Good day, my writing/blogging friends.
It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for this month’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group entry. We’ve reached the end of the first three months of the year, going into the second three. There’s a lot going on in the writing/blogging community. There’s Camp NaNoWriMo, the A to Z Blogging Challenge, and National Poetry Writing Month, or NaPoWriMo. Writers and bloggers are certainly keeping themselves busy. However, I’m not taking part in any of them. But I will be patrolling the blogs and following progresses on social media, cheering on my writing friends.
Today, I’m reflecting on my writing goals thus far and sharing my new goals for this quarter. A long time ago, I gave monthly updates. And honestly, I felt ashamed that I missed out on some goals and repeated myself, even when I didn’t share them on this blog. Recently, I watched some YouTube videos where other writers make quarterly goals and share them to the world. They say it keeps them from getting overwhelmed. After thinking about it, I’m deciding to make quarterly goals and share them with you, my writing and blogging friends.
Now, I didn’t have any quarterly goals for the first three months, but I’m going to share how my goals are going up to this point.
- Write a short story a month. This was my loftiest goal. I thought I had a plan for this goal. The biggest problem was execution. I didn’t set deadlines and stick to them. I got easily discouraged with the big picture. This was an epic fail from the get-go, but I was determined to write some new stories. As such, I modified this goal to something more manageable. I’m going to write four stories in twelve months, which breaks down to a story every three months. And I did succeed in meeting this goal.
- Submit a story to a contest/publication. This is an ongoing goal. I did succeed in this goal as well. I submitted a flash fiction story to a writing blog, Who Writes Short Shorts. And it got published. I’m very excited. However, I didn’t submit any stories to a contest. I wanted to enter one, but I had some personal issues that needed my attention. And I was nervous about entering a story. I ended up not entering, but I did write the story. So it was kind of 50-50.
Now, on to the new quarterly goals.
- Write one new short story in a different genre. Writing new stories will be an ongoing goal. For this quarter, I want to try writing in a different genre. I made attempts in writing in different genres. But I stopped after reaching the end of the first draft. I thought what I wrote on paper didn’t translate onto the computer. So I gave up on it. For this quarter, I aim to see this project through. It will take some outlining and character mapping before I even start drafting. But I am determined to see this project through.
- Submit a story to a contest. I strive to make great strides in my writing. The best way to do so is to get my work out there. I said on numerous occasiond I will submit stories to contests and publications, but fail to. Chalk it up to a fear of failure. Chalk it up to being lazy and putting it off. In any case, I want to push past the uncertain and get my work out there. And if it doesn’t get published, so be it. That’s how I learn, right?
- Write a flash fiction piece a month to post on my blog. This may be a case where I’m biting off more than I can chew. However, I think flash fiction is easier to write. It can serve as a break from a bigger project. And it’s a good way to exercise those creative muscles and keep them sharp. I follow some writing friends and communities on Twitter and Facebook. Just about every day, they post prompt or challenges. This goes along with the submission goal, but it’s more for fun. And while it may not attract the attention I hope for, it’s a good way to showcase my writing skills.
- Update my blog. On a recent post, I announced changes coming to my blog. I’m in the process of making those changes. I’m researching free WordPress themes. I’m contemplating adding a logo or header graphic. The content will relatively stay the same. I might add some new content, like excerpts from current WIPs. I read blogs where the writers share pieces of what they’re working on. This is something I’m considering. Nothing’s set in stone.
- Read a book a month and write a review. Reading is something I don’t make time for. I had a discussion about this on Twitter recently; about how I didn’t read a lot of books outside of required reading. I didn’t read books in other genres. As such, I didn’t give a lot of books a chance. I gave up on them the moment I lost interest. But there are a plethora of possibilities. I like going to the library and finding books I may not see at bookstores, and vice versa. In any case, I want to get back to reading books. Try reading in different genres. And I want to post reviews on my blog. Some books might be older, but it’s a good way to support my fellow writers.
So those are my goals for the next three months. Sounds pretty reasonable and attainable. How successful I will be boils down to discipline. Having a plan helps. Finding people to hold me accountable also works. But discipline will be the deciding factor. I hope to write the next quarterly update saying I accomplished these goals.
What about you? Do you set quarterly goals? Care to share them? Comment and let me know if there’s any way I can encourage and support you.
Until next time, take care and keep plugging away.