This post is an elaboration on the promises I made myself as this year came into being and updates regarding each one. The plan is to post monthly updates on my progress (or lack thereof), identify the contributing factor, and ways I can improve. This is under the blanket of #FridayFriend because it is also about keeping on track in your writing life. I will have tips and tricks to take us to the next level.
January is gone and February, the month of love, is here. Show some love to yourself and to your work and keep on reading. Today is all about goals.
You must be a visionary to guide your dream into actuality. Goals bridge this divide.
To be realized, a goal has to be S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. All your goals have to be SMART because, if you are like me, you probably love to procrastinate. A lot! So there has to be a due date or deadline unless you will keep delaying until the year has gone by without any progress on your dream. You must be a visionary to guide your dream into actuality. By making sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T., you have a stepping stone into realization.
As you set a goal, ask yourself these questions:
SPECIFIC: What goal do you have in mind? Being the first person on Mars? Writing a book? While I can't help out with the former, here is how we go about the latter. First, identify the project. This has to be clear and something you are motivated about. For me, I want to finish the first draft of my WIP. For you, it might be editing. Second, identify the limitations. What will hinder or elevate the project? How will you circumvent this obstacle? For me, this is time and my scary ability to procrastinate. You know what they say: a problem shared is a problem solved. The solution for me is to find someone to hold me accountable. It's to have motivational posters in my room and watch all the TED-talks I can. It's to find an author I'm really passionate about and fantasize about us going on book tours together.
MEASURABLE: How will you discern that you have achieve this goal? For me, this deals more with quantity than quality. I know (a word has never been so relatively inadequate) that I am writing a fantasy. I know the average length of words in this genre and what agents expect, therefore I am setting my word count for 80,000-90,000 words.
ACHIEVEABLE: Is this something I can do? While touching the sky might not be an achievable goal, flying in an airplane is. I know writing an 80, 000-ish first draft is something I can do because it is something I have done before. I also have to ask myself if my time constraints will allow me to? Which brings us to:
REALISTIC: Is landing on the moon realistic? Yes. In certain circumstances. I always say aim high for your dreams but know the steps to get there have to be within the realm of possibility. 80,000 words is realistic because of my previous experience. Another way to approach this is to ask if it is a relevant goal? For me, yes a thousand times. Look, humans are not going to magically discover a way for civilians to land on the moon in the next twelve months so, this is not realistic nor relevant depending on the individual. Unless...this is all happening in your writings.
TIME-BOUND: What is the deadline? Is it a month? A year? Five years? I admire anyone with a five year plan. I am just surviving day to day. I plan to finish the first draft in April. That's only two months away. This may seem like a insurmountable goal but, even if I only have 30,000 words by April, that is 30,000 more words than I did at the beginning of the year.
Let's bring this together using NANOWRIMO. Your goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. This is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and with a defined deadline.
My goal is to finish the first draft of my WIP by April. and have a complete manuscript by December 2018. Can I do it? Watch this space!
MY GOALS FOR 2018
ONE LAST THING
Remember, you must be a visionary to guide your dream into actuality. Goals bridge this divide. Do not wait for someone to do it for you, only you can set yourself free from the bondage of procrastination.