When I was setting my writing goals for 2016, I designated it as the Year for Getting Stuff Done. I’m not sure exactly how or why it happened, but I finished 2015 with several unfinished, unedited, unsaleable manuscripts languishing on my hard-drive and cluttering my mind. I determined that in the year ahead I was going to finish those books and get them out into the world.
Now that 2016 is over, I have to ask myself: How did I do? Did I finish everything I wanted to finish?
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
Perhaps part of the problem is that I’m thinking in series these days rather than in individual books. I’m currently working on three romance series, which means I have six books partially completed with several more books in the planning stage. I’ve come to see that this is insanity. Realistically, I can only work on one series at a time, one book at a time.
You know how some people pride themselves on being able to multitask? They figure they can do two or more things at the same time – like send text messages and scroll through Facebook while reading or doing homework. They think they’re getting lots done, but studies have shown they’re fooling themselves. When we concentrate on one task at a time, we not only do a better job on it, we get it done more quickly.
Perhaps another reason I haven’t completed as much as I would have liked is due to an energy crisis. I only have so much physical/mental/emotional energy to split between my part-time day-job, my home life, my writing, and my marketing efforts. It’s probably not realistic to believe I can complete five or six full-length books in a year and still have a life. Sometimes my ambition outstrips my ability.
I celebrated a milestone birthday last November. In astrology, it’s common to set goals for the twelve months between birthdays rather than creating them at the start of the calendar year. On my birthday, the astrological prediction for my year ahead was as follows: “…get ready for 2017, which will be one of the most powerful years of your life – a time of accumulation. Whatever you have done in the past will now ripen, because it’s your time of fruition.”
I am so looking forward to 2017!
In the year ahead, my goal is to continue steady progress by writing every day (or most every day), to look after myself physically so that I have the energy to do all the things I want to do, and to treat myself kindly. Beating myself up for not meeting unrealistic goals is a waste of energy.
So, fellow Word Wranglers and dear readers, are you thinking about setting realistic goals for 2017? What are they? How do you set goals?