Tag Archives: Goals

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.)


Writing Goals for 2018

Whatever else 2017 was (and oh, wow, it was a bunch of things), it was my debut year, and that was an amazing experience. I am so grateful for everyone who helped make it happen, and helped make it wonderful.

I do goals instead of resolutions for the new year, because a goal is something you can keep working toward even when you stumble along the way, while a resolution is more brittle and tends to shatter when cracked. So! Here is a big, beautiful year stretching out in front of me, like snow without footprints! Here’s what I’ll strive for this year in my writing life:

Find a better work/life balance. 2017 was my first year writing to a deadline on top of working, parenting, doing publicity stuff, and managing a household. And hey, you know what? It turns out that there are only 24 hours in a day! And no matter how hard you work and how efficient you are with your time, you can’t actually make more hours! Is that bullshit, or what?

I wound up having to dramatically curtail my social life and spend less time with friends and family, and while they were all wonderful and understanding, I want to make sure that in 2018, I always save time for the amazing people in my life. And also for sleep.

Read more. I used to devour multiple books a week in my carefree youth before I had the aforementioned two careers plus family, and while I probably can’t get back to that glorious time until I can quit my day job or my kids move out, I can certainly move in that direction. My TBR pile is full of amazing books I am DROOLING over and desperately want to read. I need to start making it smaller while still adding more books! Giving myself license to read as an important part of my job as a writer, rather than thinking of it guiltily as a fun thing I’m only doing for myself, will hopefully help.

Write Book Three! I am so excited to write the third Swords & Fire book and finish out my first trilogy! It’s going to be EPIC.

Start a new book! I’m eyeing the book I had just started when THE TETHERED MAGE sold (which is a multi-POV thing with politics and murder and magic because WHAT I LIKE POLITICS AND MURDER AND MAGIC THESE ARE YUMMY FLAVORS). But I’m not going to worry too much about what’s next until Book 3 is done.

And that’s probably enough. I do like my goals to be attainable, after all.

Happy new year! And may all your creative endeavors this year be fruitful, satisfying, and most importantly, awesome.


2017 Writing Goals

2017 is here! I like to set goals at the start of each year (rather than resolutions), to get my priorities in order. Here are my writing-related goals for the new year:

  • Rock my debut year. THE TETHERED MAGE comes out this Fall! It’s going to be a crazy, wonderful year, full of new experiences I can only guess at. I plan to both work hard and enjoy every minute.
  • Write book two! I’ve been revising forever, and I am SO EXCITED to start a shiny new first draft soon.
  • Read some great adult fantasy. I was focusing on reading YA while I was writing YA, and I have some delectable catching up to do on recent grownup fantasy. (Recommendations welcome!)

Those are the big three I want to focus on. Subordinate goals include:

  • Save time for fun. I want to reserve time for hanging out with my friends and taking my kids on fun outings, and I need to schedule accordingly in advance. If I try to play it by ear, two careers means I’ll wind up working ALL THE TIME. If I pre-book my fun, I can’t weasel out of it to do work instead.
  • Challenge myself. I always like to pick a new area or two of craft to particularly try to level up when I start a new writing project. Gotta figure out what to work on next!
  • Give back to the writing community. I want to support fellow authors, and help up and coming writers seeking agents.
  • That’s probably enough! 2017 is going to be a really busy year, so I shouldn’t get too ambitious. Can’t wait to see what it has in store!

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Last year was crazy busy in real life, and a roller coaster for our family. For my writing life, however, it was the Year of Revision. While I did new writing too, of course, I think it’s safe to say I did more revising in 2015 than in any previous year in my writing career. And let me tell you, I learned a lot.

I also had the pleasure of judging and/or mentoring in a couple of contests, and it was great fun. I learned a lot from that, too—seriously, nothing will teach you about getting stakes, voice, and dramatic tension on the page better than critiquing a couple dozen solid first pages & queries—and I got a sneak peek at some really neat stories I hope to see on bookshelves someday.

Looking ahead into 2016 (or the rest of it, at any rate), I’ve got some fun stuff coming up. I’m restarting my current WIP, and am very excited about the character and story insights I’ve had that prompted me to restart. I’m hoping to volunteer for more contests and do more critique giveaways to give back to the awesome writing community. I’m also planning to carve out more time for reading—with work, kids, and writing eating up my day, it’s hard to keep up with my TBR pile (it doesn’t help that there are SO MANY SHINY WONDERFUL BOOKS that I have to keep adding to it).

Best wishes to all of you on your current projects, whatever they may be! May 2016 be a fantastic year for creativity and creative people.


Writing Goals for 2015

I have to say, I’m really excited about my writing plans for 2015.

I have three main projects I’m working on at the beginning of this year, each one at a different stage:

First there’s JANUARY IN SHADOW, a YA contemporary fantasy. I recently did a major revision for my agent which I’m really happy with overall. I’m so excited to continue this book’s journey in 2015!

I’m also revising A FALCONER OF VENICE, a YA historical fantasy set in late 17th century Venice. I’m happy with how revisions are going on this one, too. My goal for AFOV is to finish revisions sometime this winter and have a draft ready enough to show my agent.

Then there’s a new book, which doesn’t have a working title yet and is still in the planning stages — another YA fantasy, surprise surprise. I’m super excited about New Book. It’s my first real try at multi-POV, and I love the cast of characters I’m developing. I think it’s going to be a blast to write, with each of them having their own goals, secrets, and conflicts all playing off each other. It’ll be a challenge, and I love that, too. My goal for New Book for 2015 is to get a first draft complete.

I’m also hoping to give back to the writing community in 2015, since I got so much amazing support and help in 2014.

Suffice to say I’m all psyched up to have a creative, productive, and fun year. I can’t wait!

And I can’t wait to see the wonderful things all my creative friends and writer buddies produce, as well! Here’s to a year of amazing stories.


NaNoWriMo 2014

I’ve never done NaNoWriMo, but every year I cheer on friends doing it. I find it incredibly motivational to watch them post their word counts and progress.

I’ve always got some writing goal I’m working towards, and in November I like to try to set something suitably epic so I can get into the NaNoWriMo spirit even if I’m not in the right place to start and end a new novel in one month. Some years I’ve used the boost of enthusiasm I get from the NaNoWriMo excitement to finish a novel draft, to complete a revision pass, or to hit some other milestone.

This year, my baseline November goal is to complete my current major revision pass. My stretch goal is to complete the entire revision (which will include multiple passes with different purposes). Thanksgiving blasts a big hole in the middle of November for me due to family visits, so I’ll probably only get 20-25 real writing days out of the month, but I’m going to go for it!

I wish all my friends who are doing NaNoWriMo luck… and those who have other November writing goals luck, too. Get those words on the page!