Planning, Targets and Rules




Happy New Year everybody!

For me, the first week of January is a time for planning, setting new work schedules and being specific about what I want to achieve by the end of the year - a habit I developed during my teaching years. I usually set myself five main targets and try to be SMART  (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) about them.

Throughout the planning process, I consider what lessons I learned throughout the last year – the most poignant of 2016 being to plan the editing process more efficiently. Not only did I misjudge the amount of time needed for completing the rewrites of my novel (it is the first and no doubt I’ll get quicker in time), but I also assumed that my editor could slot my work in when I wanted it done – oops! More forward planning is featuring heavily on my planner, which in turn sets me more deadlines – a good thing for someone who is easily distracted.

My five targets for this year, in no particular order, are:

  • To publish my d├ębut crime novel

  • To finish creating my website and go live

  • To complete, edit and publish my mystery novella

  • To build up a mailing list

  • To complete the first draft of my second crime novel

Whatever your aims or aspirations are for this year, writerly or not, I wish you all the best.


Today is also the first posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group of 2017.  The IWSG is a safe place for writers to express their fears and insecurities in a supportive environment. Join us at  www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com And don't forget to sign up for the IWSG Newsletter - it's filled with great advice written by writers for writers.   

This month's IWSG Reflective Question: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?


For me, there is none. Naturally there are rules I ignore, rules that I’ve learned from but unless we hear opinions, guidelines and preferred procedures, we cannot make informed decisions of our own.


Wishing all at IWSG a successful and prosperous new year, filled with lots of great books and stories!

Comments

  1. Happy New Year and I wish you an awesome 2017.
    Your list will keep you productive. Hoping you accomplish everything you undertake to do.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

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    1. Thank you, Pat!! Hope you enjoyed the festive season.

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  2. Hi Nic. Happy New Year! Good luck with your goals for the year. I only have one: to get physically strong and healthy. That will be the foundation for everything else I want to do. Take care.

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    1. Wishing you all the best too, Karen. Take good care.

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  3. Editors have their own schedules.
    Hope you achieve all that and more!

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    1. Lesson learned :) Thank you, Alex!!

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  4. I really need to write out my writing goals for this year! Thanks for the inspiration and good luck with all of your goals.

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. Happy new year!

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  5. Good luck with all your goals and a Happy 2017!

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  6. Good luck with your goals!

    And excellent answer about writing rules. :)

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    1. Thanks, Chrys. All the best for 2017!

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  7. I prefer not to set goals. They tend to get in the way of my reality.

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    1. Your output is always high and constant, Mac. Don't think you need goals :)

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  8. Good luck with your goals - from my POV they seem achievable.

    My goal was not to waste time on social media - I broke it today when a quick visit on Facebook ended up being a three hour tour around all my social media accounts and several chocolate biscuits!

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  9. Planning your goals and writing them down is the best thing to do. Then you see what you have to accomplish and your brain can go to work making it happen. I'm big on goal setting. Without goals, one drifts through life like a leaf on a river.

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    1. I like to work with goals. Keeps me focused. Happy new year, Diane.

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  10. You sound so organized. I am envious. But I also know it's not realistic for me to try to be organized because it has never worked for me. I do admire those people who can pull it off though!

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    1. Different things work for different people. Wishing you all the best for 2017, Loni!!

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  11. I usually never set goals but I did this year. Good luck with yours and Happy New Year :)

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    1. Thank you, Marcy. Happy new year to you too!

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  12. Now that's a good list to have:) Can't wait to read your crime novel too! :)

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    1. Thank you, Mark. Happy new year!

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  13. Knowing when rules apply and when they don't is a key in many endeavors. Happy New Year, and good luck with all of your plans!

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    1. Thank you! Happy new year to you too.

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  14. Happy New Year Nicola and all the best with your 2017 goals. What a coincidence! You are on my co-host check list. Would have visited your sweet but either way. Hugs and Kisses!

    QueendSheena
    2017 IWSG January Co-Host

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    1. Thank you, Sheena! Wishing you a fantastic 2017 filled with all the love and success you deserve. Take care.

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  15. Sounds like you have a busy year ahead of you. Good luck! I can't wait to see your book.

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  16. From what I hear, the email list is a biggy. Be sure to concentrate on that one. Have a happy new year!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Ken. Have a lovely year!

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  17. Sounds like a good target list. Good luck with it.

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  18. Happy New Year, Nicola! Wishing you good health, happiness and lots of writing success! I don't have any goals as such, but I am enjoying the work on my current novel and imagine it will be finished at some point this year. However, the redrafting is turning out to be a long-drawn-out business, so I'm not making myself any promises! xxx

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    1. Bless you, Joanna. Thank you very much. Wishing you an enjoyable journey through the redrafting process. It will get finished and I look forward to reading the publication. Take good care.

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  19. Hi Nicola - Happy New Year and all the best for those resolutions/ideas - and for being so organised - that will certainly help ... have a great year - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you, Hilary! Happy new year. I hope it's filled with good health, happiness and lots of laughter!

