We continue with our discussion of New Year’s Resolutions:
Do you track your goals or do they tend to get forgotten?
I keep a constantly evolving To Do List that contains current deadlines, ideas I want to pursue when I have time, marketing and publicity tasks, and items not related to writing. Often I have a long-term list and also a weekly list, which I may even break down by day. That has specific tasks, from writing a chapter to mailing submissions to buying groceries. As things get crossed off and added, eventually the list becomes a big mess and I rewrite it. (Yes, a computer version might be simpler, but I like having a piece of paper sitting in a prominent position on my desk so I can scribble additions and cross things off, so if I did this on a computer I’d just have to keep printing it anyway.) I’m not sure if this counts as tracking goals, but if something sits on the list untouched for months, it’s a reminder that I either need to get to it, or decide that it’s not important after all.—Chris Eboch, author of the middle grade HAUNTED series, which includes THE GHOST ON THE STAIRS, THE RIVERBOAT PHANTOM and THE KNIGHT IN THE SHADOWS.
They’re always in the back of my mind, really, and they directly influence decisions about how I spend my time. In the past, I’ve enjoyed sharing writing goals with critique group members, writing them all down, and doing a six-month status check, but haven’t done that in a while because I’m the only one who ever wants to!—Joni Sensel, author of THE FARWALKER’S QUEST and other middle-grade and YA fantasies.
I focus on what I am able to accomplish and keep pushing forward until each project is finished. I work best if I write one book at a time, although often edits for another book may come in or other writing obligations. I am at my computer every day.—Linda Joy Singleton, author of the DEAD GIRL series which includes DEAD GIRL WALKING, DEAD GIRL DANCING and DEAD GIRL IN LOVE.
I take an opposite approach to Linda’s—I find myself being more productive when I work on more than one ms at a time. When I get stuck on one story, I go to another. I get a little done on each project this way and am better able to see the projects through to the end. If I had to stick to only one ms, I would get too frustrated to finish.—Parker Peevyhouse, science fiction author.
I set some challenging goals, so I tend to miss some of them. Those are probably best forgotten.—Greg R. Fishbone, author of THE PENGUINS OF DOOM, a contemporary fantasy humor novel for ages 9 and up.
Track or forget goals…both, depending on what else is going on in life. The best way I’ve found to track goals is to write them down, make them visible, and remember to remember them. So I’d say a goal for me for the new year is to be better about tracking my goals.—P. J. Hoover, author of THE EMERALD TABLET, which tells the story of a boy who discovers he’s part of two feuding worlds hidden beneath the sea.
Readers, what are your thoughts?
Tomorrow: tips for keeping true to your goals?