Writing Goals for 2019: Setting Realistic Expectations

Life is full of traditions and rituals. One of my favorite traditions this time of year is the New Year’s Resolutions. It’s the perfect time for new ambitions and writing goals to strive for. Every year after the Christmas season, my social media feeds get flooded with posts about goals for the upcoming year. Tina’s confident this will be the year she loses that twenty pounds and sticks to her new diet. Bob plans to go to the gym every day until he has a body like Hugh Jackman. Pauline has given up cigarettes, and John plans to go back to school and get a degree. Optimism is in the air as everyone dreams of their accomplishments in the coming year. Life is good.

By spring, most of those resolutions have melted away with the frost. Bob hasn’t gone to the gym in weeks, Pauline still smokes a pack a day, and no one mentions their discarded goals.

But why? Is it because we aren’t serious enough about our goals when we set them? Perhaps, but I’d wager a guess it’s more complicated than that. In my experience, the most achievable goals are the ones with manageable and realistic steps between where we are and where we’d like to be. This applies to all areas of life, especially writing. The years I said I would “write more” or “read more books,” my progress wasn’t measurable. By spring, I’d all but forgotten to stop by the bookstore or devote an hour to my manuscript instead of Netflix.

I’m a big fan of starting with the “big picture.” I like to start with my goals for the year, then divide that into more manageable quarterly goals. As always, I have my ambitions set high and my eye on the prize. Without further ado, here are my writing goals for 2019.

  1. Finish drafting Daughter of Nightmares and Harbinger of Nightmares (the first two books in the Renegade Guardians series).
  2. Write at least 6 short stories.
  3. Publish Daughter of Nightmares and at least two short stories.
  4. Read 50 books, at least half indie publications.
  5. Attend at least one writing conference.

As you can see, I’ve made sure each goal has a numerical and measurable value. These specific steps give me a much better idea of where to kick off my year. If I’d written, ‘publish a few books’ or ‘read more,’ I’d have no idea where to start. Later, I’ll discuss how I break these larger goals into smaller bites in a quarterly calendar.

That’s it for me. What are your writing goals for the year? Are you pleased with your progress from 2018? Any bad writing habits you’re working to correct? Let’s chat in the comments! As always, much love and happy New Year.


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