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  20. I like the goals you've set for yourself. It's a good, sensible approach.

    Love the new look, by the way. :-D

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    1. Thanks, Misha. Wishing you a fabulous new year!

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  21. Wishing you every success with your goals, Nicola. For reasons I explain on my blog I've yet to write mine!

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    1. Thank you, Wendy. I'll pop over :)

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  22. Excellent goals, Nicola - wishing you great success in 2017!

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary. Wishing you and Victoria continued success throughout the new year.

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  23. I like making my goals pretty specific too. Like you, I learned all about planning from being a teacher. Nine days into 2017 and I'm right on track. LOL

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  24. Those are some great goals. I need to schedule myself specific amounts of time for specific things.

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    1. You're great at achieving your writing targets and juggling time, Donna. An inspiration to us all. Have a really great new year.

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  25. Wishing you all kinds of luck on your 2017 journey! I do love your SMART plans--they're great :)

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  26. Happy New Year, Nicola. Sounds like you are organised for the year ahead, let's hope it's a great one for us all. Editing can take soo much time can't it!

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    1. One aim of mine this year is to get quicker at the editing process :) Happy New Year!

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  27. Build a mailing list.....I can't tell you the # of years I've put that off, and still counting. sigh.

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    1. Let's do it together, Sandra! Then we can grumble, pull our hair out together and cheer when things go right :) Happy New Year!!

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    1. Thanks, Lynda. Wishing you a great one :)

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  29. Best wishes to you, my dear. As for writing rules I hated being told to show, don't tell by someone who offered little else. I know what you mean about rewrites taking longer than expected. I once rented a cabin for several days thinking I could rewrite my short story series. Wrong! ~grin~ Happy writing!

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    1. Oh, renting a cabin sounds nice :) Maybe a month next time? Have a super week, Darla. Thank you for stopping by.

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  30. SMART--I like it. Best of luck with all of your goals for 2017!

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  31. I wish you the best with all of your goals this year. I have a few as well that I'm hoping I can manage to accomplish. Good luck.

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    1. God luck in achieving everything you wish to this year, Quanie. Happy writing.

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  32. Happy New Year. I spend the beginning of the year figuring out my goals too. Good luck to you on yours.

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    1. You too, Patricia. Thanks for coming over.

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  33. Well, we are into the new year and I still haven't written down my goals for the year! I have been working on finish my manuscript to send into my editor. So, I guess that is my first goal and once it is done I will start thinking about the rest of the year. :)

    Wishing you the best of luck with your goals. May 2017 be a wonderful year for you!
    ~Jess

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    1. Enjoy finishing your manuscript, Jess. Wishing you a super new year filled with success and happy writing.

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  34. I never set goals any more - I only end up disappointing myself! Good luck with your targets. I am enjoying your Short Stories for On The Go! Lovely to dip in and out of :-)

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    1. Happy New Year, Teresa. I am so happy you are enjoying my short stories - it's especially heart-warming coming from such a super short story writer like yourself. Thanks so much for saying that - you've made my year :)

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  35. These targets will keep you busy in 2917! Good luck and enjoy the process.

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    1. Good thing I like to keep busy :) Thanks, Lee.

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  36. excellent goals! neat and tidy and reachable - go for it and good luck!

    and wanted to thank you for stopping by my cradle rock release party at Diane's place!
    Tara Tyler Talks

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    1. Great to join the party, Tara. Hope all is going to plan. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  37. Wow big plans. Good luck I do make plans but I don't write them down first. I just try to work them out in my head and than do the planning

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    1. Thanks for popping over to comment, Marja! Great to 'see' you here :)

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  38. Sounds like you've got good, solid goals for the year. Good luck! I could do with learning how to better budget time, too.

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    1. Time just flies by. Blink and its gone! Best thing - don't blink :)Wishing you a great year, Nick.

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  39. Great goals! And I know what you mean about the time it takes to do a rewrite. I am losing the will to live with mine.
    As for rules. What rules? :-)
    Hope you've been able to crack on and make a start with your list.

    Maria

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    1. Keep going, Maria. YOU CAN DO IT!!!! Thanks for popping by :)

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  40. Excellent goals for this year! Good luck. And terrific answer to the question. I ignore some rules too. :)

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    1. Thanks, Christine. Wishing you lots of continuing success throughout the year!

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  41. I hope you achieve all your goals!

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  42. I love the new look to your blog! Best of luck with your goals! And editing always takes longer than one thinks, or so far that's how I've found it to be.

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  43. I'm horribly late, Nicola. My goal for this year is to learn to function with horrible internet. I know you'll achieve all your goals. Best of success to you.

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  44. I hope that the New Year brings all the good things life has to offer. This year my goal is to read a lot.

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  45. Your goals are so logical, I'm jealous. I come up with general things like- I want to be a whole new person. Always fail. LOL

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  46. Those are some great, ambitious goals -- and sound like fun! Good luck!

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