Hello, 2009

What will you bring?

For the past six or seven years, I've gotten a new notebook around the start of the year that I call my writing journal. On the first page, I set a list of goals for the year. Usually this list is quite ambitious. The last few years it's been almost outrageous. I make about 15 or so goals for myself--stories I want to write, things I want to accomplish, stuff like that. But each year I find that I've been able to check off several things on the list. So I keep doing it. 

One thing about being a writer (whether you're fulltime or part-time or just starting to write) is that it's helpful to set goals for yourself. You have to if you want to finish something. Usually there's nobody standing by your door or lurking behind your shoulder urging you on--it's just you. So this is one of the many ways I have of getting my work done. 

The interesting thing is to see these lists over the years. I have hundreds of them. Sometimes I make a list of books that I'm hoping to have published and I stretch it out for the next decade or so. Again, the list is usually ridiculous. I'll see one year and say "Oh, so I'm supposed to have six releases in 2012, nice!" But as I've done it over the years, I have managed to be successful in some respects. Last year, for instance, saw the release of two novels of mine. But both of those were planned a long time before the year came. 

If you want to write, my encouragement is to set some pretty outrageous goals. Maybe it's simply to write and finish a novel in 2009. Maybe it's to write a couple and get one contracted for. Whatever it might be, make that list, and have it front and center so that you are forced to see it over and over. For my 2009 writing journal, I have my list of goals on the first page. So I get to see it over and over again throughout the year. 

I'm not sure what this year will bring. But my hope is that I'm able to strike off a few of these goals and achieve just a little more. 

For someone who is able to do something he loves on a daily basis, I'm very fortunate.