, those goals were, for the most part, supposed to have been completed by July. The fact that I’m still working on them now, and will be for the rest of the year, suggests I may have been a bit too ambitious in January. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be less ambitious next year – but it does mean I now have a better idea of what I can easily accomplish in 12 months, and how I can push myself harder in 2012.

  1. 16 September, 2011 7:39 pm

    I dread making goals, but as I begin (again) my writing life, I can see the use of them. I am dying to start editing my novel, but really feel I need to finish it first…good to know the editing part might take a while. Best of luck to you!

    • 17 September, 2011 10:12 am

      I definitely prefer to finish a novel before I start editing it, but I think that’s personal preference more than anything. I’ve found that it tends to take me much longer to edit things than it does to write them – I think I write quickly but edit very slowly!

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