Set Your Writing Goals in Stone

Condensed version of Featured image: Desktop with open laptop in front, writing notebook and DREAM written in lettering to left. A person's hands come in from the bottom of the frame and hold a cup of coffee at the edge of the laptop.If you’ve been a writer for a while, you’ve probably considered your goals several times. Where do you want to go with your writing? What are you going to publish this year and how on earth are you going to do it?

As we start a new year, it’s as good a time as any to review your writing objectives. Therefore, I present a few writing prompts to move  you on your path toward “[Your Name Here], author extraordinaire.” First, let’s consider how to make the most of your goals.

Making Goals Happens

“If you have a goal, write it down. If you do not write it down, you do not have a goal—you have a wish.” – Steve Maraboli

 

Dr. Gail Matthews, psychology professor at Dominican University of California, conducted a study on achieving goals. In Matthews’s study more than 70 percent of participants who sent updates to a friend succeeded in achieving their goal. Only 35 percent of those who did not write down nor share their goal succeeded. So to double your chances of success, I suggest you make your goals concrete and to pass them on to someone who can hold you accountable.

Making Connections

It’s not always easy to share your personal goals with another person. Choose an accountability partner you trust and is supportive.

Here are some ideas of people to consider.

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Colleagues at work
  • Mentors
  • Other writers

It’s helpful to find someone who understands your passion, even if they don’t share the same passion. A close relative or friend may support you, but will they hold you accountable? Will they share your appetite for what you’re trying to accomplish? This is why seeking help from other writers or artists can be beneficial.

Developing a Blueprint

Close up of a hand writing with a pen on papers on a desk. A mug rests on the table in the background.Let’s get down to setting some goals.

Consider the questions below. Make your responses concrete: write them down, type them out, whatever you’re comfortable with. Make a copy of the answers to be a reminder throughout the year. Enlarge it. Frame it. Etch it in stone. Do what you need to do to tell your story.

Be realistic with your responses, but dream big. Be practical. Be creative. This isn’t an essay, it’s the first stone in the foundation of a great year.

  • Who are you as a writer? Who is your intended reader? What do you want to say to them?
  • Looking back over your previous writing year, what are you most proud of? If you had a rough writing year, what was your biggest barrier?
  • One year from now, what will you be able to say is your proudest writing moment? How do you hope to have changed as a writer?
  • What will your best writing days look like in the next year? How much time do you hope to invest on your best days?
  • What resources can you use that you previously ignored? Think of books, people and places. These can be as close as your own mind or as far as what lies outside the known universe.
  • What will you do to plug into the greater writing community? Can you join a writers group, attend a reading or give back in some way?

If you want to share some of your writing goals with us and other writers, please add them in the comments below.

Whatever your goals for this year, remember your library has you covered. Check out some of these great new writing titles to keep you informed and inspired. Check back throughout 2019 for upcoming writing events and stay plugged into the writing community.

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Chris Blocker

Chris works in Public Services and has been with the library since 2007. He has a great passion for writing, so it's not uncommon to see him helping with library writing events. Chris holds an MFA in Writing from the University of Nebraska, strives to be a successful novelist, and dabbles with graphic design when time allows. His favorite novel is East of Eden. He is fluent in Trek.