Writing

2015 Writing Goals

Words by Bec Fleming, ACTWC Blogger in Residence

It’s December. The season for Christmas parties, summer storms, fairy lights and reflections on another year’s writing. Cliché as it may be, the end of the year makes many of us pause to consider what has or has not been accomplished in our writing lives. Sometimes the achievements are easy to mark, a draft manuscript complete, a graduation, a publication. Boxes ticked, self-esteem high. Other achievements are less concrete, making it harder to measure progress. A greater time commitment to writing throughout the year doesn’t always feel like progress at the end of the year, without a manuscript or publication to show for it. We tend to mark success by publication even though, with the exception of self-publishing, we don’t have control over the publication process. Perhaps then, goals for writing should be less focussed on publishing a certain number of stories, articles or poems and more about work completed to a high standard and submitted.

A more specific challenge in my own writing is that I never write down my goals for the year. It’s hard to know how far I’ve come without a plan to tell me where I thought I was going at the start of the year. Thinking about these challenges, I’ve developed a one page plan to assist in achieving my own writing goals for 2015. Rather than listing more traditional goals which might be something like: Submit six pieces of work for consideration in a competition or publication by June 2016. I have created a more practical plan prompting me to list the journals or competitions to which I plan to submit. The plan also targets my goals for increasing my reading over the year, as well as reminding me of my achievements in 2014.

2015 Writing Plan
Top three writing accomplishments for 2014:1.

2.

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List three literary publications you will subscribe to by February 2015:1.

2.

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List six poetry or short fiction competitions you plan to enter in 2015, including the closing date for submissions:1.

2.

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List six publications you plan to submit work to by June 2015, including links to the submissions page and any closing dates: 1.

2.

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Detail the major project you plan to work on in 2015 and the date by which you expect to have a first draft complete. 
List three books you plan to read by April 2015:1.

2.

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Detail the time commitment you plan to dedicate to your writing each day. (For example, I will write for an hour each day in the evening every day except Tuesday.) 

 

 

 

List three conferences or workshops you are interested in attending in 2015:1.

2.

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If you are looking for a simple way to make your writing goals concrete in 2015, and this plan works for you, feel free to use it and adapt it as needed. It is not meant to be prescriptive. So often opportunities arise throughout the year that were never even imagined at the beginning of the year and these, like this Blogger in Residence position, can turn out to be the most special. The plan will never anticipate all of these opportunities, but it provides a starting point for the writing year. There are no doubt many ways to set writing goals, this is just the method that I think might work for me. If you have another method and are happy to share it, please feel free to comment below, I’d love to hear from others on this topic!

Writing without a deadline can be a nebulous beast. Other priorities can easily take precedence, and writing can become a sideline passion, a hobby, something done on an occasional weekend. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, writing is a wonderful hobby and not everyone who writes is seeking publication. For those of us who are looking to add to our list of publications, having a plan helps solidify a commitment to the craft, it creates deadlines and momentum.

Bec Fleming

 

Bec Fleming is a Canberra based writer, historian and poet. She graduated with a PhD in history from the University of New England in 2010. She has spoken at the National Portrait Gallery, the Australian War Memorial and for the ABC program Now Hear This. Her poem ‘An untimely death’ was shortlisted for the 2013 Michael Thwaites poetry award. She has loved words for as long as she can remember and thinks it is a little bit magic when they line themselves up in just the right order.

 

One thought on “2015 Writing Goals

  1. My sentiments exactly: ‘She has loved words for as long as she can remember and thinks it is a little bit magic when they line themselves up in just the right order.’ 🙂

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