Plan now for your New Year writing goals

This past year took me for a ride of new adventures as I set out on my mission to become a better writer and published author. As we count down to the last day of the year, it’s a good time to take note of what we’ve accomplished as writers.

Here are a few of mine:

I felt like patting myself on the back until I realized that there were many writing goals that I either didn’t pursue or didn’t work on as best I could. After returning to a more humble self, I wrote a list of goals for the coming year.

What’s your plan?

How do you plan to use the 366 days of 2012 to advance your writing goals? (Yes, we have the gift of an extra day — it’s a Leap year!)

Do you even have a plan? If not, then use this last week to put one together. To get inspired, first take a look at what you accomplished this year — and don’t compare them with mine or any other writer. Are you pleased with the progress you made toward keeping a writing schedule? Did you submit a story for critique? Is there a forward step you took in your writing life? And don’t fret: Even admitting that you haven’t done much for your writing is an accomplishment if you’ve ignored this in the past.

Making a plan to meet your writing goals doesn’t have to be a complicated chore. You can use something as simple as what I’m using: a two-column list with the past year (“This Year”) on the left and the coming year (“New Year”) on the right. Then you can build on what you’ve accomplished and kick your New Year goal up to the next level.

An example: My plan for getting feedback

One of my goals is to hear what other writers think about my writing. The “This Year” goal was to open my Afternoon Tea writing collection to the public. It’s a blog that I’ve had for two years, but it was private. Only family and friends knew it existed. Then came my decision to restart my writing life, and with that I realized it had to be a public life if I wanted to reach my goal of being published. (Note that those two words have the same root!) I accomplished that goal when I changed the blog setting from “private” to “public” in late January. It was a scary moment for me, but it also triggered excitement. And I’ve had encouraging conversations with strangers who have become writing friends. The “New Year” goal will be a step up: I plan to join several writing forums, and submit my work to critique groups and writing contests.

Get started today

The last week of the year is usually a quiet one for most of us. Take advantage of this time by planning for how you will meet your writing goals. Use my simple, two-column goal planner or come up with a system of your own. Ask a writer friend or scan the internet for ideas. Whatever you choose, get to work today. Set new and improved goals, and plan how you will use the gift of a New Year to nurture your writing dreams.

Question: How well did you do this year with your writing goals? What will you do next year to meet those that you missed?


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