Inspirational words for 2013

Welcome to the new year, everyone!  This is the time I normally take stock of what I’ve done the previous year and blog about my goals for the upcoming one.  More on that in a later post: I want to do something a little different and talk about my four words for 2013.

They’re going to be four inspirational words that will be prominent in both in my personal and writing life.  Words that can be as broad as I want to make them, but will ultimately keep me on track to achieve my goals.  So let’s take a look at the first one:

productivityiconThis one is a given, I think.  To me, it means butt-in-chair-hands-on-keyboard and doing work.  And not just writing either – blog posts, emails, website content, anything where there will be a tangible result.  I love Dorothy Parker’s quote, “I hate writing but I love having written”, and I also love to see proof of my efforts i.e. page count.  The key for me is to have the next project on the go at the same time I’m finishing up the last, because if I’m not sure what my next is, I tend to flounder and stuff around and end up shopping at the Book Depository instead of writing 😀 So productivity is my top goal this year.

patienceicon

I think this one will be a biggie for me this year, because I am not naturally patient (I am quite at home with the iPodGen, thanks very much :smile:).  This year my boy starts high school (!) which means lots of changes to his learning and thinking.  Definitely will need patience for that!  Also, with my planned projects, I will need patience when submitting, waiting to hear back, editing, (possible) rejections, etc.  I will need to take time to understand that sometimes things are out of my control, decide which things matter and pursue those, then let the others go.

peaceicon

Another biggie.  I think everyone needs to pursue areas in which you can quieten your mind and find peace, be it a bath, an afternoon shopping without the kids or a writing retreat for one.  Stopping to appreciate what I have, realize there’s some things I just never will have (like a fast metabolism or the willpower to resist books and handbags :grin:) and coming to terms with that is important for optimum productivity.

joyiconLast one – not a P word this time!  I love this word.  I love all the connotations it conveys, like fun, delight, good times, laughter, happiness and optimism.  Sometimes when you’re in deadline hell, everyone wants your attention, work sucks, a family member is ill, you hate your new book cover or you just keep getting rejection after rejection, it’s hard to find joy.  Which means I turn to stuff that makes me happy.  For you it could be walking your dog, an intimate dinner with your loved one, music, surfing the internet or checking out your next story inspiration pictures.  There’s lots of opportunities to experience joy so go ahead and seek them out!

Do you have any inspirational words for the new year?  Want to share them?

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Goals for 2012

Reading: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Watching: Gremlins 2
Listening to: Domino by Jessie J

So here we are again – goal time!  Let’s check to see what I achieved in 2011, shall we?

  • I’ll write and submit two books aimed at Desire by the end of the year – check! 😀
  • I’ll finish rom com short story/novella by June – nup 😦
  • I’ll finish first draft of erotic space opera and pitch it at RWA’s August conference 😦
  • I will post to my blog at least every two weeks 😦
  • I’ll design and print postcards for my new book coming out in March/April – 😀
  • I’ll work on new promo products for ARRC in March, RWAC in August – 😀
  • I’ll revamp my website – 😀
  • read up/find out more about effective marketing strategies – half a 😦
  • I’ll make a dent in all those unread how-to books on my shelves! – 😀
  • I’ll read at least two new-to-me authors – 😀
  • I’ll read at least one unread how-to – I started five… so 😀 ?
  • I will judge at least one RWAust contest – 😦 (way too busy!)
  • I will read for RWAmerica’s RITA contest – 😀
  • I’ll be more proactive with offering to read my critique group’s work – half a 😀
  • I’ll refine and finish my “Pain Free Plotting” workshop in preparation for speaking engagements – big :grin:!
  • I’ll approach local schools. libraries and community centres to offer writing/educational workshops – another big 😀

So, about half, I’d say.  Interesting to note that most of my self-promotional efforts that required a small time frame were the ones that got done.  (hmm… fickle Gemini brain).

And now on to this year’s goals.  To recap, in 2009 I wrote a post about what makes a goal a goal, specifically a SMART goal.  Make it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.

Writing/Sales/Business

  • Finish my next Desire by February
  • Finish my rom com short story/novella by February
  • Finish first draft of erotic space opera and pitch it at RWA’s August conference
  • Polish my partial rom sus and submit it
  • finalise my web design pricing schedule
  • draft up a business plan

Promotion

  • Organise my writing group’s blog and post every nine weeks
  • Finalise a Desire group blog and draft up a posting schedule
  • Design and print promo material for my October/November release
  • Work on  new promo products for RWAC in August
  • Revamp my website
  • Write three newsletters

Craft Education (developing/strengthening skills)

  • research marketing strategies
  • finish more of those unread how-to books on my shelves!
  • research indie publishing opportunities

Health/Relaxation/Inner Self

  • Read at least two new-to-me authors
  • Go to the gym at least 5 times a week
  • Check out the local health spas in my area (a girl can dream!)

Outreach (helping others)

  • Write at least two articles for my website
  • Critique writing group’s short stories
  • Read for RWAmerica’s RITA contest

Looks like 2012 will be big for focusing on honing and developing my business skills.  Oh, and if you want help on goal setting and time management, my lovely friend Kitty Bucholtz has a cool online workshop happening in January/February.  I’m seriously tempted to sign up!

So what are your goals for the upcoming year?  Anything you didn’t achieve in 2011 that you are DEFINITELY going to aim for in ’12?  Post a comment, let me know your plans and you could win a cool notepad so you can write down all those goals!

