It’s the new year and we’re all furiously setting resolutions for ourselves that will probably only last a few days, if we’re lucky. Yeah, I hit the birthday cake queue at work this morning, so much for that!
A saying I adopted a long time ago is “A goal is a dream with a deadline”. That little motto has kept me going through roughly 14 years of life, with all it’s twists and turns and surprises along the way. I still believe that if I want to achieve my dreams, I need to set goals to break them down into manageable steps that I can conquer one at a time.
I also think that a certain degree of public responsibility makes it harder to forget or neglect our goals. If other people know what you want to achieve, they can hold you accountable for it.
My dream is to be a successful, traditionally published author, with multiple books signed to big publishers (not “The Big 6” publishers, but successful, established publishers in my genre). I know that this will take a LONG time and a LOT of work, but if I look back over the improvement in my own work over the past 4 years (since I decided to take writing from hobby to profession) I am very pleased.
To further my progress towards this dream, I hereby present my goals for 2014:
1. Finish The Dance of the Dead
I started this dark fantasy story more than a year ago. I have finished the first draft, the first round of edits, and I am getting firmly stuck into the second draft. I believe in this story. I think it has great potential (so modest!) but I know that it needs a lot of work. My primary goal for 2014 is to get The Dance of the Dead publication ready.
2. Finish the first draft of Avaris
My first foray into historical fantasy, Avaris is set in ancient Egypt during the second intermediary period. I love this story, and also think it has great potential, but at less than 20% of the way through the first draft I have a long road ahead of me for Avaris. I want to finish the first draft of this novel this year.
3. Write one short story every month
And sell it! I really enjoy writing short stories. They give me the opportunity to express some of my ideas, and I can do so while working on a full novel at the same time (I can’t really work on two novels at once – I focus too hard on each to split my attention). I don’t just want to write these stories though, I want to sell them.
Further, I want to crack the professional short story market this year (that is – publish in a market that pays professional rates for short stories).
4. Write EVERY day
I will never achieve these goals if I don’t exercise some serious discipline and write every single day. This will get tough in a few months when my third child is born, but that’s just par for the course. I will set up a writing log and track my progress every day so that there can be no lying about how I write every day if, in fact, I spend a week playing Fallout 3 instead.
There you have it, my goals for 2014. What dreams do you want to make happen this year, and what goals have you set for yourself?