Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thinking of 2017

Just a few days left in 2016, but today, in my small writer's group, we set goals for 2017. Here are mine for the coming year:
  1. Finish writing/editing and publish Rivers of Stone.
  2. Edit Mothers Don't Die to final copy.
  3. Make progress on memoir.
I looked back to last January to find no goals reported online at all, just happy progress with editing, a little poetry writing, and all the rest that makes for a busy life. So perhaps this year, setting goals will sharpen my focus. Two added suggestions from VR Barkowski: Make a plan and build in accountability. 

Hmmm. Sounds just like A Round of Words in 80 Days (now a FaceBook group). So here we go!

Time out! I doublechecked my Daily Work file for January 2016 to find quite a bit of work on goal-setting. A postscript: Each day I write up progress, questions, and track words by the month. So here are my 2016 Goals reported last January. 

What did I learn from looking again at 2016 goals? That Priority 2 goals fell by the wayside. That the audio book for Standing Stones really did get finished (masterfully narrated by Darryl Kurylo) and is available on Amazon. I did add just over 30,000 words this year to Rivers of Stone, and the story finally has a cohesive structure -- with characters that seem very real to me. I want to finish telling their story and have enjoyed 'living' the fur trade history through their exploits.

Are my new goals so very different from those set in 2016? Nope! And I'm making progress. So here is my continuing mantra, summarized from an article by Kristen Schuder on Wikihow, "How to Set Goals and Achieve Them."

Questions to help me achieve my goals for 2017:

CONTROLLING QUESTIONS: Am I setting aside enough time for writing? 
SMART = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. 
Are my goals visible? Can I see them? Do I need a ‘vision’ board? 
Have I broken that gigantic goal into smaller steps? 
Prioritize. Consider breaking into first, second, and third priority. 
Are my goals well matched to what I can achieve? 
What rewards? (intrinsic/extrinsic motivation) 
What obstacles? 
Do I talk about my goals? 

GET STARTED ON THOSE BABY STEPS. Review progress daily. 

Keep in mind the journey!

ROW80 folks: May you achieve your own goals.
Make 2017 a good year.

PS: Just found a post about free writing meters to track writing progress, 
including the one that Fallon Brown uses. 
Check it out at Tracy Lucas' blog.


  1. That's frighteningly organised Beth. As my main goal is to finish a very long edit, I find it difficult to envisage how I would go about measuring that other than hours spent or whatever. Good luck for 2017!

    1. Dear Pam, Thanks for the compliment, but I use those tables weekly to keep me on track. Yes, I agree. Sometimes it's hard to feel I'm making progress when I delete more than I add when editing, but overall, we are making progress. Good to hear from you! Happy New Year and happy writing on the editing project.


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