Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Writer Goals 2017


It's January and guess what? I'm talking about goals this month! If you've missed my first post about Goal Setting you can check it out here. I also talk about my Life Goals for 2017 here.

Today's post focuses on my writing goals for the year. I considered getting really specific (something I definitely advocate) but there's a lot of "what if's" in the writing industry and I don't want to get my (or anyone else's) hopes up with talking about specific projects. Instead, I'm sharing my focus for the year with regards to writing.

Writer Goals for 2017

Reading more craft book
I read--I mean, I read a lot. Not as much as I'd like to actually, and not as much as some people who read upwards of  100+ books a year, but I feel like with the amount of work that I do and being able to read 65 books last year that's not half bad. What is harder for me is reading writing craft books. I love them--don't get me wrong--but when I want to sit down with a book, I want to sit down and get lost in a fictional world. Not do more work, haha! This year I want to be consistent in honing my craft to end the year a better writer than how I have, and am currently, starting it.

Some craft books on my to-read list are:

Plot Versus Character by Jeff Gerke

Take Off Your Pants: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing by Libbie Hawker

45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt

Story Trumps Structure by Steven James 

Hack Your Readers Brain by Jeff Gerke

Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author's Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development by K.M. Weiland

Probably a few books by James Scott Bell

Consistent Critique
One of the best ways to hone your writing is to have other eyes on it. I'll be honest and say this is hard for me. Not that I don't want to make my books better or that I don't trust my critique partners but...that's my baby they are cutting up! Ha! Then again, just like a rose bush grows and produces vibrant flowers by being pruned, so will a story grow. This year I really want to get into a consistent pattern of critiquing current projects as well as side ones as they come up.

Writing More Freely 
Call me crazy, but it's easy to listen to "the voices"--and I don't mean the ones in my head. They are the ones that talk about writing success, what you should and shouldn't do, how to write the "best story", how to get published, why my book stinks...and the list goes on. But I've decided this year I'm not going to listen to "them". Yes, I will seek out advice from trusted sources like my published author friends and those in the industry, but at the heart of it all, I want to listen to the inspiration in my soul--at least upon the initial writing of my manuscript. That, in my opinion, is the "sweet spot". The part of me that needs to be undeniable in the story. My voice. After it's out and editing begins I'll push that back a little to listen to those I trust, but I don't want to handicap myself by letting the outside in where my heart needs to lead the way.

Consistency on my Newsletter
Last, but not least, I really want to be better at getting my newsletter out to you all. It's a source of joy for me, but my time gets eaten by the many things vying for my attention and it gets pushed to the side. I do solemnly swear I will do my best to get it out once a month (to the best of my abilities). If you haven't signed up yet, do so now! It will go out next week and kick off my monthly commitment ;)

What about you? Any other writers out there? If so, share one writing goal you have for 2017!