It was an epically bad week last week. Tension all around; I felt I was fighting with everyone. Some of it was productive fighting. Some of it was silly fighting. Some of it was in my own head and not really a fight at all. And some of it was a fight I knew I lost years ago, but could never bring myself to say out loud. When things in my life get like this, I know something needs to change or be re-dedicated.
Goal-setting has never been my favorite thing. In fact, I cringe when I think about it. This is because of way too many blank beautiful notebooks with page 1 listing all my goals…and by the time I find it again, those goals are naive thought bubbles of a previous version of myself. I get embarrassed for the girl that wrote such things.
But I know I have to work towards something concrete in my life. And more than that, I want to work towards something like that. I’d be just darling at sitting home and playing on Facebook, watching the Real Housewives, and eating bonbons. But it’s not fulfilling. When I look back on my happiest days, they are the ones spent in front of the computer screen creating something, not in front of the television wasting away. Even today, as an example, it was relatively stress-free, but I didn’t accomplish anything. I was feeling down and generally blah. I was reading about Scrivener and how to use it more effectively, looking at inspiring quotes on Pinterest, and re-reading some things I wrote last month, but I did not actually write anything. As my Casey would say, “Fail.”
I just now wrote in the novel, and then started this post. I need something structured in my life, and if putting my goals down for the dozens to see it is how it needs to happen for me, then game on. Future Jessica, I apologize in advance.
–Write 1000 words a day, no matter what.
–Finish the second draft of Making Other Plans by April 1.
–Go to one Writing Conference this year.
–Limit my writing time to when my family isn’t here or doesn’t need me.
–Find or start a local writing group
–Have 5 more poems published
–Find an agent who will tell me if I’m wasting my time on MOP, and what to do next with it if I’m not.
–Finish a section of each of my two online classes each week.
–Create and revise more poems
–Apply for grad school once again
On this last point, I know you don’t need an MFA to be a writer. I’m a writer whether I have that degree or not. But I would like to go into academia, and for that, I do need the highest degree in my field. The end goal is to be a published author, respected poet, and credible college professor. Hell, I’d take two out of the three, but I choose to aim high. And all of this while raising three kids who will require minimal therapy as adults.
I have work to do. Any suggestions on achieving any of this, I’m happy to listen to!
As a writer and literary blogger, I think goal setting is one of the most important aspects of writing… especially something as daunting and time consuming as a novel. Even though it’s difficult, you can always do it! Best of luck to you on your writer’s journey.