Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year's Resolutions and Writing Goals

I have mixed feelings about New Year's resolutions. On the one hand, January 1 is just another day of the year, and it seems like most people set up vague and overly-ambitious resolutions that they quickly drop. On the other hand, I am in favor of regularly reviewing writing and life goals. That's the only way to clearly see what path you are on and figure out how to get where you want to go. And the beginning of the new year is as good as any time to do that!

I'll be leading the January SCBWI schmooze in Albuquerque, where we'll continue a series on the writing life. This time, we'll be discussing our goals and how to make them happen. In preparation, I've been tracking other blog posts on goals and resolutions. There's lots of great advice here.

Redefine Success, from Luke Reynolds (highly recommended).

Set Goals NOW for 2013, from Writers First Aid by Kristi Holl.

How's the Work Going? It All Depends: Focus on this moment, this day, this year, also from Writers First Aid by Kristi Holl.

Make Your Own Luck, by Angela Ackerman: What can you do to give yourself the best chance of success? 

Margaret Peterson Haddix on how she has defined success. (Hear how other authors define success with Cynsations Career Builder series.) 

Writing and Life Balance (Discipline, Setting Priorities, and Life and Volunteer Duties), by Susan Uhlig.

Writing In No Time, from this blog.

Debut Author vs. Career Author (although this one is targeting published authors, much of the planning and organizational advice should be useful to pre-published authors as well).

In personal news, I've been invited to join the Project Mayhem group blog. Learn about the new members here. I'm planning to stop posting to this blog (though I'll leave it up so you can visit the archives) sometime in the near future, and move my activity to Project Mayhem. I'll still be talking about the craft and business of writing, along with some other book topics. I'm looking forward to a new venue, a lighter schedule (a couple of posts per month from me), and the chance for a little more diversity in my topics. Please consider following Project Mayhem for news and thoughts from "The Manic Minds of Middle Grade Writers."


  1. I don't have mixed feelings about resolutions. I flat don't like them! They always get tossed by the middle of January. I'm probably setting goals that are too big. I should start small, like "Finish editing one poem." Great list of resources, Chris. I've posted your link to my Fan Page and also sent it over to Twitter.

  2. That's the problem, Karen – the temptation to set goals that are too big or too vague. Goals should be "specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely" (SMART) For more on SMART goals, see

  3. I actually like the idea of sitting down and listing goals, aware that it has to be a flexible list. But it does help to keep me focused. I like the list of articles on this that you've shared here. Thanks. I always enjoy your tips.

  4. My brother had a good post On Resolutions and Writing Habits on his blog, Let's Schmooze - Doug Eboch on Screenwriting:

    He focuses more on changing habits that on reaching goals. Here's a quote: "So though I do pick a few broad goals for the year, they are usually related more to improving my habits than achieving specific milestones. And, I’ve started making monthly resolutions (another idea I’ve discovered is not particularly original). Those have turned out to be far more valuable."

  5. Great blog. Its very useful.I appreciate your work and keep it up.Thanks for sharing.