Monday, January 7, 2013

Writer's Resolutions...I mean goals. (And a workshop starting today that you may want to get into!)

Now that a week has gone by and most of your resolutions have gone to hell in a ham sandwich, let's talk about what you really should make for the new year...Goals.

I love goals. I talk about them all the time here. I even give a goals workshop. But someone recently attended my workshop and told me she'd *hoped* I'd tell her what to do. LOL She thought the title "goals for writers" actually meant I give everyone goals.

I don't. I like attendees to think for themselves! LOL

But this is a blog, and it's my blog and I make the rules so maybe we'll give that a shot. Me, telling YOU what goals you should have as a writer.

Okay. First, set a per "writing session" page goal.  Now, why do I say writing session instead of "day"? Because people with day jobs and kids can't always write everyday. Figure out how many days per week you can write, including Saturday and/or Sunday, and then decide how many words you want to get done in each session. Push yourself, but don't go overboard. Setting the bar too high is actually the greatest cause of procrastination. So know yourself. Figure out the days you can write. And set a per-session word count.

That'll be your first goal.

Goal two...Get out of your shell. Set a goal to enter a contest, go to a conference, join a writer's group. You'll be surprised what you can pick up from other writers over a margarita or in causal conversation at a conference. Get yourself out there!

Goal three...learn a new writing skill. Can you write a great synopsis? No? (I'm shocked.) Buy a book or attend an online class. (Scroll down to see the one I'm starting today...and check my Coming Attractions section on to see the great lineup of workshops I'm doing this year.)

No matter what your particular writing bugaboo there's an online class for it. So hunt around. Find the classes you need and take at least one. Then really "take" the class. Do the assignments, read all the lessons, truly learn the material. And this time next year you'll be so much further ahead than you are now that you'll write me a private email and thank me. :)

Goal four...Read. Seriously, I want to smack writers who tell me they want to publish but never read anyone else's work. Or someone who has targeted a publisher but has never read any of that publisher's books. An hour reading a day will net you over 50 books a year. If you don't have an hour every day, take an hour on Saturday and Sunday and you'll read a book a month...12 books a year, which is pretty good for someone who doesn't read at all. And you won't just get bragging rights. You'll become a better writer. Your ideas will be sharper and more interesting. You may just cross the line from unpub to pub...or from pub into the PUBLISHER or line you really want to write for.

So, those are the four most important goals for every writer. Set a per session word count. Come out of your shell. Learn a new skill. Read.

You do those, consistently, and you'll be much happier this time next year. :)

For those of you interested in taking a workshop...Today I start the LET CONFLICT TELL YOUR STORY workshop for the Maryland group. Here's the link

Here's the blurb

Good books are about people. Great books are about people in trouble. Not just external trouble, but real, gut-wrenching, soul-hurting trouble. Most of us can give our characters believable external struggles and even get them beyond those struggles, but what about that internal struggle? Can a leopard really change his or her spots? And if so how? What do editors and agents mean when they say your character has to grow? Join Susan Meier for LET CONFLICT TELL YOUR STORY FOR YOU. Learn the basis for every internal struggle and how to achieve believable character growth that can carry your whole story and give your characters a real happy ending.

This class is tons of fun. But also, I meant what I said when I told you to set the goal of learning a new skill. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Or, as some motivational speakers put it, you won't get a new or better result until you learn a new skill.

So get thee to some online classes.

Happy Monday


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