Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year, New Writing Goals


Hi everyone!

Welcome to my first blog of 2011. You may have noticed I changed the layout a little bit and swapped out some of my book covers. Feel free to invite friends, writers, readers, and anyone else you know to follow along. It’s feeding directly to my Goodreads page and I post a link on my Facebook page, as well. I’ll also be posting my newsletter here during the year.

It’s appropriate to think about changes this time of year. After all, we have brand-new calendars hanging on our walls that are filled with unexplored days yet to come. Every day is filled with hope, possibilities, and opportunities to make this year really great.

As we head into the new year, it seems that everyone’s talking about changes and goals for 2011. So, what are your writing goals for 2011? Do you want to finish the novel you started last year (or haven’t started yet)? Send out a dozen short stories? Enter a contest? Now is the perfect time to sit down and make a list of all you want to accomplish. Having a list of projects and priorities will help keep your writing objectives on track.

For example, if you want to explore new markets for your short story, put “find new markets” on your list. If you’re determined to start a new book, make a timeline for research, character development, plotting, etc. Give yourself a deadline for when you want to start writing and stick to it. Decide how many pages or chapters you want to finish each day/week/month. Little by little, your book will take shape, and you’ll be amazed at your progress.

No matter what your writing goals are, a little pre-planning will help you focus and allow you to flow from one writing project to another. Preparation also keeps you motivated and fends off writer’s block, because you always have “the next thing” to work on.

Take ten or fifteen minutes to evaluate your writing career. What did you accomplish last year that you’re most proud of? What would you like to achieve this year? What markets did you crack that you’d like to write for again? Which publications do you really want your work to appear in?

When you write down your goals, start off your sentences with a positive statement, such as: “I will finish my novel by June 1” or “I will submit six articles to magazines.” After you’ve made the list, note what you need to do to get started. This could include setting aside specific times to write each day, getting writer’s guidelines, or sending out query letters. Then, pick one project (the most time-sensitive one, or your personal favorite), and get to work. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to publication!

One of my long-standing goals was to get my “big” romance novels published. These weren’t short novellas; these were full-length “traditional” 85,000+ word novels. Trust with Hearts was one of those books. I’m proud to say that in 2010 I achieved that goal and Amber Quill Press published the book in paperback and e-formats. (One goal down, a million more to go!)

What are your writing goals? Is there a topic you would like to see me address on the blog? I welcome comments/feedback about the blog, my books, and my newsletter. Sign in and leave a comment or email me via the “Contact the Author” form on the News page of my website.

Until next time,

Kelli

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