As I prepared my yearly goals for 2017, I studied my 2016 goals, asking myself which goals I met and why. More importantly I pondered which I goals eluded me, and why. In Take Control of your Goals in the New Year, Annie blogged about setting goals that are within your power. Her aggressive 2016 goals were hard to accomplish because of factors beyond her control.
Some of my goals for last year, were sunk by, wait for it... phrasing. I aimed for 50 rejections during the year. Having heard of other writers who set this goal, I figured aiming for rejections would motivate me to submit more queries. It worked for the first two months, until those rejections started pouring in. All I could think was, “Ten more months of this?!” The rejections completely stopped me in my querying tracks. For months, I sent NO queries, even though I had multiple submission-ready Picture Book manuscripts. What I thought was a cutesy, fun, roundabout goal, turned out to be a complete switch-off. Collecting rejections might spur on some writers. I am not that writer.
This year my writing goals include very specific submission goals: To send novel queries out in batches of 10 during certain months. I took into account school vacations and busy times of the year to determine which months I will send out these queries. This goal focuses on the part of the process that is my responsibility. My ultimate goal is, after all, to get yesses. Of course, there will be rejections, but my goal still highlights progress, and requires action from me.
This year, as you set your writing and submission goals consider the following:
- Know who you are. What motivates you? What deflates you?
- Focus your goals on what you can control.
- Phrase your goals positively. They are, after all, meant to inspire.
- Remember to reward yourself with a carrot as you meet each goal