This is NOT a New Year's Resolution

I was re-reading yesterday's post and it struck me that the ending is kind of lame. Maybe I got bored with the subject of me toward the end and just decided to tack on a little meaningless sentiment, meant mainly to reassure myself that everything is fine: I'm happy, really. I can't think of anything I'd want to change! Everything is just perfect! Well, of course that's just not true. I am happy, yes. But I'm not perfect. And neither is my life. The truth is I have a long list of undone things on my "To Do" list. I could stand to lose five (ten) pounds. And my social life--well, let's just say there's definitely a resolution or two lurking in that area.

But there is one topic I'd like to focus on, and that's the writing. The thing about the writing is that no matter how long you've been doing it, no matter how good you are at it, you can always get better. That's one of the things I find exciting about it. Then again, it's one of the frustrating things, too. It's like a never-ending "To Do" list.

But just because something is daunting doesn't mean you shouldn't tackle it, right? So I've decided to spend some time thinking about my writing life and career. Where I am and where I want to be. And how exactly I plan to get there. I have a kind of vague and broad idea that I would like to get to a point in my writing career where I only have to write what I want to write and still be able to live comfortably. But I'm not totally sure how to go about doing that. As always, the question is where to begin.

And then yesterday I was going through the job search sites -- there are five of them listed in the sidebar to the right under the heading SITES -- and I found an article posted on the freelance writers page at It's called "Write Your Own Reality," and it lists 14 questions to help you formulate goals, dreams, and resolutions about your writing. I'm going to work through the list today, but I thought I would post it this morning in case anyone else found it worth tackling as well.

The list, by the way, is not perfect. I find questions 6 and 9 to be a little vague. And I plan to skip question 7 (already do) and question 8 (boring). And I think it's OK to go off on a tangent, if one of the questions leads you in an interesting direction. If you want to share some or all of your answers via the "comments" section, that would be great. Or, if you post them on your own blog, leave a link so I can check it out, OK?

Anyway, here are the questions:
  1. Where do you want to be with your writing in the long-term?
  2. Where are you with your writing now?
  3. What project did you leave unfinished last year that you need to finish for your own peace of mind?
  4. What creative goals do you want to achieve over the next year?
  5. What financial goals do you want to achieve over the next year? Yearly? Monthly? Weekly? (Note: Feel free to keep this number private, but you should set one).
  6. What steps do you see necessary in your life to achieve these goals? Each month, pick one step and work on it.
  7. What will make you refer to yourself, first and foremost, as “writer”?
  8. What steps do you need to take on the technical front to achieve your goals (such as improving spelling, grammar, and a general widening of skills)?
  9. What steps do you need to take on the creative front to achieve your goals?
  10. What changes do you need to make in your daily life (interaction with friends, family, job) to make this work?
  11. What marketing steps do you need to achieve your goals?
  12. How much time each day do you vow to devote to your writing?
  13. With what new type of writing will you experiment in the coming year?
  14. What new non-writing interest do you wish to add to your life this year?

[From Write Your Own Reality by Anne Wayman.]*

* Hmmm. I was just looking at this article again, and although Anne Wayman's name is at the top of the page, it does say that the article is a guest column. And the information at the bottom is for Devon Ellington. So I have to guess that she wrote the article. Ellington's blog on the writing life is Ink in My Coffee. Sorry for the confusion.

No comments: