Monday, March 30, 2009

Set writing goals

Camy here, commiserating with everyone who didn’t final in the RITA or Golden Heart.

(Waaaaaaahh … Okay, sob session over!)

What next? Why, forward and onward! Ho!

(I’m channeling my historical Western author friends)

The year is still young. Set some new goals for yourself for the next few months.

Why? Because if you have something you’re aiming for, then it can motivate you to be efficient and productive.

As writers, we want to simply keep going. We want to keep writing. We are not one-book wonders, right??? Right???

So let’s move on to another book, another story premise, another set of characters. Let’s just write!

So, let’s set some writing goals. I’m not talking about goals like “get an agent” or “get a publishing contract” which are not things you can control. I’m talking about concrete goals for you to achieve.

Things like “Finish a new manuscript this year” or “Research and query ten agents.”

Set deadlines, if you can: “Finish a new manuscript by December 31st, 2009” or “Research and query ten agents by April 30th, 2009.”

Contests are also good goals: “Enter the ACFW Genesis contest (deadline March 31st, 2009!!!)”

If writing is something important to you, then spur yourself on in your writing career. Set goals and work toward them.

(This is kind of funny, but this type of setting goals is just like giving your characters external goals. The goals are concrete, with a deadline, and not something dependent on things out of the character’s control.)

So fess up! What are your writing goals for this year?

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Her novel Single Sashimi is out now, and she runs the Story Sensei critique service. In her spare time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and she ponders frivolous things. Sign up for her newsletter YahooGroup for monthly giveaways!


  1. I am trying to write 8 short stories a month. Working up to it. In March I wrote 6 so far and subbed them and sold 2.

    Let's see- manuscript goals I try to bite off smaller chunks. I am plotting a Medicals which I want completed by the end of May.

    Your turn.

  2. Well, I can cross the Genesis off my list because I submitted not one, but two manuscripts to that contest.

    Now I'm working like a crazed bunny to get my TBL entry ready by Wednesday.

    Once entries are completed, I need to focus on school since graduation is a month away! Yay!!

    After graduation, I can substitute homework time for writing time. My goal is to have two completely polished manuscripts to pitch at the ACFW conference in Denver.

  3. I was trying to submit *something* *somewhere* every week, including contests adn short stories.

    Life gets in the way (did I tell you about chasing an owl out of the chicken house at 4 a.m.?) so maybe *something* once a month is good.

    I would like to get my WIP drafted by the end of the school year so that I can revise over the summer.

    I feel led to switch my writing time from AM to PM, too, because I might be able to write after the kids are in bed during the summer.

    Talking about goals is good for me.

  4. Yep, "sob session" is all over now, and I am moving forward with my writing goals for this year, which are (not in this order):

    1.) Writing two honkin' (about 500-pages each) books a year for my contract with Revell.

    2.) Taking my eyes off Amazon #s, contest wins, e-mails, reviews and reader feedback and putting it where it belongs -- on HIM!! Not an easy thing to do, but SO necesary if you want to have peace.

  5. Thanks for the reminder that it is almost time to post my April goals on my blog. I've got two books to finish before Christmas and a new proposal to write before September.

    Time to get busy!

  6. Goals? Well, I just finished a rough draft last week, so I want to finish revising it and send it to my agent. Then I hope to finish plotting and write my next book before the end of the year. Right now I'm really motivated.

    I'm praying for a great year. The last two years weren't so good--a lot of discouragement--but so far this year God has given me motivation to burn! It's amazing. God is good.

    And you know, contests can be a great motivator and can really keep you going. I'm all for contests. But this year I've found a real plus in not entering--you aren't disappointed when you don't final!

    I'll take my joys wherever I can get them, okay?

    Sold two short stories? Wow, that's great, Tina! You go, girl!

  7. Camy, you are a true teacher of the craft, even if you only sneak it in between parenthesis. ;)

    Okay, I'll bite, my external goal. Complete the first draft of my current ms that I entered into the Genesis contest by the end of May. It's doable, so I have no excuse.

  8. Is it April already?? Christmas is almost here!!!

    Okay, I've gathered in critiques of my finished mss and plan to incorporate them by June 1. I've just created an entry for the Genesis, so I have to sit down and map out the thing so it'll be finished by September.

    Lose 5 pounds this month : )

    Camy? You know that whole using needles for knitting thing? Well, if I crochet with one hook, I can keep my project square...when I pick up two needles, I get a triangle. What's up with that??

    Fun post, Camy!!

  9. Camy, great post!

    I'm a firm believer in setting goals.

    I have three main goals for my writing this year.

    1) Write rough draft, revise, revise, revise, polish of first in three romance series. I have the rough draft written and have revised once.

    2) Research agents and query them concerning the above manuscript.

    3) Complete a historical inspriational romance rough draft.

    But inbetween, I am working on shorter projects-I write for the children's inspirational market too.

    Wishing EVERYONE good luck meeting their writing goals in 2009.


  10. Ask me after Touched by Love heads into the judging stage. I'm sure by then I'll be able to list some writing goals.

  11. Oh, I thought of one.

    Get through this next month of judging contests. I think I have three on my slate, not including coordinating TBL long and short contemporary categories.

    I'm pondering entering a contest or two this summer. A longer one, like a 55-pager.

    Plot out my western by June 1st.

  12. I like your goal suggestions. I guess I tried submitting one item per week at the end of last year, then forgot. So, there's my new goal - go back and follow the old one.

  13. I am so impressed with everyone's goals. Really, very inspiring.

  14. Me too! You guys are so awesome!

    Right now I'm swamped in Genesis stuff--sorry I'm not more chatty!

  15. My goal is to finish my WIP this year. I've got a solid outline; I just need that time to write. Come on, summer!