I did a post on goal setting for the Mad Genius Club blog – see here – where I cover all the usual things about goal setting then I add:
‘All work and no play makes a writer’s creative muscle grow weak, not stronger. So as well as setting goals for completing and submitting work, I think any creative person needs to -’ and I list five things to do, to stretch your creative muscle. Last year I did number 3 in a big way. I took on a new job and learnt a whole new skill set that really stretched me and made me a better writer, because it involved telling story through film.
Over at Tansy’s blog you’ll see how she set herself goals for 2010 and now she has assessed them to see what she has achieved.
I like the way she has divided her goals into WIP (work in progress), Future Projects and Home Life (things that will make her life smoother so that she has more time to write). This seems like an excellent way to set realistic/ achievable goals.
When we do our ROR retreats we set realistic goals and dream goals. It’s funny but our dream goals all seem to involve making enough money from writing so that we quit our day jobs and write full time.Which when you think about it, means we’d rather write than take a holiday, or win tattsloto. Mind you winning tatts would mean not having to work, so we could write all day. But you see what I mean. For us, writing isn’t work!
My long suffering husband has retired and sometimes he’ll say to me, Would you like to go see a movie, or have lunch out? And I’ll say, You know what I’d really like? I’d like two hours of uninterrupted time to write! Not very romantic, I know. But, if he takes me out and my head is in my WIP, he says he can hear the gears grinding, because I get that far away look in my eyes and there are long pauses in the conversation.
So I’m going to take Tansy’s advice and do my goals for 2011, and this time next year I can assess them.
WIP: Clean up and hand in the three books for The Outcast Chronicles in May. This project has grown because I realised I’d ended book one in the wrong spot, so I chopped it off earlier, then had to enlarge on a sub plot to create a satisfying ending. This had a roll-on effect in book two and book three that I’m still scrambling to correct.
Future Project: Do a draft of book one of the new King Rolen’s Kin trilogy and outline books two and three. We’re hoping to have a ROR in September, so I’ll need to have a rough draft of book one by then. I don’t really know if this is possible, as I’m teaching an accelerated course, with assessment every 3 weeks. When those weeks roll around I have to do 12 hour days to get through the marking. But I’m certainly willing to give it a try.
Home Life: This is the area that is problematical. We’re renovating. In the first half of this year we’ll rip out a wall, pull out the old kitchen, tile, paint and install a new kitchen. There’s also the laundry and my computer room, which will be retiled, repainted and cleaned up. It will be really nice to have everything fresh and clean and organised. But there will be major upheaval in the meantime. I guess for my home life, I could say that I’d like to get the renovating done so that I have a clean/organised office to write in. I also took out a gym membership (yes, I know I’m crazy) because I was missing my yoga. So I intend to keep fit, plus renovate, plus work, plus write my books.
My last goal for 2011 is this. To be kind to myself. I really need to balance the rest, work and writing parts of my life. I don’t want to run myself into the ground. I need to feed the creative crucible so that there is a rich well to draw ideas from for my next trilogy.
So there you have it. What are your goals for 2011?