Fine. I’m backed into a corner. I’ll tell you.

Told you I’m a rule breaker. I’m already veering off from a set path. I was planning on starting Friday Five (on Friday)– just a trial – and see if I like it. But not today. Next week. Promise.

Just in case you all think I’m a slacker, I’ll share the real reason I don’t write resolutions or goals. I promise I don’t lollygaggle through the year with no aim or purpose.

It’s the same reason why I don’t do Nanowrimo. (Not to say I won’t in the future.)

I have a competitive drive. This drive and determination keeps my goals at the forefront of my mind. I’m already writing. Week to week. Month to month.

I don’t need to write my goals down in order to get stuff done. Actually, I’m pretty hard on myself. I set a schedule and I stick to it. Of course, I also know when I need a break. When I need to spend time with family. And when I need to clean. *cough cough *

Outside of weekly and monthly writing goals, I have two goals, which really apply to all writers.

  1. I will purposefully strive to improve my craft. Read books I like and don’t like and analyze them. Read craft books. Practice. Read more. Work at aspects of life I can control.
  2. I will be bold and take risks in my writing and any future story ideas.

I can’t control whether I get published or not, but I’m sure as bleep going to try. (Hmm, wonder what book I’ve been reading.)

What is your motivation level? Do you need to write goals down in order to reach them? (Outside of writing, I do write lists and cross things off. Or I’d forget what I’m supposed to do.)


20 Responses to Fine. I’m backed into a corner. I’ll tell you.

  1. Andrea January 7, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    I couldn’t live without my lists. In fact, the thing I love best about my new computer and @#$ Windows 7 is that it came with desktop sticky notes. I do like to write down my goals. It gives me a stronger sense of commitment.

  2. Stina Lindenblatt January 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    When I first started writing, I wrote down goals (like reseach SCBWI, read five books on writing fiction) at the recommendation of a book. That’s the only time I did it, but it was fun checking off each one I accomplished. That’s why I decided to do it again this year. But the thing is, they were already goals that were at the back of my mind. I just wrote them down this time.

  3. Creepy Query Girl January 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    I’m kind of like you, as in I don’t need to write a list. My resolution is basically to ‘keep at it’. Do what I’m doing, keep writing, keep querying, keep learning, keep blogging. ‘Keeping up’ is a challenge in and of itself!

    • Laura January 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

      Katie and Stina – You both seem like me. The goals are there and if we write them down fine, but it doesn’t change anything.

      Andrea – I’ve never tried to computer sticky notes, but I might. They look cool.

  4. Marisa January 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Boldly take risks… that is excellent! I’m only just beginning to take risks… timidly. But I’m getting ready to suck it up and be bold about it. Glad I read this, Laura! Great post!

  5. Kris January 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    I’m so bad at making lists. But when I do and check off my progress it feels really good. Laura–I so admire your drive and your dedication to craft. We all learn a lot from you! I need to read more craft books, analyze more. I’ve never been particularly analytical–so it’s a challenge for me. I tend to write more from my gut, but I’m easily stalled/distracted when I get frustrated.

    • Laura January 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

      Kris – I do make mental lists for writing but for day to day tasks I need a real list or I’ll forget!

      Marisa – And the funny thing is, I’ve almost had to train myself how to be bold and take risks (still am). It takes skill. Sometimes we think we’re being risky but we’re really not. 🙂

  6. Kelly Polark January 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    I am motivated by the sheer competitiveness of this business. Unfortunately, sometimes I need a deadline to keep my butt in gear. Like proclaiming I’d finish my manuscript on my blog seriously made me buckle down and just do it. Taking an online class occasionally also keeps me focused. I have goals in my head that I try to stick to as well.
    Good luck, Laura!

  7. Angela Felsted January 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    Lists are like security blankets. They’re what I hold onto when the rest of my life is too chaotic.

  8. Marcia January 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    I don’t feel I need goal lists, specifically. But lists of things to do? In essence, a calendar, and a detailed one? Absolutely!

  9. Laura January 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Kelly – Knowing how hard it is to break in motivates me. Def.

    Angela and Marcia – I still forget things even with a calendar! There is so much to keep track of – esp. when it comes to my kids and their activities.

  10. Susan R. Mills January 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Yeah, I kind of do need to write down goals. I’m not sure why, and sometimes I think that I spend more time writing them down than actually working toward them. Silly, huh?

  11. angela January 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    You have a great attitude, and you’re right–we have no control over that YES. All we can do is stick to what we do have control over–our attitude and our determination to strengthen our writing as much as possible. Go Laura!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  12. Patti Nielson January 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    I don’t have a list of goals pasted on the fridge or by my computer, but in my mind I know what I need to do, even though I don’t always do it.

  13. Lydia K January 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    I have a very high motivation level. It makes me prefer writing to everything else expendable in my life–TV, reading books I don’t like after the first chapter, sleep occasionally…

  14. Karen Lange January 7, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    My motivation level is high right now, as I have a pressing project I must finish. But it’s the stress-y kind of motivation, which I don’t like at all. Looking forward to clearing this out of the way and getting back to the real creative stuff I enjoy.

    Thanks for your kind words over at my blog. 🙂 So glad we’ve met through blogging.
    Have a wonderful weekend,

  15. MG Higgins January 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    Like you, I’m pretty self-motivated. Maybe that’s another reason why I don’t do new year’s resolutions. Hmm. When it comes to my “regular” life, I love making lists for major projects. It feels so good to cross them off when they’re done.

  16. Susan Kaye Quinn January 8, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    Bleep! I know what book that is! (a cute one too, not one of the ones I have to force myself to finish – how to you make yourself keep reading books you don’t like?? It’s a serious question, because I have books that I should read, but sometimes have a hard time getting through.)

    I’m highly motivated to work. Not so much to clean. And it shows in the amount of time I give to each. I have a hard time helping people get motivated to write, because it’s really hard for me to stop – you know, to feed the kids and the cats and other necessary things.

    BTW, go you, with your fabulous goals! I’m sure you will reach them! 🙂

  17. Susan Kaye Quinn January 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    Wow! Freudian slip!! In the email above, I wrote I’m highly motivated to work. and I meant to write I’m highly motivated to write.! I guess I truly do look at my writing as a job. 🙂 One that I love.

  18. patti January 10, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    I’m an extremely driven person; a recent rereading of Colossians 3:23 further motivated me.

    MY best…for Him. That’s my goal. Keeps it simple for me:)

    Blessings, dear one. I LOVE writing books and they’ve REALLY helped me, esp. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (no matter WHAT you write)

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