So, it’s the new year. I hear that there’s this thing about resolutions in the new year. Myself, I haven’t made any, largely because I haven’t had time to sit and think about what I want to change in my life – I’ve been too busy living it to worry about it. But I guess I should think about that sort of thing.
A lot of people that I’ve been seeing on the interwebs have been posting book goals for them to read. For instance, they want to read 50 books this year. Now, I’ve never made a goal of something like that because reading is something that comes as naturally to me as breathing. And I get just as anxious without it. So obviously, I’m going to read a lot in a year.
And there’s weight loss goals and fitness goals, but let’s be honest. This isn’t the right kind of blog for those goals.
So, writing it is. I think it’s easy for people to say things like their goal is to be published this year. Or to write a book. And not that those are bad goals, but there are things you have to consider.
If your goal is publishing a novel, go read Skyla’s post about rushing into things. Publication is great, but you shouldn’t demand it immediately. First of all, publishing may be one of the slowest industries out there. And as Skyla says, rushing to publish generally leads to poor quality novels. I’m not saying don’t aim for publication, but maybe don’t demand that it happen in a certain time frame.
Next, writing a book as a goal. Nothing wrong with that. But everyone writes at a different pace. And when do you consider the book done? When you type “The End” or when you finish editing, when you finish yet another draft, when your beta readers declare it the best novel ever? There’s a lot of drafts in writing a book, a lot of phases. At which point have you reached your goal?
I’d like to humbly suggest a more modest goal. Your goal should be to write. Yes, just to write.
Write every day. Whether it’s ten words or ten thousand words, just putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) every day will be building blocks in the right direction. Once you start building momentum, writing every day will get easier and easier. And if you don’t set a word count, you don’t have to castigate yourself for failure if all you manage to write is a couple sentences.
Another great goal idea is to try to tone down your inner editor. Especially if you’re forcing yourself to write every day, it’s not all going to be brilliant writing. You should forgive yourself for that. Don’t stress because not every word that drips from your brain is Pulitzer material. Sometimes just writing, even if it’s the same sentence over and over is good enough to get the juices flowing.
So make writing a goal, but be realistic. You don’t want to break your new year’s resolutions right off the bat.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve met my writing quota for the day, so I’m off to do something not writing related. Like sleep. (What? I’ve got a 5.5 month old!)
Skye became the black sheep of her university’s literature department when she announced that what she really wanted to do for her senior thesis, instead of writing a thought-provoking essay on the deeper meanings of James Joyce, was to write a romance novel. They gave in, however, and the rest is history. As a result, Skye learned more than she ever thought possible about the inner workings of the publishing industry and off and on, given her schedule, pursued publication of both her senior thesis and other novels she’s written along the way.
Skye has many names and almost as many personalities to go with them. As Melinda Skye, she writes Romantic Suspense, Urban Fantasy, and Young Adult. As Skye Forbes, she may (or may not) have saved the world a few times over. In her real life, under another different name, Skye is a lawyer. And yes, if you ask nicely, she might help keep you out of jail. Or put you in it. It depends on her mood.
Skye lives in California, with her husband, brand new daughter, and menagerie of animals.