New Year’s Day is just around the corner, and while I’m not one to make a formal list of New Year’s resolutions, I have found it helpful to look forward to a new year with some goals in mind. Some of these goals are achievement oriented — for this year, for instance, I’d like to sell a couple of short stories, I’d like to sell my new book project (for oodles of money, but we won’t go there), and I’d like to see The Horsemen’s Gambit, which comes out in January, sell well and continue to garner good reviews. Clearly, I only have limited control over these things — and almost none over the last one — but I can hope and dream, right?
There are other goals I set out each year that are more related to my process as a writer. These are things over which I have total control, and they are very much along the lines of resolutions. Last year I decided that I wanted to increase my daily production so that I was writing between 1,500 and 2,000 words every work day. I managed to do it, and as a result I completed the third book of Blood of the Southlands well before my deadline. Still, while I wrote it quickly (for me) I didn’t use my time as well as I would have liked. This was due in part to my obsession with the election, something I won’t have to deal with this year. So for this year I’d like to build up my writing speed a bit more — say 2,000-2,500 words per day. But I’d also like to avoid wasting time surfing the web or playing the occasional game of solitaire, so that when I’m done writing for the day I can devote more time to other things — family, photography, exercise. I’d also like to focus on some other professional projects that I haven’t taken on before because I haven’t had the time. As much as I’d like a Time Turner, like the one Hermione Granger used in the third Harry Potter book, I didn’t get one for Hanukkah this year, so I need to make better use of the time I’ve got.
I have other professional goals, but some of them aren’t as easily discussed, and some of them I prefer to keep private. The point is, just as New Year’s is a time when many of us take stock of our personal lives and come up with goals for the coming year, it can also serve a similar purpose for writers, be they established professionals or hopeful beginners.
So how about you? What are your goals for 2009? What are you going to do to help yourself achieve them? Share your answers with us if you’d like, or, if you prefer, keep them to yourself. But do yourself a favor and give the questions some thought.
Happy New Year to all of you. Thanks for making the first year of MagicalWords.net such a success. We look forward to hearing from you throughout the coming year.David B. Coe http://davidbcoe.livejournal.com http://magicalwords.net www.davidbcoe.com