Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 Goal Setting and Inadvertent Hiatus

Oh boy, it's that time again. Time to set some goals for myself. I hate to call them resolutions, but I do like to look at the year to come and consider what I'd like to accomplish before the end of the next year.

Before I do that, I wanted to say a belated Merry Christmas! I took a somewhat inadvertent hiatus last week. My laptop died. My NEW laptop died. Apparently, it has hardware issues. I had access to other computers, but knew I wouldn't be able to do the Wednesday links post or photo post (I have my photos on my laptop, as well as the spreadsheet where I list any links I come across that I want to pass along). Luckily, my superhero hubby was able to take everything off that hard drive, put it on a new one in a different laptop that is currently either a temporary loaner or just my new laptop until we get this all worked out. I decided it was a great reason to give myself a break for a week, and ducked out of work-related items, as well. It was a pretty good break, all things considered, but I stressed about the things I should be doing, so not as good a break as it could have been.

Anyway, I'm back! I hope your week was wonderful.

Back to goal setting.

What did I achieve this year? 

  • I sold my first paid short story (only to have the magazine tank). 
  • I joined a critique group.
  • I jumped into a fun collaborative writing project, and though it may never see a completed novel out of it, I don't feel like I wasted my time. It was a valuable experience.
  • I un-trunked my first novel, because I decided it was worthwhile, and I have a plan of attack.
  • I nearly finished my second novel. Soooo close now.
  • I finished quite a few short stories.
  • I participated in some great online projects, including the Tree of Life and Composers for the Philippines.
And I'm sure there are other things, but this is a good list for now, I think.

What would I like to achieve in 2014?

  • Better self-discipline.
  • Finish novel #2.
  • Edit novel #1.
  • Submit at least three short stories.
  • Work out a better schedule (this is a perpetual goal...and one I never seem to achieve.)
  • Spend more time writing.
  • Do something writing-related that makes me nervous. Example: Submit to a pro-paying market I think I stand no chance of getting into.
  • Write something different than what I typically write. For instance, a genre I don't dabble in typically. Romance? Erotica? Steampunk? 

Okay, enough goals for now. I wanted to make a do-able goal list. I'm tired of stressing myself out.

What are your goals for the year (or any time period)? Do you like setting goals for yourself, or would you rather avoid that whole rigmarole? When was the last time you did something in writing that scared you? What are your achievements for the year (I don't care how minor)? Do you keep your goals minor or do you like to use them to really stretch yourself? 

May you find your Muse.


M.J. Fifield said...

I do like setting goals for myself, even though I get so mad when I fail to achieve them (which happens most of the time, sadly).

I usually use NaNoWriMo as a time to experiment with other genres. The first two projects turned out well enough that someday I'll pursue them further.

Happy writing, and Happy New Year!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I really like the idea of doing something writing-related that's scary. I did that last year when I released my flash fiction collection as an ebook. Not sure what I'll do like that this year but I'm definitely going to keep it in mind. :)

Happy 2014!

A Beer for the Shower said...

That writing something in a completely different genre goal is a great one. We did that last year with our horror novel, and it's probably the novel we're most proud of to date. You never know what you might excel at until you try it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry the magazine tanked. And your laptop died. Glad your husband was able to save the hard drive though.
When it comes to those old manuscripts, I say go for it!

Kimberly said...

You accomplished a lot last year!

I try to set goals, but don't always reach them, but I try! :)

Andrew Leon said...

For a plotter, I am surprisingly goal resistant.
But good luck with yours.

Anonymous said...

So sorry that you are having laptop problems. No fun at all. I hope that all gets straightened out real soon! Happy 2014!

Yolanda Renée said...

All great accomplishments and you deserve a pat on the back! Good goals for the New Year, I wish you the best of luck with them.
2013 was a good year and 2013 was a bad year, but in the end the scales came even. No complaint with that!

Wishing you all the best this New Year!

Morgan said...

