Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Insecure Writer: resolutions make me uneasy

The first Wednesday of the month
 is time for Insecure Writers
 Support Group, hosted
by Alex Cavanaugh and his
excellent team. 
Click here for a list
of all the participants and to join in.
The title of this post is completely ironic, because just yesterday I listed 6 reading goals for 2014. The only kind of resolutions that don't make me anxious and uneasy are reading goals, because reading comes so easy (too easy) for me. Okay, if it were good to have a resolution to eat chocolate everyday, that would be another easy one for me.

But yearly writing goals or resolutions? Those scare me. Too hard. Too confining, for some reason. However I do love participating in NaNoWriMo, which has the frightful goal of writing 50,000 words in one month. And sometimes I join other short term challenges for writing or revising. Maybe the key to achieving goals is doing them with other people? And going for short term goals helps, too.  Anything over a month is too scary for me. 

Another thing that I'm insecure about is transitioning to a new writing project. I've been working for two years exclusively on this one manuscript, Star Tripped, and I need to stop fretting over it, keep querying it, and start working on something else. I have other projects that I'm excited to start, but what worries me is that this one will keep sneaking back into the limelight. "Oh, just fix this one last thing." Which then spawns the idea for another change. I like to focus on one manuscript at a time. I want one thing to be all wrapped up and nice and neat before I move to the next, but creative work doesn't usually wrap up nice and neat. 

Which do you like better, yearly goals or short term goals? 


24 comments:

  1. I can go for both yearly goals and short term goals. I do think that having some kind of support system, like the kind you can get with doing NaNoWriMo can help you stay on track with certain goals because you and your peers can hold one another accountable. It would've been such an isolating experience for me if I had to tough it through NaNoWriMo alone that one year when I did it! Glad there were others doing it to cheer me along!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I prefer short term goals, makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something. Even longer term goals work better for me if I break them up into smaller ones.

    mood
    Moody Writing

    ReplyDelete
  3. I need to focus on both reading and writing goals. It would be nice if things did "wrap up nice and neat." That's one of the reasons I've taken so long to start writing a book.

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  4. Welcome to the IWSG! I don't like resolutions, either. I seem to go out of my way to sabotage myself. :)
    It's important for a writer to learn to let go of a project and start a fresh one. Letting go is part of the process.

    River – IWSG Co-host
    Seasoned With Words

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was bad with the constant small fixes in the beginning. Now I focus on new projects instead.

    I prefer small goals. It's hard to say what I'll be doing in five months, never mind what I'll be doing in ten. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like short term goals too. I loved doing NaNoWriMo, even though I went into it with trepidation. My goal right now is to finish my edits on this book (just back from my editor) by the end of the month. That is a goal I can set my fingers to... I don't do yearly resolutions. Another blog I follow said, why make a resolution to do something you don't want to do? All that does is set one up for failure. If you're going to resolve to do something, make it something worth doing, something you can feel good about WHILE you do it as well as at the "end" of it! I think that's good advice! Happy new year!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I make daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals! I use this model for a Strategic Writing Plan: http://theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/how-to-create-a-strategic-writing-plan-tips-for-organized-writers/s

    I tweak it all year though. I think some people struggle with their resolutions because they don't allow room to alter them. Resolutions and goals should be organic. As long as you're moving forward and improving in some way, it doesn't matter if you accomplish everything perfectly or exactly as you imagined it on January 1.

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

    ReplyDelete
  8. Resolutions are hard! I prefer long term goals for my writing, they're easier to manage. For this year, I have a novella to finish on a deadline, and I have my second novel to finish. But I'm not opposed to adjustments along the way.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I much prefer the short term goals. I too like things wrapped up nice and neat and checked off my list. Too many things keep nagging at me to tweek them just a bit more. I suppose a fear of failure lurks at my basic insecurities about goals and resolutions.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Margo, I tend to work best under pressure so I am going with the short term choice. When I have all the time in the world, I tend to take all the time in the world (It took me YEARS to write my first MS).
    Good luck with your querying!
    Leanne ( http://readfaced.wordpress.com/ )

    ReplyDelete
  11. Eventually, the paper gets ripped off the package anyway. I don't know about you, but I sure don't save the tape when unwrapping my presents. Writing is what writing does - it's messy, with a lot of gray area, and that's what makes it so darned much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Margo, why does it not surprise we we are both "one last thingers?" My CP's and I share monthly goals with each other. It keeps the productivity engine going.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is such a good idea! I shall propose just such a plan with my CPs

      Delete
  13. I need both long term goals and short term goals. And sometimes I just need a break from all of it for a few days! ;) Happy 2014!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I actually like long term goals . . . more like crossing items off my bucket list :-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I usually focus on goals that are at least a few months out, usually six months to a year.

    ReplyDelete
  16. small goals...easier to accomplish! good luck with all the writing I know you're going to do because you just got to!! glad I found you blog, and now following!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I worked on one ms for 3 yrs. Same as you. Found little and big things to revise which eventually made it better. I didn't make any resolutions this year, but I set a yearly goal, and that's to have 2 books published. Hah! We'll see.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm generally better with long term goals. I tend to multitask a lot, so it's better if I have plenty of time to juggle all the different things I'm trying to accomplish. Then again, sometimes I'll set myself a short term goal just to force myself to focus on only one thing.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Any type of goal scares me. I'm not sure the root of this fear but it's something I'm chiseling away at, bit by bit. Long term goals look wonderful, but I tend to procrastinate and they end up being short term to-dos! If I have a long term goal that I can break down into smaller, short term goals, that does help!

    Best of luck with your 2014 projects!
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure what's at the root of my fear of goals, too. I haven't even begun to chisel; I'm still in denial! :)

      Delete
  20. Two years is a long time! What do you think is keeping you from moving on to a new project? I try to write a new book once a year--some of them I stop and start another one but go back later. This year my goal is to finish editing and submit one I completed in the fall. My personal resolutions are the hardest for me. Like staying positive no matter what :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'll have both, but short-term goals are more doable and measurable for me.

    Happy writing.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I much prefer daily goals. They're easier to reach.

    Do have overall ones ... like training myself to write first, and social media at night. So far, I've failed.

    ReplyDelete