December 31, 2015 by Nathaniel Tower
So another year is over. Did you meet your writing goals? I sure as hell didn’t. Honestly, I can’t even remember what they were. I just know I didn’t meet them.
I’m not going to bore you with my yearly recap (although there aren’t even enough highlights for it to be boring). Let’s just say it was a fairly unaccomplished year. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes failure makes it easier to get back on track. Try, try again, right?
Here’s what a lot of writers do at the end of each year. They sit down and type up a bunch of goals for the next 365 days, or in this case, the next 366 days. That’s right, folks. We have an extra day to knock out those yearly goals. So if you were planning to write 365,000 words this year, you only have to write 997 per day!
Back to those writing goals. If you are a goal type of person, it will probably look something like this:
- Write X number of words per day
- Write X number of stories per week
- Finish this novel
- Get my story collection published
- Make a living as a writer
- Make more money than James Patterson and J.K. Rowling combined
Personally, I think it’s all a load of crap. The goals we set generally fall into one of these categories:
- Meaningless – They’re arbitrary things that don’t really accomplish anything in the long term.
- Unrealistic – They’re things we know we aren’t going to achieve but come up with to give ourselves hope for the next year.
- Too easy – They’re things we know we’ll accomplish without any problem so we can feel good about ourselves at the end of next year.
If your yearly writing goals don’t fit into any of these categories, then maybe you actually are on the right track. Maybe it will be a good but challenging year. You’ll accomplish something. Maybe you’ll even get to declare yourself a real writer!
But that’s not going to be my style this year. I’m not setting any writing goals. Not a single one. I’m not going to finish my novel. I’m not going to get X number of stories published. I’m not even going to try to write every day.
So what am I going to do? I’m going to write. I’m going to write what I want and when I want. Maybe I’ll get something published. Maybe I will finish that novel. I’m not sure, and I don’t really care at this point. I just want to write. I want to be a writer this year. And dammit, that’s what I’m going to do.