Shannon, you've had an AMAZING year. So proud of you! And I love your goals... I definitely want to spend more time writing... I think that goes hand in hand with self discipline. I'm excited to see how your next years goes. Good things coming in 2014!

cleemckenzie said...

Magazines and publishers do that all the time, just sorry you were caught in one of those situations. If that story sold to them, it will sell to another. Keep trying. Here's to success in 2014.

Elizabeth Sara said...

Self discipline is something I need. It's one of my goals, too.

M Pax said...

I'm in crunch mode to finish my next book and realized that this should be my schedule everyday. Then I could take weekends and holidays off and maybe get more work out. :)

I also have BACK UP on my calendar every month this year.

Sharon Himsl said...

I like the boldness of your last two goals. My goal is pretty basic right now. Submit next month and see what happens. Oh...a new book is in there too. Happy New Year and all the best!

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Anonymous said...

I'm also goal-setting. I'm proud of what I did in 2013 and hope to do more next year.

Happy New Year and good luck with your goals.

klahanie said...

Hi Shannon,

So highs and some frustrating lows for your good self in 2013.

Now that you are up and running again, I can see wonderful things will happen out of what you wish to achieve.

I don't set goals as such. My life is so varied that I just do whatever, whenever. Or let the famous dog take over. No pressure, no expectations, just a bit of therapy.

Have a wonderful 2014. You can make it so.

Gary :)

Laura Clipson said...

These are great goals for the new year, I think mine will be along the same lines - there's a lot I want to improve writing-wise. Good luck, and Happy New Year!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm only thinking of general goals this year. Mostly I'm working on balancing work and play. Happy New Year.

John Wiswell said...

Those are quite some goals! Essentially to finish two novels. I believe in your ability to nail both, though.

My goals are simple. I'm starting a new novel next week and will want to see it through, and query my existing novels to find the right agents and publishers. Also, some weight loss.

Rachel said...

Congrats! You got so much done last year! And this year, you'll finish everything on your list and then some. =)

Shannon Lawrence said...

M.J., now THAT is an interesting way to use NaNo! Though I guess in a way I've done the same, and the story I was considering starting this coming November is completely different from what I've written so far (Paranormal Western). But I hadn't thought of it this way.

Madeline, please let me know what you come up with that was scary!

B&B, did you have fun with it?

Alex, I was so relieved he could get that for me. It's good to live with a computer guru.

Kimberly, I try, too, but never seem to reach all of them. I did try to keep these ones fairly simple and make the list short, but...we'll see.

Andrew, a lot of people seem to be goal resistant. For me, I work better with some sort of deadline, which is maybe why it helps. Or do you like a deadline, too?

Susanne, I think, *knock on wood* that it's all fixed up now.

Yolanda, I'm glad that, at the very least, 2013 balanced itself out. It was possibly one of my worst ever, personally, but with writing-related stuff, it was pretty good.

Morgan, I hope you have a great, productive, successful, inspiring year! And thank you!

Clee, one thing I'm disappointed in myself for is that I didn't immediately re-submit the story. I did put it past my critique group to get their thoughts, though, and plan on doing one edit and re-submitting this month. Fingers crossed!

Elizabeth, it's a good goal, but a hard one.

Mary, "back up" is a darned good thing to have on your calendar. I need to do that, too. Good luck with everything! Yes, it would really work best in the long-term to have that good schedule, but easier said than done, right?

Sharon, I attended a great workshop recently where they said keep your goals basic and specific, so yours sounds good to me. Good luck with your goals!

Medeia, from what I've seen, you have plenty to be proud of. Good luck this year!

Gary, was that a little Star Trekkian? Ah, well, if I had a Penny of my own, I imagine she could help keep me in line.

Laura, good luck to you with your goals! I think there's always something to improve in terms of writing.

Susan, I think that's a solid goal to focus on. I need to do that, as well.

John, great goals! Good luck with your new novel, querying, and your weight loss. Getting in better shape is a current goal for me, as well.

Rachel, I hope so! Thank you for the support!

Andrew Leon said...

Oh, no, I like deadlines.