For all my adult life I have written very concrete goals each January and for the most part, the process of setting them in print and revisiting them regularly during the year, has seen many of these goals, partially or fully achieved during each twelve-month period. Of course, the more the goal is dependant on others, the greater the challenge of success. But when it depends on me, and is measurable and quantifiable, then all is possible! Goals are not meant to be a bind or burden. We should be aiming for our dreams; that which bring us joy and hopefully equip us better to bring our small contribution to the universe! I believe setting goals, which enable us to fulfill our potential, cannot help but have positive impact on others and I know we all hope to be a source of blessing to those along our path this year.
The number is irrelevant, and the format. Maybe you will create just one goal, to meditate on the word PEACE daily or to choose to live in the ‘now’ of each moment, such goals can be as powerful as a list of twenty targets that don’t spring from your true yearning to become more who you are this year.
I share my writing goals with you below and would love to know some of yours. My more personal goals are for my journal, and one or two will carry over from last year as they are still on the way to completion. You see, I am not wallowing in any sense of failure that I didn’t sign them off last year. My goals are guideposts to light up the path, but not so prescriptive that I can’t take the alternative route when the whim takes or a slower pace, if needs be!
- I am in a life-changing phase at the moment and since December recognized the need to pick up my personal journaling again, to process all my feelings. Not least of all because I think some of this could be fodder for a book I have in mind. I want to continue this through 2012.
- In 2011 I aimed to write poem a month. I managed 9, which thrills me. This year I shall continue, but with the goal of reading more poetry (at least an anthology per month) and actually LEARNING more about this art form.
- I started writing last year and have 6 picture book manuscripts and 1 chapter-book at various stages of editing and readiness! This year I am doing the 12×12 picture book challenge, so plan on doubling my output of PB’s, but with the same focus on quality! I want to rewrite that chapter book too, after Kathleen Duey’s input.
- This will also, consequently, be the year for starting to submit to agents. I already have my sights set. I would rather be focused and disappointed than random, defeatist and lacking boldness.
- Mentorship in some form or another will continue its importance for me this year. I want to be the best possible writer I can and most definitely recognize the need for input from those much further along the road.
- My author’s platform needs work! After ten months of blogging I need to work on creating more uniqueness to my blog. Part of this will come with more inspirational writing as I believe I need to develop this gift.
- I need to work out what forms of self-promotion I am comfortable with. I realize my discomfort about many approaches is quite European, but am unsure how much I have to break out of these cultural norms and how much to work within, to pursue my goal of authenticity!
- I want to be a source of inspiration and encouragement to the kidlit community, especially those I know well and will get to know this year, through blogging, the Hub and social networking to exhort, inform, learn and build friendships. This is challenging as we all want to cast the net wide and build a following, but I don’t want to become impersonal in so-doing.
- I want to go for new writing challenges this year and ensure I don’t stay within my comfort zones. I have just started to write in rhyme and want to pursue this as well as other untried forms of writing.
- I plan to submit to uTales this year.
- I also want to keep up with technological changes and publishing trends in children’s publishing in this fast evolving field! I think one key to this is following people in the know, such as Emma Dryden and Harold Underdown.
- Enjoy every step along the way.
If you had to choose one word to sum up 2011 for you, what would that word be? Mine is Authenticity – this has been true of my personal life and I hope it is also true of my writing life; I sure want it to be.
I am writing this from a cozy Manhattan café and am contemplating the next 365 days with great anticipation. Follow your dreams, dear friends.