My goals for 2011

Reading: MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead series (hail, Queen Betsy!)
Watching: Rex the Runt (hilarious claymation series by Aardman)
Listening to: Creeping in my Soul by Cryoshell

And so, with a new year, come the New Years Goals.  Not resolutions, because they suck and I just don’t like the implications of the word.  Much rather work around ‘goal’.

This time last year I wrote a post about what makes a goal a goal, specifically a SMART goal.  Make it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  And as I look back on those goals, I see I didn’t exactly achieve all of them 🙂  Which is okay, because I at least attempted them.  So on that basis, here are mine for 2011 (yes, some are  ’10 rehashes!):

Writing/Sales

  • I’ll write and submit two books aimed at Desire by the end of the year
  • I’ll finish rom com short story/novella by June
  • I’ll finish first draft of erotic space opera and pitch it at RWA’s August conference

Promotion

  • I will post to my blog at least every two weeks
  • I’ll design and print postcards for my new book coming out in March/April
  • I’ll work on new promo products for ARRC in March, RWAC in August
  • I’ll revamp my website

Craft Education (developing/strengthening skills)

  • read up/find out more about effective marketing strategies
  • I’ll make a dent in all those unread how-to books on my shelves!

Reading

  • I’ll read at least two new-to-me authors
  • I’ll read at least one unread how-to

Outreach (helping others)

  • I will judge at least one RWAust contest
  • I will read for RWAmerica’s RITA contest
  • I’ll be more proactive with offering to read my critique group’s work
  • I’ll refine and finish my “Pain Free Plotting” workshop in preparation for speaking engagements
  • I’ll approach local schools. libraries and community centres to offer writing/educational workshops

It may look like a long list, but really, some of these things I’m either already doing or just about done.  The big challenge is writing those books!

Do you have any specific goals/plans to achieve this year?  I’d love to hear them!

What do you want to achieve in 2010?

Last Movie Watched: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
Latest Song on The Ipod: Desensitized by Invertigo

Every month when my writing group meet, we’ve gotten into the habit of setting writing goals.  We check what’s been done that current month,  then set our goals for the next one.  We may not achieve all we’ve set out to do but it does ensure we get at least something done.  And every December we devote some time to goal setting for the following year.

I never used to set goals.  “I can’t tie myself down to a list,” was one excuse.  “I can’t be bothered,” or “I’ll never meet them anyway,” were two more.  But if you want to achieve something – writing a book, plotting a series, saving up for that holiday – then you need to have a plan.

So, how to set your goals.  By following the SMART rule:

Specific:  “I will complete my next historical manuscript by October.”
M
easurable:  “I will write x amount of words a week.”
A
ttainable:  “I will get published this year” is NOT in your hands, so committing to this is a fast track to failure.  Instead, focus on what you can control – your word count, where and when  you submit your book, spending x hours on your writing.
R
ealistic:  saying “I’ll write a chapter a day, every day” may seem like a noble goal, but if you have kids, a partner, sick relatives, a full-time job, etc, you may be overstretching.  I write during school hours and after the gym, so realistically, my writing time is from 10.30-2.30pm, Monday to Friday.    I have done midnight stretches when I’m on an editing deadline but I really hate doing that so I’m aiming to plan a bit better this year. 😀 I also like to use a weekly page goal, so I don’t beat myself up if life intervenes and stops me from writing every day.
Timely: give yourself a time frame or limit to aim for – by next week, next month, before conference.

So, for example, “I will write a chapter a week, and complete the first draft of my 50k manuscript by June. ”

While I make my goals for primarily writing-related things, you can apply it to almost anything – “I will exercise at least 3 times a week and cut down to one cup of coffee a day.”  “I will tackle one drawer a day and have my wardrobe spring cleaned by the end of the month.”

Another important aspect of goal setting is to WRITE IT DOWN  – on a list above the computer, in a diary, Outlook, wall calendar.  Or, if you’re like me, all of them 😀  If I can’t see it, I forget about it.  You can also enlist your partner/parent/writing group to keep you on track.  But ensure you pose limits on their well-meaning, “have you written/gone to the gym/drunk your coffee today?”  Because there’s nothing worse than someone who nags you about stuff you know you should be doing 😛

So, my goals.  Since reading Vicki Hinze’s most excellent To-Do List (reprinted here in Melinda Goodwin’s article) I have a few to focus on each year.   They are:

Writing/Sales

  • I’ll complete two books by the end of school term 3 (October)
  • I’ll finish a new proposal and begin querying agents by June

Promotion

  • I will post to my blog at least every two weeks
  • I will design and develop two new promotional products for RWA’s conference (August)

Business

  • I’ll attend RWA’s national conference in August
  • I’ll enrol in Theresa Meyer’s “Developing your Author Brand” on-line workshop (Feb)
  • I’ll visit Harlequin’s Sydney office (Jan) and become more familiar with their roles and responsibilities

Craft Education (developing/strengthening skills)

  • I will seek out online courses and/or workshops to develop my world-building skills
  • I’ll begin a series of weekly blog posts on writing a book in three months (also listed under Outreach)

Reading

  • I’ll read at least two new-to-me authors

Outreach (helping others)

  • I will judge for at least one RWAust contest
  • I will read for RWAmerica’s RITA contest
  • I’ll begin a series of weekly blog posts on writing a book in three months

Whew!  So there you have it.  My goals for this year.  Feel free to use my headings to set your own goals, and even make a mission statement about what you want to achieve this year.  I’d love to hear yours!