Friday, January 07, 2011

For Writers - Set SMARTER Goals

For most of us, a new year represents a fresh start - a chance to let go of not-great writing habits and set about creating new ones. As I've already mentioned, I wrote down exactly one resolution this year. But that doesn't mean I don't set tons of goals. I do. Here's a helpful acronym I've learned to help me reach those goals.

Make your goals SMARTER*:

  • Spe­cific - Specify your objective. Exactly what needs to be accomplished?
  • Mea­sur­able - Give yourself a way to track your progress. It's very motivating.
  • Achiev­able - Be realistic. Setting goals you can't meet is very demotivating.
  • Recorded - "A goal not written down is only a wish." Write it down!
  • Time-bound - Give yourself a specific deadline. Especially important for procrastinators like me.
  • Empowering - Be positive in your goal setting! Think do rather than don't.
  • Reviewed - Evaluating how you did with this goal will help you in setting the next.
For example, instead of setting vague goals like "Finish book", set SMARTER goals like "Write two pages on WIP each day." or "Edit ten pages of WIP this afternoon." or "Write with no interruptions for one hour."

Instead of "Find Agent", try "Query two new agents this week." You get the idea.

Best of success in reaching your writing goals!

* The SMART acronym is attributed to either Peter Drucker's 1956 book, "The Practice of Management" or Paul Meyer's 1965 "Personal Success Planner."

This week's writers' link roundup:

A Chance to Ask the Authors: (WordsOnWords)

Christina Katz discusses How To Become a Successful Writer (huffduffer)

How Finding a Publisher is a Lot Like Dating (Wild About Words)

What are the 16 Must Have elements in a novel? (Writing & Illustrating)

Is your Manuscript Ready for Submission? (Ingrid's Notes)

Are you ready for an agent? (Writer Musings)

Or maybe not... (Rants and Ramblings)

About submitting - a small etiquette primer (Buried in the Slush Pile)

Maureen Johnson is awesome. That is all. (MaureenJohnsonBooks)

Establishing your characters (PlotToPunctuation)

Top Ten List for Aspiring Authors (Jody Hedlund)

Using Famous Names For Real (Editorial Anonymous)

Ideas vs. Execution (Genreality)

Also - don't forget, the drawings for THE DEATH BY BIKINI MYSTERIES and GETTING REVENGE ON LAUREN WOOD end tomorrow. Today is the last day to enter!

Now go! Write!