Goal setting is so important for writers. I've written numerous articles about the advantages of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, productivity, and organization for writers.
Toward the end of 2013, I realized I allowed my schedule to get away from me. I overloaded my days all year with tasks that stole my writing time and left me feeling harried. That's when I began to consider ideas that would create a greater sense of peace and accomplishment for 2014. Here are the changes I am making for the new year and the goals I have set so far.
- Daily Bible reading between 8 and 8:30 a.m. I wanted to add daily Bible reading to my schedule this year, but I didn't stick to it. I now realize, if I don't do it first thing in the morning, it won't happen. Once I am on the computer and working, time slips away. Bible reading before I go to my office makes more sense.
- Reduce blogging/reviewing duties. Up until the last quarter of 2011, my blogging and reviewing schedule was manageable. Then I forgot how to say no to people. I took on too many requests. More virtual book tour companies contacted me and I started hosting more authors. That's why this blog--my personal blog--got neglected. That's why I stopped writing new books in June. That's why I planned to participate in Picture Book Idea Month this November and didn't even manage one idea. I simply had too much on my plate. So, I've announced at my main blog that I'm reducing the number of virtual book tours I participate in for 2014 and I'm focusing on my TBR pile instead of taking on new requests. Another advantage to this is I'll have more time to promote my own writing.
- Complete the first draft of my middle grade historical Amelia's Mission by February 28th. This might be ambitious. It needs a lot of work and I haven't looked at it in a while. I'm about 14 chapters in, so I don't think this goal is unrealistic, but I'm also trying to find a part-time job.
- Research one new publisher/agent a month. I want to submit more often. I've started this off right by sending off a query to my current publisher tonight. I have several picture books already written and a few of them are ready to go. I simply need to find appropriate houses for them or agent representation.
- Write one short story for submission each quarter. Again, this is ambitious. I'm not really fond of short stories, but they will make me a better writer overall, and they could help me increase my writing income if I follow through on submitting more often.
If you would like to check out my articles on goal setting, productivity, and organization, you can visit the Time and Stress Management section of Writer2Writer at http://time-management.writer2writer.com/.