2015 Writing Goals


A new year means setting new writing goals! Even though 2015 has barely begun, I’m riding a huge surge of energy and excitement. After a bit of a lull in 2014, my muse and I are more than ready to jump back into the writing game with a renewed sense of motivation and determination.

I’m keeping my list of goals relatively short and open-ended so I don’t find myself in a corner should life circumstances change. At the same time, I’m looking to push myself out of my comfort zone in order to reach a new level in my writing.

1. Work towards getting The Muse published.

This goal can work on two different levels. I’m looking to pitch The Muse to agents and small publishers. Maybe I’ll get a bite and maybe I won’t, but I’m going to try!

While my focus will be on the traditional route of publishing, I’m not closing the door on self-publishing. As I work my way through the query process, I’ll also be researching self-publishing options as Plan B.

The big picture goal is to get The Muse in print, one way or another! It’s a polished draft that’s been through the ringer thanks to beta readers and my fantastic editor. It’s about time this thing got out to readers!

2. Start writing Lineage.

As I wait for responses to my query packages, (rejections or maybe otherwise!), I’m planning to make some headway on the sequel to The Muse. In 2014, I laid out the basics for Lineage, but much more work needs to be done. I need to finish notes and create a more detailed outline, (I’m not pantser!)

Ultimately, I’m hoping to start the first draft sometime in the summer. Sooner would be better, but I’m smart enough to realize my day job (which involves going for National Board Certification) is going to be very busy during the first half of 2015.

3. Submit poetry.

Last year, poetry started to play a much larger role in my writing life. I’m writing a lot of it in a number of different forms. This is a medium I want to continue to explore so I’m narrowing my usual writing submission goal to poetry.

I plan to get more involved on Poetic Asides via Wednesday Poetry Prompts, Poetic Form Challenges, and Poem A Day Challenges when they are offered. It’s a great community of writers that both encourage and inspire.

In addition, I’m looking into joining haiku communities online. I fell in love with the traditional and modern haiku form during the 2014 November PAD Challenge and I want to continue to grow as a haiku poet.

4. Don’t give up or get distracted.

Sometimes I have the attention span of a gnat, so I’m setting this goal to remind myself to stay on track. Between the day job, other creative pursuits, and life in general, it’s easy to get sidetracked. If I want to see my work in print and grow as a writer I have to work at it every day.

As I set out to query agents, I have to brace myself for the inevitable onslaught of rejection. There will be days when I’ll want to give up. Rejection is tough to take, especially when it hits in large quantities. The theme of Galaxy Quest will be my mantra: Never Give Up, Never Surrender.

5. Be flexible.

I set this as a goal last year and learned quite a bit from it. I liked being reminded that creativity is a fluid process as is writing and life in general. While my goals have some wiggle room worked into them, I’m also aware that things could change. Wherever the path leads, I’ll be open to following every curve.

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In keeping with a tradition in my writer’s group, I’ve chosen a Word of the Year to guide me as I work towards my goals. I decided to go with a word that I’ve heard countless times among writers and just about anyone else going after a dream:


The only way to get I what I want is go after it with hard work and a stubborn mindset. Thankfully, those are two things that are hardwired into my personality.

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What are your 2015 goals?

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c.b.w. 2015


2012 Writing Goals


With the new year approaching, my writer’s group is getting ready to revisit our writing goals from last year and create new goals for 2012.  I only made three writing resolutions last year because they were big goals and frankly, a bit overwhelming.  I’m happy to report that I met all of them: 1) Submit three pieces of work for publication. 2) Finish the final draft of my novel and be happy with it. 3) Let someone other than myself and my best friend read the finished manuscript.

For 2012, I’m setting the bar much higher as a way to silence my inner critic.  I always work better with a deadline and keeping busy will ensure there’s no time for my inner critic to spout her poison. I set the following goals to push myself harder than I ever have before, while also making sure I don’t burn out my muse.

1) Submit five pieces of writing to contests, journals, literary magazines, or the newspaper.  I have a number of short stories, essays, and poems stored on my hard drive.  In addition, I have loads of ideas for new pieces.  It’s time to start polishing, writing, and sending them to prospective publications.

2) Finish minor changes in my first novel.  When I got my manuscript back from four beta readers, they all found the same glaring flaw.  While its basically finished, I want to go back in and fix the flaw.  I know what to do and it should be an easy edit.

3) Work on my second novel.  At the moment, the first draft is approaching the halfway mark. Ideally, I’d like to finish it before the year is out, but I’m going to be more realistic and shoot for reaching a benchmark of 60,000 words total. I’m at 42,000 now and I think I can punch out 18,000 words by next December.

4) Send out five query letters and be ready with a synopsis.  I set this goal a little prematurely back in October and I realized very quickly I bit off more than I could chew.  The perfectionist in me needs a little more time to make both my query and synopsis the best they can be.  I may have failed at sending out queries by the end of 2011, but the lessons I learned from not reaching that goal will push me to try harder in 2012.

5) Keep up with my blog.  This should be an easy one!  My muse and I are always inspired to write for all my wonderful readers!

6) Network more with other writers.  I’ve never been an overly social person, so this will be a challenge.  I began this process a little bit this year by connecting with other writers via wordpress.  The experience has been wonderful and that encourages me to reach out a little more.

7) Inspire other writers to keep writing.  As a writer and a teacher, I love helping people find their words.  Whether it be with an encouraging comment or a full-scale critique, I’ll do whatever I can to keep writer’s writing.

What are your writing goals?

c.b. 2011