Sunday, January 3, 2010

Goal Management

As can be seen by the previous post, I have picked some writing goals for 2010. While it's nice to know what I am aiming to accomplish over a year's worth of time there is more work to be done with my goals to make them manageable. I need to look over the year, figure out when to work on what, and how much time to give myself for each goal. Keeping in mind of course that some things can be worked on in the same general time period.

When it comes to breaking down my yearly goals into smaller blocks of time, the forum I'm a member of helps immensely: Forward Motion for Writers. On that forum they have two areas of the site designed for writing goals. Not only can members share their goals with other writers, but we can also encourage each other. Both of these areas of the main forum are only viewable to FM members, but signing up is free, and there is nice group of people there. Though I'm hoping this post might provide some ideas on goal setting weather or not anyone joins FM (though it's a great site - I'm hoshikaze over there).

Anyways, the first area is Goals Workshop & Updates (Year/Month). This is where members can post their yearly goals. I've already posted mine to a thread there. But it's more than only checking in once a year. Each person who uses that area posts in their own thread, one thread per year. Within our thread we usually set monthly goals, picking from our yearly goals what to focus on for the month. Then at the end of the month we usually update the thread to show how many of our goals we've reached for that time period. Goals not met for that month can be carried over, or set aside, whichever the writer setting their goals wants to do.

The other area is Daily Page & Word Count (Weekly/Daily). Each week threads are started for members to post their goals for that week. With the shorter time period we share threads, 5 people each. At the start of the week, members will decide what they want to accomplish for that week, posting it to one of the threads. Then each day we update our section of the thread with what we've done for the day on our writing goals.

When I participate in these areas of the site it helps me to relate the two together. I first establish my goals for the year. Once I have that then I can figure out what to work on for the current month. It's those monthly goals I keep in mind when posting my goals for the week in the Daily area. Right now my goals for this week are to finish figuring out what I want to accomplish in January, in addition to some critiques and working on my 2yn/mining mystery novel. By the end of this week I want to update my yearly goals thread with my January goals. With my January goals established, that will help me figure out my weekly goals for this month.

So in closing, with goals it's good to break them down. For me I like to take my yearly goals, then pick what works for me each month, keeping in mind what will be left to work on for other months. Posting them on FM has the added benefit of support from other writers, and in turn I'll be posting encouragement as well.

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