Friday, January 4, 2013

What's Your 2013 To-Do List?

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The other day I was chatting with a dear friend/ writing mentor and she looked at me and said (well, she actually couldn't look at me since it was through a facebook message) and asked me what my goals for 2013 were.

A goal is different than a resolution. A goal has an end date, a deadline to get it done. It's something you're serious about striving towards and making happen. A resolution has become looser over the years because not a lot of stringent expectations have been put on the term.

She then told me that I after I wrote my list to mail it to her so she might keep me accountable through the year. I have to say I love this idea. Suddenly those goals aren't my own, they belong to someone else too. They know what I want to do with my time and if I don't get it's not just a shrug your shoulders "I didn't make my goal"... I have to say why. And if I say why because I was frittering time away on pinterestfacebooktwitterblogging then...wellllll...that isn't a very good excuse is it? 

Strength comes in numbers. Power comes in sharing with someone other than yourself what your plans are.

You've got 365 days to get through. Of course, things are going to happen to change your goals, but work with those challenges and come up with a new direction for the same goal. It's allowing yourself, not to so much to accept failure, but to be willing to work with what you've been given and how you'll allow that to define you and your goals.

Here are a couple of mine for the year 2013:

Read and/or take a writing class once a month. This is a good goal. It's one I can accomplish. It's one that is realistic, but will also stretch me beyond my normal novel excuses. ;-)

Possibly work with a professional editor to take my writing further. Again, a goal I need to pursue. I'm at the point that I just flat need help. And I'll willing (and able) to invest in that. So I'm going to. Prayerfully.

I need to rewrite my book. So I'm going to make a game plan and start doing it. It takes me a loooong time to edit, so I'm looking at my edits realistically, realizing it will probably take me longer than this year, but going to to pursue this not with a sense of being overwhelmed, but a challenge to be conquered and a chance to learn and deepen my skills.

Looking at your new year and what you hope to accomplish in it should not be stress inducing, but should be taken as new opportunities to learn and grow. This business is all about both and being open to them gives you the best chance of making a difference. 

So your challenge (should you choose to accept it) is write out your goals. It doesn't have to be a lot, they don't have to be huge goals that aren't attainable. They shouldn't be what you can accomplish in a week. What do you want to do that will make you a stronger writer? What area of your novel craft needs to be improved? Now go about learning how to improve it. This year for me will be all about rewrites. That's my big goal. Everything falls under a sub-goal.

Share some of your goals in the comments and pair up with each other. Find an accountability partner and get 'er done!

Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She lives in rural Eastern Oregon in a town more densely populated with cows than people.


Unknown said...

Great post, Casey, and great job identifying goals! I have written down my goals for the year...and even action steps to reaching those goals. Yeah, total list-maker here! I've sent my goals to my awesome crit partner...and she sent me hers. That way we can help hold each other accountable and know how to pray for each other, too. I made goals in three areas: Faith. Writing. Health. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Great goals, Casey!

Mine are all focused on the word "deeper." I have the baby steps down.

Write deeper
Deepen my writing knowledge
Deepen my relationship with Christ
Deepen my time with my family

Jessica R. Patch said...

Great goals! I like the idea of having someone accountable for my goals.

My biggest area of weakness--beginnings. I have to revise those like 9 billion times to get it right. Or righter. Whichever. ;)

Lindsay Harrel said...

I love me some lists (can you tell Mel and I have a crit partnership made in heaven? Ha). Sent my goals to her in two categories: personal and professional. Because as tempted as I am to make my goals all about my writing life, my personal life feeds into that. So I made some goals related to spending more time with God, resting, and getting healthier. Good luck with your goals and rewrites!!

Jeanne T said...

Casey, I really like your post. The idea of having someone hold me accountable for my goals is a super one!

Last year, Susan May Warren talked about a way to establish goals:

Love your thoughts today!

Beth K. Vogt said...

Excellent post, Casey -- and a great breakdown about why goals are different from resolutions.
I think your goals are terrific too -- spot on for a writer and for you, personally.

My goals? I will give you one short-term and one long-term:
1. Finish up a short-story I am writing by next Friday, the 11th.
2. Start a new story --which means first I have to map it out using the MBT Book Buddy, one of my favorite things to do.

Jeanne T said...

Okay, I knew I forgot something in my earlier comment: my goals. :) Blonde moment (and yes, I'm a "real" blonde, so I can say that ;).)

One goal is to finally, FINALLY finish my first ms and send it out. Goal number two is to begin my second story. I'm so eager to really let myself loose with it, but I refuse until my first one is done. Also, to read at least 4 craft books this year.

Personal goals: Exercise 3 times per week and to become more purposeful in knowing my kids so I can parent them well.

Joanne Sher said...

REALLY good post, Casey. I'm all about goals and accountability. In fact my goals for 2013 are ON MY BLOG SIDEBAR. No excuses there, eh?

I've got three writing-related goals:
1. Have a finished rough draft of my current WIP (which I'm currently in the process of snowflaking. I LOVE snowflaking. Just sayin').
2. Build my platform/presence around my new tagline - Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths
3. Interact in the comments on my blog on a regular basis.

Pepper said...

Great post, Case.
I'm still trying to sort out something attainable.
1. FINISH MY HR!!!! (by March) That is going to be pushing it for me, but I want to finish it oh so badly!!
2. Write half of my new WIP, CR. LOVE this story idea!
3. ??????
4. ???????
yeah, I have a few more mulling around in my mind, but not sure about which ones to choose yet :-)

Casey said...

Melissa, does that mean you'll give up your diet lime sodas in that health goal? ;-)

One of my goals? Get you scheduled for a giveaway on my blog!! :D

Casey said...

Mary, is "deeper" your one word for 2013? It oughta be! :)

Casey said...

Jessica, having someone hold me accountable is always a good thing. Physically writing the goals out for me is a good thing. :)

Casey said...

Linds, those two worlds do collide! More often then we like to think and it's often my work life that interrupts my writing life, but if nothing else that has taught me how to better stay focused. :) And yes, a crit partnership that IS made in Heaven. ;)

Casey said...

Jeane, YES LOVE those words!! Susie always says it so much better than I.

Casey said...

Beth, we might have to plot those stories out together. ;-)

And I'm glad they meet with your approval. :)

Casey said...

Jeane, those comments/goals are inspiring! I love your breakdown and your determination to see them through. Yes, cheering you on as you strive for that this year!

Casey said...

Joanne, but a stand-up idea!! I love that. And keeping posts on it even just once a month gives you an honest audience you can't buy.

Casey said...

Pep, your goal needs to be to just write. And write some more. You'll do awesome. :D

Sheri Mills Cook said...

I found you via Janice Hardy tweet..
My GOALS for 2013
1-fully illustrate at least one of my 12x12in2012 picture books and SUBMIT it into the world.
2-really WRITE my Novel that I have been avoiding. Time for serious full hearted telling of the story that begs to come out.
Wishing each and all of you the best writing year yet!