I am not usually one for New Year’s resolutions. While everyone is sitting around sharing their resolutions for the year ahead, my goal is simple (and, yes, vague): have a better year than last year. Not a bad goal, right? But it’s not a concrete goal either. Maybe it’s all those years of elementary school when the teachers would tell me to sit down and write out my goals. It felt like a chore, one I didn’t take seriously. Of course I do have goals for my life—I’m not flitting about aimlessly—I’ve just never felt compelled to set them out in concrete terms. Until now.
I’m at a point in my life where some big questions are being asked and I need to know those answers. Where do I want to be in my career in one year’s time? Three years? Five? Is buying a house on the horizon or how many more years do we want to rent? Stuff like that. I know I don’t need to have all of the answers right away but having an idea of where I’d like to end up will help me figure out what it is I need to do now to get there.
On the long car ride home from visiting relatives over the holidays, Boyfriend and I made a point of asking each other these big questions and giving our answers some good thought. So instead of choosing another vague resolution, this year I’m making a plan. What do I want to have achieved by the year’s end and how do I get ‘er done?
One of those wants is I want to finish the manuscript I’m currently working on. It’s a YA time-slip novel set in my hometown. I’ve been writing away at it and researching for it pretty steadily and I want to keep the momentum going. I’m 40,000 words in and would like to get it up to between 80- and 90,000 when finished.
To get ‘er done I’ve made myself a writing plan. I want to have a solid draft done by May. That will give me the better part of the year for revisions and getting to a point where I can begin querying.
But going from 40,000 to 80,000 (or more) seems kind of daunting. I mean, that’s doubling the amount I’ve already written. So I’m going to break it down into manageable-size pieces (think mini-muffins vs. a whole cake).
May 1st is sixteen weeks from now. That means to reach my goal I need to write 2,500 words a week, or 500 words a day since I am more prone to writing on weekdays. That’s not so bad is it? I think I can swallow those 500-word mini-muffins without too much choking and indigestion, don’t you?
And in meeting this goal, I will be on my way to meeting my 2-year goal, which is to have a publishing deal.
So, 2015, lets get ‘er done!
Do you have a similar goal for yourself this year? Share your goals and ideas for completing them in comments.