Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Notes For December 7th, 2010

Writing Goals For 2011

As 2010 comes to a close, it's time to make your New Year's resolutions to set and achieve your writing goals for 2011. With that in mind, today I present an article on how to do just that. This article was written by Mel Jacob, administrator of the Lovestory-L critiquing list here at the Internet Writing Workshop:

Writing Goals

Now is the time to review your progress in 2010 on your writing and submitting work, and to develop your goals for 2011. Remember to make goals so you stretch a little, but also ones you can control. Ideally, establish a major goal and break it into subtasks with specific milestones and monitor your progress toward the task and goal at least quarterly.

Writing Goals

Goals can serve to spur your writing and provide a focus.

1. Stretch

Don't make goals too easy; make them so you have to work a bit to complete them.

2. Control

You can control submissions, but not acceptance. Pay attention to any feedback and decide whether such changes will improve your work.

3. Realistic

Bestseller vs. publication, major publishers vs. 2nd tier/niche, once you sell, focus on finishing and submitting the next book, story, or article.

4. Priorities

Make writing a priority. Something has to give, e.g., television, organize family, give everyone chores to do to free up time, Stick with a schedule If you don’t consider your writing important no one else will (I used to work a job that took over 50 hrs a week, travel, and had a family to juggle My first novel took a year to write, the 2nd only 3 months, but revisions go on until the piece sells. I wrote on weekends and revised during the week. Thank heavens for crock pots, oven timers, and washers and dryers.)

5. Time Frame / Milestones

Divide tasks into reasonable chunks, i.e., weekly, monthly, quarterly, Some writers set a number of lines to write each day, choose what works for you.

6. Monitoring

Keep track of your progress, especially milestones. Some slippage may occur, but try to stay on track.

7. Revise Time Frame

Revise as needed, but only if necessary due to unforeseen circumstances or unrealistic estimates. Use the results of one project to help refine goals, tasks, and schedules for other projects.

8. Networking: web, lists, conferences.

Many conferences provide access to agents and editors and always to other writers and resources.

9. Persistence

If rejected, move on to another publisher/agent. Keep revising and submitting work. Don't let rejection stop you. Use it to improve your work or your marketing focus.

10. Keep writing and learning!

Blogmeister's Note: Thanks for this great article, Mel!

Quote Of The Day

"You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist." - Isaac Asimov

Vanguard Video

To inspire you all in your writing endeavors, today's video features a November 2009 appearance by legendary horror novelist Stephen King on the Minnesota Public Radio show Talking Volumes, telling the amazing story of how, after giving up on writing his classic first novel, Carrie (1974), he finished it and sold it. And the rest, as you know, is history! Enjoy!

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