The beginning of a new year signals change and promises of it; New Year resolutions, monthly plans, organised calendars, and goal upon goal....

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The beginning of a new year signals change and promises of it; New Year resolutions, monthly plans, organised calendars, and goal upon goal. Everywhere you turn, each blog you search, is full of proclamations of how 2020 is going to be different. So as I brainstormed the topic of today's post, I couldn't help but feel that I should join in by whipping up yearly goals.

But I have a secret. I've never made a New Year's resolution in my life. I can't even recall a time I made a goal that stretched a whole year! I've always hesitated before making them, so I thought I'd explore why with you today. Is it worth it making writing goals for 2020 and every year following?


Cons:

Restricting Passion

I'm constantly surprised by the writing projects I work on in a year. Half of them tend to appear out of nowhere, grab me by the throat, and demand I write them immediately. If I had planned the stories I would work on to the day in 2019, I would never have written my current WIP and two others. If you're like me and feel compelled to follow goals without a single deviation, goals could mean losing the chance to work on truly inspiring project.

Writing for a Number

It becomes dangerous when writing becomes a chore, a target wordcount to hit every day, without enjoying the act of writing itself. While months like NaNoWriMo are great for building our writing muscles, keeping up that pace for a whole year or months is draining. It's so important to keep our passion for stories thriving! Without it, writing can be a strain and the very love that drew us to craft new worlds and people disappears. 

Inflexible

So much can happen over a year; there are always, always surprises in store. Setting goals in January for all twelve months means there's little room for flexibility and rolling with the inevitable punches. It could be all too easy to fall behind on the goals and exert extra, unhealthy pressure on ourselves in order to reach them in time.


Pros:

Great Motivation

There's nothing like a goal to kick you into action! There's not a single person for whom a looming deadline doesn't prompt into working, and push them further in skill than ever before. Having a set time to finish a project, or a daily wordcount target, can stretch and build our writing muscles. On days we might usually choose to spend that extra hour watching Netflix, a deadline nudges us into finishing that project so much sooner! 

Accountability

There's something to be said for putting goals out there into the world (or the internet). The second you hit 'Publish', people are going to read them. While not all will remember the exact wording and timeline of these goals months down the line, simply having them published holds the writer accountable. As a result, goals are much more likely to be achieved and make us feel accomplished!

Higher Productivity

Pulling the two points above together, writing goals are all tailored to increase our productivity. From my experience, whenever I set small goals of tasks to achieve in one day, I'm far more likely to achieve them all and still have time left over. Goals prompt organisation, and from organisation, productivity!


In Conclusion...

Personally, I won't be making writing goals for the whole of 2020. From experience I find great pleasure in bending with the flow of my inspiration and letting new projects surprise me. But I see the wonderful benefit of goals nonetheless! Instead of yearly goals, I'll be planning what I hope to achieve writing-wise in smaller chunks: by month or week.

What's truly important here is understanding what strikes a balance between productivity and creativity for you! We all respond differently to goals and pressure; we work and create as diversely as the stories in our hearts.



Do you set yearly goals? If you have, what are you hoping to achieve? If not, how do you hold yourself accountable and productive?
Happy New Year! <3


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11 comments:

  1. Ooo, monthly writing goals are a good idea! I’ve been using "yearly" writing goals, but half the time I’m either overly ambitious or too easy on myself. XD Finding that happy medium can be interesting.

    Either way, I hope you have a wonderful and productive 2020! :)

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    1. I hope if you try out monthly writing goals you find them helpful! Here's hoping they're your happy medium. xD

      Thank you, same to you! <3

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  2. Good points! I only made one goal last year which was to write 25000 words in my WIP and I ended up winning NaNoWriMo! But since then I haven't touched it at all. XD I think that I'll do the same as you this year and just write the goals.

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    1. Thank you! Congrats on meeting your goal! I hope that this year will be one full of passion and productivity. <3

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  3. Those are great points. I never really thought of goals as restricting, mostly because mine are pretty loosely made. I may have some goals for the year, but I also am OK with deviating from them. A lot can happen in a year and it's important to know that things happen and sometimes your goals have to change and evolve with new situations. I totally agree with you about wordcount goals being dangerous. I can never do word count goals because then it's all about how many words I wrote and not just the act of writing.

    www.melodypersonetteauthor.blogspot.com

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    1. It sounds like you've found a great balance with your goals, well done! Flexible goals that you're not too worried about moving between or adjusting are great ones to have for yearly goals. :D Yes, exactly! I hope you have a great year Melody. <3

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  4. I don't really set yearly goals either... I'm too afraid to because I rarely end up writing as much as I expect in a given month or even week. XD And especially this year, because my life will be changing so drastically with college and all! But I do like setting monthly/weekly writing goals sometimes.

    Great post!!

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    1. Hehe, I feel that. xD It's really easy to overestimate how much I can write wordcount wise, which is why I tend to set time goals! Be kind to yourself this year, and allow yourself to settle into your life change and figuring out how writing fits in it. <3 Thanks so much!!

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  5. These are great points! I like to set yearly goals to motivate myself. I try to make them flexible, because I don't to burn out and crap happens, but they are very motivating to me in the long run.

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    1. Thanks Victoria! :) You've got a great balance for goals, it sounds like. I'm glad you find them so motivating and they encourage you to keep writing! <3

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  6. I've stopped setting a lot of goals but I try to make a couple small ones.

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