IWSG Post 15: Reflection on Goals and a Five-Year Writing Plan #IWSG
[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]
I used to facilitate classes on goal writing. Looking back, it seems so long ago, me in a suit, standing at the front of a room pointing to charts, setting up videos, and providing my own personal examples to fellow business professionals what future personal and professional goals look like.
I’ve almost forgotten the feel of that environment. Until the December IWSG question for the month asked me to answer, “In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself in five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?”
The question/reflection made me nervous, scared and excited all at once. I do believe we all need goals, and some goals we set are better at getting us where we want to be. Plus for me, they give me a chance to check off little boxes (victory steps), or a chance to rewrite and reroute myself if I set a goal and life somehow got in the way of that time frame.
I’m both scared and excited. I’m scared because my publisher closed their doors this past fall and it’s been difficult and incredibly emotional to think about where to go next. I’m excited too, to think about possibility and my own personal gumption to achieve success.
Yesterday about 4:00 a.m. I sat down with my purple magic writing pen and my purple notebook to scratch down a few things in answer to this question. Here’s the picture of my notes, with all the swirls and scratches through the lines.
And here’s the typed version of what I came up with:
Personal 5-Year Plan Writing Objectives …
Long-Term Goal: In 5-Years, I aim to have a contract on at least one novel and at least one short story in a publication whether it be in print or digital form. Print of course would be my first choice.
My Short Term Goals To Get There …
- Complete my current edits on my manuscript in-progress by February 13, 2017 via pdf voice reader and Microsoft Word/Google Docs.
- Write for an hour every day before work.
- Review edits before bed three times a week.
- Review favorite books by favorite authors to keep ideas fresh and seek out at least one new book this year, if not two.
- Revisit goal at the end of December 2016 and again in January 2017 to reassess.
- Research and aspire to attend a writing workshop/conference in 2017, maybe 2018 if the finances don’t pan out, and develop a plan by the end of February 2017.
- Build a leprechaun trap with my son and hopefully catch the leprechaun and discover his pot of gold 😉
- Seriously now, I plan to join a writer’s guild again, maybe two to find out about workshops and conferences to meet other writer friends and agents.
- Map out the costs of travel and finances to get there by April 2017.
- Dedicate two lunch periods a week to networking with other writers and authors. Hopefully I can find a writers critique group or circle in the same time frame.
- Set aside money to hire an editor for my manuscript by June of 2017 and while waiting, start a short story along the same lines as my next full length novel. I have three ideas to pick from. Maybe I’ll have my kids tell me which one they want to hear about the most.
- During the summer of 2017, work on a pitch for my manuscript and also complete any necessary edits.
So that’s my forecast into the next 5 years. Do you have one thing you’re hoping to accomplish in 2017?
Thank you for stopping in today, and thank you to this month’s hosts, and founder Alex J. Cavanaugh for all the time spent networking with us.