Happy New Year! Let’s talk goals.
Back in 2010 I created a five-year writing plan, which I’ve stuck to pretty well (it helps that I designed it to be flexible). It’s been helpful for figuring out where I want to be in the future and what steps it will take to get me there, plus tracking my progress, and reminding me that I am making progress.
Last month I found a nice worksheet for creating a similar plan: the Writing Goals Sheet from diyMFA. It will walk you through setting achievable goals for the next year and beyond to help you reach your dream.
Note the difference between goals and dreams: Dreams are stuff you can’t control–selling a novel, winning all the awards, becoming a household name, selling a $%&^ short story for more than token rates… Goals are what you can do to get there–write many novels and stories, study craft, identify your weaknesses and work on them, etc. Some people use different terminology for dreams vs goals, and I don’t care what you call them…just don’t decide that you’re going to do something that you don’t control, or you’re setting yourself up for failure.
The worksheet has you work backwards, from where you want to be 10 years from now, to where you want to be in five years, three years, etc. Plus what it will take to get you there. If you’ve done this kind of planning before you might find it simplistic, but if you haven’t, it’s worth a look.