I spent a good part of today researching deadlines for 2013-2014 residencies. It’s something I should have done several months ago – I’ve let some pass already. If I’d been keeping a closer watch on my goals for 2012 and thinking about goals for 2013 – which I also should have done several months ago – I wouldn’t have missed those deadlines. I might not even have applied for those particular residencies, but I wouldn’t be beating myself up for letting the decision be taken out of my hands.
Yes, I know I preach about goals. I have no excuse for letting mine slide this year. I’ve been slack. Oh, I reached some, but not most. Mainly because I haven’t pulled them out periodically to check on my progress. So, I’m going to do what I often recommend to people who have trouble reaching their goals – I’m going to make myself accountable to someone else. I am going to share my goals with a writer friend, and schedule regular evaluations of my progress.
As a manager I did this with my employees, and it truly did make a difference, if for no other reason than to remind them that they had goals and were expected to strive to achieve them. (a belated thank you to Allyn and PK for drumming that into my head.) So why not treat our writing lives like our work lives? Why not have expectations of ourselves to reach goals, just as we would our employees? Because we are our own employees in a way. No one else is going to make our writing happen.
I was talking to a friend the other day about how neither of us has been able to get much writing done lately, and the reasons for it. I think part of it is simply that no one is asking for it. No one really cares if we write but us. And while I don’t generally need outside motivation to write, I, like everyone else, occasionally need a kick in the ass.
So, tomorrow I am going to email my goals to my friend, and I am going to put quarterly check-ins with her on my calendar. They are SMART goals (see my previous post about how to make your goals attainable), and – with a little help from my friend – I plan on reaching every one of them.
Happy New Year, and may all your goals, writing and otherwise, be achieved in 2013.