Setting Your Writing Goals – look back then forge ahead

Over the holidays, I hit a bit of an emotional slump. It happens almost every year due to my ongoing mental health struggles, and unfortunately affects my writing life too.

As January 1st approached, I was feeling a great need to make 2018 better than 2017. At the time, it felt like nothing had gone right that year.

I saw a Facebook friend post about using Mel Robbins’ Best Year Ever guide to reflect on 2017 and set goals for 2018, so I dowloaded my free copy as well.

As I reflected on 2017, I realized my emotional state was playing a huge role in my interpretation of my successes that year. I began to list my 2017 accomplishments:

  • Read the first draft of my novel and outlined the second draft
  • Became an official Municipal Liaison for National Novel Writing Month
  • Wrote 50,125 words during NaNoWriMo 2017
  • Started and maintained my ML on the DL blog on the Silverleaf Writers Guild website throughout the month of November.
  • Read 25 books (many of which were research to inform my novel)
  • Averaged over $600 per month in writing and editing revenue
  • Secured a regular writing job with TimminsToday.com that would allow me to maintain my autonomy as a writer

These were considerable accomplishments, and only covered the writing aspect of my life. I was able to list additional accomplishments related to my family, real estate career, and community involvement.

A lot people forget to reflect on the past before they start setting new goals. As my example shows, sometimes it seems like you’ve accomplished a lot less than you really have, depending on your mindset. Sit down, turn off all distractions, and make a list of what you accomplished in 2017.

The successes and failures of your past should inform your future. Your goals should always reflect a desire to improve yourself, moving forward instead of moving backward.

If I had continued to wallow in my depression, I may very well have started 2018 less productive than I did in 2017. I would have set myself up for failure. Instead, I forged ahead with a positive outlook.

Now, I plan to challenge myself by beating some of last year’s numbers. Here are some of my goals for 2018:

  • Read 30 books
  • Earn at least $1000 per month in writing and editing revenue
  • Finish the second draft of my novel
  • Tweak my completed novella and send out query letters to find an agent
  • Write 60,000 words during NaNoWriMo 2018
  • Post at least 52 blog entries on my website (one per week on average)
  • Learn how to shoot great videos and create an online editing course

I’m excited to see what 2018 will bring! What are your 2018 writing goals?

Published by

Jessica Trudel

Jessica Trudel has been a freelance writer and editor for over a decade. She is an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness, and a supporter of the arts in Northern Ontario.

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