By Debra Sennefelder
Happy New Year! I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to see a year go buh-bye. For the first time in decades, I was tempted to stay up until midnight to see 2020 go away. Now that it’s gone, we’re in that familiar period of setting resolutions and creating goals. Though, 2021 is probably going to be different because we learned how fast those things could be thrown off track last year. I’m thinking we’re going to be a bit more cautious in our planning for this new year.
I have seen a funny meme on social media lately, and it pretty much said I’m not buying a planner until I see a preview of 2021. I can relate to that sentiment. But, I do have a planner already, and I’m going to plan. Looking back at 2020, I think one of the best things that came out of the year was realizing that we can pivot, adapt, and thrive despite the never-ending onslaught of 2020. So, I’m planning. But, just in case, I have extra white-out. 😊
For a writer setting goals is more than circling a day on the calendar when you’ll complete your manuscript. There are several reasons why goals matter, and today I’m going to explore three of them.
#1 - Writing a book is a big commitment. Huge! Most people today tap out at 40 characters, and when you're writing a book, you're looking at 40,000 - 100,000 words. You definitely won't be typing "the end" anytime soon. You're looking at a few months or 30 days if you want to really challenge yourself. When writing a book, I like to break it down into small goals such as brainstorming, outlining. Next, I set-up chapter goals (you can do word count or page goals), and once my first draft is written, I then set-up new goals for revisions. I admit I love checking off goals as I accomplish them. This leads us to reason #2.
#2 - Having goals set will keep you motivated. I love having that list of goals (see above) and checking them off when I complete each goal. That keeps me moving forward rather than dwelling on the truly sucky scene I just wrote. With goals set, you are forced to look ahead, and if you've hit a wall, you know that you must do something because your next goal is waiting to be accomplished.
#3 - When you have a clear plan set forth, you won't waste time. One of the biggest obstacles we as writers face is ourselves. Somehow we manage to get in our own way time after time, but if you have a carved in stone (and yes, it should be) goal, then you won't be wasting your time doing XYZ (aka scrolling, scrolling, and more scrolling), you'll be sitting at your computer writing your book, sucky scenes and all. :)
So, go and create some goals for yourself. Big or small, it doesn't matter. Set them and achieve them because you can!
Debra Sennefelder is the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series. She lives and writes in Connecticut. When she’s not writing, she enjoys baking, exercising and taking long walks with her Shih-Tzu, Connie. You can keep in touch with Debra through her website, on Facebook and Instagram.