Writing Wish List

So, not to compleeeeetely overwhelm myself, but I can’t help but want to get together a writing wish list at the start of a new year. Last year I wanted to finish 3 big projects. If you count the freelance novels, I guess I did. But if you count my own novel(s), I did zip. Hmm, let’s not start counting, okay? I don’t want to go freaky with any writing plans for the year. I mean, if I were being over-ambitious, and super-motivated, and in fact slightly insane, I would say:

  • Decide, once and for all, what to do with the novel in the box, code name “G”
  • Finish at least 4 more short stories in the theme so I have a solid collection, code name “B”
  • Do solid progress on the new novel, code name “S”
  • Write that screenplay, code name “H”
  • Finally find a literary agent
  • (Oh, and eat better + exercise = blah blah blah, yeah I’m well aware I’ve got to join that gym)

But I am not saying I’m going to do any of the above things except join a gym. Instead I am going to:

  • Read books
  • Write stories
  • STOP looking for an agent—forget it, I’m done
  • STOP giving things code names
  • DO NOT plan out all the things I am going to accomplish this year

I think the reason last year felt so disappointing is because I had such outrageous expectations for myself. I have this way of setting goals that aren’t attainable, guilt-tripping myself into agreeing to them, and then smacking myself upside the head when I don’t reach them. It’s a silly way to live. I’ve heard that there are people who appreciate each day while they’re in it. They smell flowers and drink good wine and make friends with strangers. Are those people happy? Who knows. I’m just gonna hang back this year and see what happens.

10 responses to “Writing Wish List”

  1. Isn’t writing a difficult thing to plan? I’ve spent the afternoon parcelling out my diary for 2007 into chapters, counting backwards from my deadline. It doesn’t make for attractive reading, and the one thing I really, really do know is that it always takes longer than you think… I get the feeling that you are very wise to take a step back off the treadmill and just enjoy what comes along!


  2. Don’t beat yourself up. We are own worst critics but also our best at times. Why not stop wasting energy on making lists…and just follow your thoughts and ideas and “do>” We can spend all our lives planning, but it’s the action that we take that defines us.


  3. All of these resolutions and goals I’m reading lately are getting me really excited to see how 2007 will end up. I’m starting to realise how important it is to have more flexible goals re: writing, just for the purpose of having a more positive experience overall. Your wishlist/goals rule.


  4. If I may be so bold as to quote Thoreau here…
    “It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”

    Goals are important; however, I think you have stumbled upon the truth-that goals can also be restricting if for no other reason than they place the object (thing you want to accompish) in the realm of ‘must-do’, which tends to remove it, at least a little bit, from the realm of fun and play where creation fundamentally roots and grows.

    Anyway, interesting blog; keep it up.


  5. Nova – what if you had some general goals around writing and reading? For example – spend 2 hours/week on writing (regardless what style)?

    I like the freedom you are giving yourself, but we also have to sometimes force ourselves to get started. Especially we procrastinators!

    I like the attitude though! Here’s to a meaningful 2007!


  6. Good luck with your writing goals. I look forward to finding out in this space how a more flexible, Nova-friendly approach to goal-setting works out for you. I’m also looking forward to reading that short story when it gets published.


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