Please help me welcome my friend, the talented Jan Romes, romance author of the Texas Boys Falling Fast Series. Jan is here today to share some helpful thoughts about how writers might go about setting realistic expectations and goals in the New Year.
Submitted By: Jan Romes
In spite of the snow and frigid temperatures that accompany January, it is one of my favorite months. As an eternal optimist I embrace it as my start-over-with-a-clean-slate month. I spend time reflecting on the things that happened the previous year and make plans for what I’m going to improve on or do differently in the following months. I’m a resolution maker from the word go. The first few things on my list probably mirror those of many others; put God first, give more attention to family and friends, lose weight, choose what I eat more wisely, worry less, etc. Those are wonderful things to strive for that will make me a better person spiritually, mentally and physically. Farther down on the list, but not less important, are the goals for my writing career and that’s what this post is about – not my personal goals, per se, but writing goals in general. I hope you’ll stick around and leave a comment.
On with the good stuff…
First and foremost, I think it’s important to set realistic goals and expectations. Even with that clean slate you need to be reasonable with what you will require from you. This is a comment I made in December on Facebook —
‘I’ve organized all the papers/scribbled notes/sticky notes, etc. They are now in individual folders. In 2014 I have 16 books to write!! Haha! No unrealistic expectations there! But hey…at least I won’t run out of ideas’
The comment was lighthearted and definitely said in jest! There’s no way I could write 16 books in a year. With that said, I think it’s important to have a practical, yet exciting vision for your long term success, but to also create some amazing, attainable short term goals to get there. Setting smaller goals will help you stay focused and you will be able to measure your achievements. You’ll be able to see forward progress.
There will be times where life will get in the way, it happens to us all. That’s why smaller goals won’t throw you in a huge tizzy if you don’t reach them in your pre-determined time frame. It will be easier to get back on track.
Have a healthy relationship with your writing. Your passion wants to explode all over the place, yet to be a successful writer you also need to see it as a business. It won’t crimp your creativity; if anything, it will help you keep your eye on the prize.
Don’t forget to take care of you while you’re taking care of your manuscript. Occasionally pull yourself away from the computer and do some light stretching or go for a short walk. Drink a glass of water. (If you’re dehydrated chances are your concentration level has taken a nose dive) Eat something that will do your body and mind good – carrots, celery, apple slices, etc.
Have faith in you and in your goals. If you have a set amount of words you want to write per day, sit in that chair and make them happen. If the words won’t flow like you want them to, don’t beat yourself up. You might be fighting your muse instead of the other way around. Take a step back, gauge where your story is at, and ask “what if?”
I’m getting a little long-winded here, so I’ll leave you with this link to a song by Electric Light Orchestra – ‘Hold on Tight to Your Dream’.
Have a great year writing all those great stories that are burning to be told!
Jan Romes is the romance author of the Texas Boys Falling Fast Series. To learn more, please visit: