Writing Goals for 2019

It’s 2019! Woo hoo! A new year!

I like to set writing goals (rather than resolutions, which are WAY too all-or-nothing for my taste) for each new year, to give myself a direction to focus my energies. I know I won’t completely achieve every one of these to the fullest extent, but I’m going to try, and hopefully that trying will create some sort of net positive result.

So without further ado, here are my writing goals for 2019:

1) Build a better work/Life balance: Find a balance that lets me give my family and writing the full attention they deserve while still making enough room for my day job and household tasks…All while getting sufficient sleep and taking decent care of myself! HA HA HA JUST KIDDING THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT TIME TRAVEL. But I’ll do my best to move in that direction, anyway.

2) Try new things and keep growing as a writer: I always want to keep pushing my boundaries and exploring in new directions. One thing I’ll be working on in 2019 with my new book is building a compelling group dynamic for a set of characters who function as a team, something I haven’t done before. I am super excited to play with this new toy. Romantic tensions! In jokes! Bickering! Secrets! Broken yet loving relationships! Loyalty to death and beyond! I CAN’T WAIT.

3) Confront my demons: (Look, that sounded cooler than “Get better at the things I’m bad at.”) Let’s face it, no one’s perfect. I want to keep identifying and eliminating (or at least mitigating) my weaknesses. One big one I’d love to tackle this year is SCENE TRANSITIONS UGH I HATE THOSE THINGS. If I could learn to get into and out of a scene gracefully and effortlessly on the first try, I could get back SO MANY HOURS OF MY LIFE.

4) Put a dent in my to-read pile: I have this stack of AMAZING unread books sitting there taunting me like a full box of chocolates, and I want to nom my way through as much of it as possible! Which will be less than I’d like. BUT STILL! I must read as many books as I can… to make room for MORE BOOKS.

5) Finish Book One of my new trilogy and start Book Two! This one, at least, I should be able to manage (or else my editor is going to be really mad at me). Deadlines: ensuring productivity since…uh…whenever they invented deadlines. But seriously, I am SO EXCITED about this new series, and am having a blast with this first book. I can’t wait to share it with you!

That’s probably enough writing-related goals for one year. If I have too many, it’ll dilute my focus, which is like the opposite of the point.

Happy New Year! What goals have you got for 2019, if you do the goals thing? (It’s okay if you don’t. If they’re not useful for you, don’t do ‘em.)

Published by Melissa Caruso

Fantasy author of the Swords & Fire trilogy: THE TETHERED MAGE (Orbit, 2017), THE DEFIANT HEIR (Orbit, 2018), and THE UNBOUND EMPIRE (Orbit, 2019), as well as the Rooks and Ruin trilogy, beginning with THE OBSIDIAN TOWER (Orbit, 2020). Melissa's debut, THE TETHERED MAGE, was shortlisted for the Gemmell Morningstar Award in 2017. Melissa loves tea, adventure, and the great outdoors, and has been known to swordfight in ballgowns. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two superlative daughters, and assorted pets. Represented by Naomi Davis of BookEnds.

4 thoughts on “Writing Goals for 2019

  1. You have some killer goals! I really wish you luck on the first one, because I can only imagine how *hard* that one is. But I’m also particularly excited for goal two, because I’m already in love with your writing and I know you’re going to slay that and make me fall in love even more!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ms. Caruso,

    To be on topic, those are wonderful goals and I hope you meet them. Off topic, I want to thank you for your well written books. I just came upon “The Tethered Mage” and thoroughly enjoyed it. You won a lot of trust with me when Amalia was faced with a soon to come death, or the possibility of becoming a tool and opted for death. That’s a credible character. Too many authors are telling the story where the girl is abducted and, more or less, get Stockholm Syndrome and they are somehow all the better for it. They need to tell the story of when the girl is kidnapped she’s so much trouble to them they regret it (like the one about the annoying little boy) or where the girl outright takes them down. That’s what I liked about your first book. Girl was betrayed and they not she paid the consequences. You lost trust with me when Amalia was betrayed in the second book (by the suitor witchlord…and that was a compete betrayal in my book) and somehow contemplated forgiving him. I don’t find it credible that she would have even entertained it but based on the first book am willing to entertain that your moving that along solely to keep an ally for the big win in the trilogy. I find it a bad fit for Amalia. If she cannot completely trust her mate she cannot rule properly. Maybe you entertain it in book 3, but their why would she entertain children who’d have to fight for an empire with a certainty? I don’t think I could possibly be convinced that she’d choose him long term. I tell you this because the second book reads much more like the “girl got kidnapped and succumbed to Stockholm syndrome” (it’s an unrecognizable character, not an evolved one…the witchlord will lead her farther and farther away from her ideals by turn) than the first. I cannot love a character or writer who does that and I want to love your work. I urge you not to do that.


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