Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Looking Forward 2011 (Part I)

I don't make New Year's resolutions per se, but I do try to use the beginning of the new year as a time to think about and choose some areas of my life that I'd like to focus on or make improvements in as the new year progresses, and set some attainable, measureable goals in those areas.

I've started thinking some about what those will be in 2011, and while some of them will stay private, there are a couple I want to post about here, for two reasons. First, they're areas of my life that I will probably post about a good bit, and second, by putting my goals out here it will help me stay more accountable to myself just knowing that others know what I'm trying to achieve.

You can probably guess the first one….WRITING

After a dedicated couple of months this fall, my writing has been sadly almost nonexistent for the past 6 weeks or so. There are a lot of excuses for this, mainly that I have been focused on other things, but it basically boils down to the fact that I have not made the time to write.

Nanowrimo turned into basically Nanothing this year. I just didn't have a clear idea of where my story was going and got frustrated with it and gave up. I haven't given up on the story itself, but it will need to be rethought and researched more before it's replanned and any more writing occurs on that idea. I've decided that rather than trying to just write a novel, even a basic rough draft of one, I should focus more on getting in the habit of writing and improving my writing skills. If an idea for another novel should strike me fully formed I'm not saying I won't start writing on it, but I'm not going to make a novel my goal for the year, rather I'm going to work on smaller writing projects and smaller goals.

Goal - Make time to write at least 30 minutes every single day. Until August 1, 2011, this can include writing in my personal journal, writing a blog post, doing a writing exercise, or just writing whatever comes to me at the time. The point is, I have to write it, not just compose it in my head while driving or laying in bed. After August 1, 2011, writing in my personal journal no longer counts towards the 30 minutes. Hopefully by that point I will be more in the habit of writing and won't be as stymied on what to write about other than the minutia of my day. Also, by that time of the year, work will be less crazy and I should have more time in general to write in my personal journal and do other writing as well. There will definitely be times the first half of the year when all my brain will be able to do is relate the minutia of my day, if that, so in order to meet this goal, some days my personal journal will have to count.

Goal - Do a blog post 3 times a week. For purposes of this goal, a week is Sunday through Saturday. Some of the posts might be short, and might be along the lines of "work is so crazy right now I don't have time to think", and you might see a lot more weekend posts than weekday posts, but I think this is doable, and if I meet this, then that covers at least 3 days a week of my 30 minute/day goal.

Goal - At least once a week, do a writing exercise. Again, Sunday through Saturday is a week. By writing exercise, I mean either: 1) taking a writing prompt and spending some time writing something and doing at least some editing and crafting of the writing, or 2) doing an exercise from one of the writing sites, books, magazines, etc. that is designed to work on a particular area of writing, such as plot, character development, dialogue, etc.

Goal - Actually keep track of whether I'm meeting these goals. I will create a document or calendar or something that tracks when I do each of these so that I can see whether I'm meeting the goals.

That's it for today, more tomorrow.

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